"I wish I'd spent more time at the office." It's been said that no one in history has ever been recorded with these being their last words, and I'm sure they never will.
Let's start this blog by asking you to think about three things in your life that mean the most to you.
After coming up with these three things, make note of how much time you spend on each one every week.
If you aren't spending large chunks of time on the three elements you've listed as the most important priorities in your life, you may need to take a deeper look at how you are spending your time. Are there areas that you can improve on? Our days tend to dictate to us what we have to do and where we have to be – but there usually are some areas that you could tweak – both in our jobs, and outside the office, as well.
We cannot control time.
What we can control is how we choose to spend the minutes and hours that we have in each day, while doing so in a way that encourages a proper balance in our lives.
Attempting to "do it all", especially in our careers, can lead us down a slippery slope, but many times we have no choice. How can we walk away from work that still needs to be done, and presentations that still need to be completed? Everyone in the world now knows that we can be reached 24/7, either through our computers with email, or our phones that we rarely go a minute without.
Recently I spent 16 hours on a non-stop flight to Hong Kong. It was at this time that I felt an eerie disconnect from my media – but then, after a while, felt a freedom in being able to be alone with my thoughts – even if it was for a brief period of time. As I've said in one of my other postings, it is during these "quiet" and rare moments that true creativity can take place. It seems increasingly difficult to "clear the slate" of our minds, so to speak, and allow our own voice to come through. We are bombarded with unending streams of information every day at lightning speed – taking it all in – incorporating it into our minds like robots. Some days it seems that free moments just don't exist anymore.
Here's what I've personally learned about managing your time.
If you aren't spending time in your day with a loved one, you're going to miss many of those moments. I have missed out on these moments – always saying that I am working hard for my family, and later found out that all they really want is to spend some time with me once in a while. It's hard to admit that my crazy work schedule has been hard on my family, but I am writing this so that you can learn from my mistakes by putting too much too heavy a burden on the time you do have together. And, without even realizing it, your quality time" now turns into tension time.
Evaluate your thought process concerning how your time is spent.
1. Time Spent Making Money Is Time Spent on the Family – Every parent who works does so in order to give their kids and their spouses everything that they need. This is necessary for us to survive – of course – but there should still be some kind of a life outside of your work.
Take some time to work at your family. The rewards will be seen in almost every area of your life.
Learn how to allow yourself to not feel guilty when spending time with one over the other – work vs. family, or family vs. work. If you work hard, you should get into the habit of allowing yourself time to regroup and refocus and unwind. And then you can hit the pavement running full throttle again. Your health and well being are as important as your success in your career.
Time goes by faster and faster the older we get – which is why it's so important to learn strategic and effective ways to make the most of your days.
Every so often, ask yourself these questions:
Where do you want to be?
How can you get there?
Are you able to prioritize your work effectively in order to achieve your goals?
Do you have the discipline to put forth a daily "to do"list. If you can do things today, do them today. They'll always be something new that pops up tomorrow.
Can you be assertive when necessary – saying no sometimes and delegating when necessary.
Another important question:
CAN YOU RELAX? Take the breaks necessary before you reach the point when you really need one. If you never plan for it, it will never happen.
Remember the people at home who you are working so hard for, and plan for some downtime with them, as well.
Take time for yourself every now and then lets you "disconnect" for brief periods of time, allowing our minds time to recharge and create.
Not using effective time management tips could make you lose a lot of time to bond with your family and friends, maintain a romantic relationship, and take care of yourself.
If you’re not successful in time management, you will tend to be too focused on work priorities, forgetting that there is more to life than just that. I hope that this blog has made you take a few moments (as that's all you have) to sit back and look around.
I have spent a good part of my life working – like many of you – achieving many successes – giving every day 150%. It's important to be driven and motivated and unyielding when going after your goals for success. Your hunger to succeed should never go away.
Work is work – it'll always be there. Be sure to Interject some of your "life" into it once in a while. You may be surprised by the positive impact it will have.
Time can never be managed. But you do have the power to decide HOW to spend the minutes in your day….Good Luck!