Keeping track of all of the demands on our time can be a real challenge. Unfortunately, we can’t create more time in the day, but there are several tips that successful people use to have a better balance in their lives. If you are looking to improve the balance in your life, give some of the tips below a try and before you know it you’ll be happier at work and at home!
- Prioritize: Know what matters. Have a plan and make sure that you concentrate on the things that are the most important to you. You are probably already doing this at work, but does your plan contain important personal priorities? In order to get a better balance, the most important personal and professional priorities should show up on a single list. Make sure that you prioritize your schedule around those activities to make sure that they can be done properly.
- Organize: If you have trouble staying organized and are constantly anxious about what you should be doing, set up a system to track all of your to-do items. That way you can rank them by importance and make sure that you are working with the end in mind. If you really want to turbo charge your productivity you can look into Getting Things Done by David Allen or The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo. These simple concepts and tools can help you squeeze more productivity out of your day.
- Get real: Realize that you can’t get everything done, but make sure you get the important things done. Remind yourself that is okay if some of the less important things don’t get done.
- Consolidate your calendars: Put important family events on your work calendar to make sure that you carve the time out for that important soccer game, band concert, swim meet or science fair. Let the family know when you have a large presentation to give, a big product launch or a conference to attend. An open line of communication will make it easier to coordinate.
- Remain agile: Take some time to reflect on what your top priorities are on a weekly basis and potentially more often depending on your industry. The list should be adjusted based on market trends, new customers, fires that pop up, etc. I schedule time each week to review my lists, calendars and priorities to make sure I am on top of things. This also gives me the opportunity to adjust my schedule as needed. If my daughter has a play that I need to see and I have a project due on the same day, I can put the extra hours in to get the project done on time.
- Follow a plan: Make sure that your business has a plan and is prepared to execute on it. If you find that you are spending a large portion of your day on things that aren’t meaningful to the company’s goals then you should be prepared to have a discussion with leadership to verify that your hard work is moving the company’s goals forward. You might be spending a large part of your day doing a report that is no longer a priority, but you’ll never know until you ask!
- Set boundaries: With today’s technology, you can get distracted at any time of the day or night. Make sure that you have places and/or times that are technology-free. Perhaps it is at the dinner table every night or perhaps it is watching a television show as a family. Whatever it is, make sure that you follow the rules and that you expect other members of the family (including teenagers!) to do the same.
- Learn to say no: Too often we want to do everything for everybody and our to do list explodes. We need to remind ourselves that is okay to say no. Often times our “to don’t” list is even more important than our to do list. Won’t power is just as important as will power!