1. Striking a work / life balance
Balance is often considered to be an important factor. By “balance” we really mean the “work / life balance” that gives us the opportunity to spend more time with people, interests, and activities outside of work.
That balance is typically driven by our needs (ie. rent, bills, food, clothing, and other expenses) and responsibilities (partners, children, parents, animals, and other beings and organisations in our lives).
2. Eisenhower’s urgent / important principle
This is Eisenhower’s urgent / important principle:
- Urgent activities typically take priority due to deadlines to get to work before 9am and finish the project on time. But maybe the job doesn’t use your real skills and the project will eventually be shelved.
- Important activities lead to the outcomes that we really want in our lives, including professional and personal goals.
Often we get caught running around focused on the urgent issues, missing the opportunities to focus on what is really important. This leads us to this statement:
Just because something is urgent does not make it important.
Maybe it doesn’t matter at all and we can say “no”. The only way to focus on something important is to say “no” to whatever is not important in your life. This leads to the question:
What can be removed from your life that you currently sink a lot of time into?
The answer might include:
- Extracting yourself from long hours at work, self-obsessed people, interests that you no longer enjoy, or activities that achieve very little.
- Setting clear objectives on what you do include in your life, so that objectives are clear and achievable.
- Timeboxing activities, to free up your time.
- Saying “no” and removing distracting work, people, interests, or activities from your life.
We know this is easily said, but even trying these techniques can help to free up your time.