Many of us put in long days and weeks at work for the sole purpose of supporting our loved ones. But, ironically, the very opposite message gets communicated when we fail to take those much-needed breaks to be with our family. Eventually, the behavior takes its toll on our loved ones even though it’s you, and you alone, who has the power to get control over your time and your life. How do you do this? Become a time management expert and keep your priorities in order.
If you’ve let yourself slip into that habit of letting your professional life rob you of time with your family and friends, there’s no better moment than now to put an end to this potentially destructive habit.
Make time management a MAJOR goal. Write out a plan to achieve better time management that includes specific activities and dates. You may need to support the plan with resources such as books, workshops, time-saving technologies, etc. For example, if you’ve been wanting to learn a computer software program that will reduce the spend managing a certain task, establish a timeline for purchasing, learning and implementing the software — then stick to it! Also, consider creating new goals, e.g., shift aside two hours of your current work week away from the business and toward something that’s truly personal vs. professionally fulfilling.
Schedule personal priorities first. Before you write down all those work commitments on your calendar, mark down your kid’s soccer games, your date nights, your dentist appointments, vacations, and any other important, upcoming personal events. To ensure they take greater precedence in your life, family, health and spiritual activities must be penciled in at the very least.
Unplug from work. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see people enjoying a romantic dinner while texting, emailing or even chatting about work through any number of technologies today. But family and fun time really should be exactly that and nothing else. If you’ve got the privilege to spend time with friends or a loved one, consider showing them you really appreciate and value them by turning off those distracting technologies and tuning into them. Be present, be more engaged, be real.
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