If you dream of creating valuable life experiences for yourself and your family while still getting rewards from work, you can do it. Freeing up time for adventure, time out with loved ones, and fulfilling your bucket list way before you retire is a possibility when using your time wisely. It all comes down to sharpening your time management skills for a better work-life balance.
Does achieving the optimal work-life balance seem like an impossible dream for you? It can be if you place more emphasis on your work life, believing it’s the only way to keep you and your family safe in an uncertain world. But, if not managed properly, endless hours of working can lead to burnout which isn’t going to serve you or your family in the long run.
Dreaming of achieving a healthy balance between your work and personal life is a must if you value your health and connection with those close to you. The key to reaching this balance lies in using time management techniques designed to support you while maintaining your personal values for a better quality of life.
Personal happiness and mental well-being are goals every person should strive for and this entails making more time for yourself and your loved ones. Well-informed employers understand the importance of offering a flexible and supportive workplace for their employees, allowing their staff to achieve a seemingly elusive work-life balance.
But, how can you use time management skills to ensure you reach your not-so-impossible dream of having a quality life that includes both work and your family?
Tim Ferriss’s manifesto in 2007 may have predicted the current professional upheaval driven by the pandemic-linked Great Resignation, but is a 4-hour workweek realistic for most of us? While the author introduces interesting ideas for freeing up your time and automating your work, it’s not a solution for everyone.
Honing your time management skills is something you can do to master the work-life balance. Implementing and practising these techniques puts the ball in your court, giving you control over how you spend your time.
Identify Your Responsibilities
Identifying your daily work and personal life responsibilities gives you an indication of what tasks are your responsibility and what shouldn’t be landing on your plate. Figuring this out upfront clearly indicates how much time you’re wasting doing other people’s work, both in your workplace and in your personal life.
Eliminating responsibilities that aren’t yours will instantly free up time during the day. Drawing up a list with two columns, one for work-related duties and the other for personal tasks is a simple way of identifying your responsibilities. With each one, ask yourself: is it mine to carry? Can I delegate or outsource it to someone else, or can I get rid of it completely?
List Your Priorities
Knowing what you really want to do with your time entails listing your priorities. You can use your list of responsibilities to help you determine if they align with what matters most to you, both in the work sector and in your personal life. If you find that some responsibilities don’t talk to your priorities, consider shifting them altogether.
Listing your priorities tells you what is important to you and gets you thinking about how to create more time to do them. When you have a clear idea of what is of greatest importance to you and what will add value to your work-life balance, you’ll find ways to ensure they’re met.
Set Work-Life Balance Goals
Setting work-life balance goals not only allows you to describe what you want to see happening in both your professional and personal life. But, it also shows you where you need to spend more time achieving a particular goal. By taking this step, you’re acknowledging what needs to change in order to meet your end result.
Setting goals requires you to be mindful of how and where you spend your time. With goals, you have direction and focus, which requires taking action in order to achieve a quality work-life balance that supports your overall well-being.
Structure a Daily Plan
By now you know where your responsibilities and priorities lie. You also have crafted a work-life balance goal. Now, you need to structure a daily plan that allows you to allocate a timeslot to the tasks, activities, and action steps that must be taken to be successful.
It’s as simple as drawing up a weekly timetable, dividing each day into hourly slots from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. Taking your list of responsibilities and priorities as well as your goal’s action steps, allocate hourly slots to each one of them.
The key here is to ensure each day has an equal allocation of work, pleasure, and rest time. Jampacking your daily plan isn’t the right approach either. If you struggle to find enough time in your day to meet all of your work and personal requirements, review your current list of tasks. Identify again what can be outsourced, delegated, or removed altogether.
Studies reveal that Internet users are spending up to five and a half hours daily scrolling digital media while most of us check our smartphones 221 times every day! With this kind of distraction, how can you expect to fulfil your need for more quality time for yourself or your family?
Keeping your mobile on silent or out of sight while you’re working or playing with your children helps minimize digital distractions while focusing on what’s important. Mindless TV watching is a distraction that swallows up time while using gaming equipment endlessly is another time-waster. Allocating timeslots to both of these activities ensures you remove them as distractions while fulfilling what you actually want to achieve.
Taking action is the solution-focused approach to creating more time for yourself and your family. Acknowledging there’s a problem in your work-life areas is the first step. But if you don’t take action and do something about it, you’re still stuck in a cycle of overworking while wasting valuable time.
Taking action could mean outsourcing your work responsibilities such as managing distant teams and reporting. Taking advantage of emerging technologies can go a long way to freeing up valuable time while outsourcing administrative tasks gives you more time to focus on what really matters. After all, you still want to make a profit while managing your time more efficiently!
Improving your time management skills goes a long way to creating an optimal work-life balance that works for you and your loved ones. Whether you choose to outsource more of your work responsibilities or silence your mobile to spend quality time with your family, the choice is yours.
Using time management techniques is a solution-focused approach to reaching your so-called impossible dream of giving yourself the space to do what really matters in your life. While you may not live a 4-hour workweek, you can still achieve a work-life balance that gives you more time for yourself and your family!
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