Many professionals notice that more often than not, their stress levels are high as they attempt to handle their professional and personal responsibilities simultaneously. While most begin to believe that finding such a balance is impossible, others have successfully found simple ways to reduce the stress and lead well-balanced lives, without neglecting any pertinent tasks. How is this possible? By managing the simple tasks that are easy and commonly conflicting such as missed message from your child’s teacher, the frequently misplacing of car keys and of course, and the age old double booking a doctor’s appointment on a day that a big meeting is scheduled! Balancing your personal and professional life comes with the same instruction booklet as parenting – it cannot be studied but must be learnt on-hand. Here are some simple tricks to help you sustain a pleasant and flowing professional career that doesn’t leave you neglecting your personal life.
Prioritizing Your Schedule
The most effective way to prioritize your schedule is to ask yourself this important question for each task before you – “How important is this?” It seems like such a simple question, but it will help you gain a better understanding of what you need to do and what you want to do. Yes, this simple question can lead to a list of related questions for even the simplest task, as many of us already know one task may not be important itself but may be vital to accomplish other more important tasks. And the checklist begins! For each task you need to complete, whether personal or for business, here’s a checklist you can use to get your priorities straight and your schedule more defined.
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Is the task at hand critical for the success of your career or personal life? While everything you do can always be fine-tuned or done better, it is not always important to make it so. In fact, nine out of ten times, the things we feel need to be done or tweaked, are just excuses to kill time. If the task does not directly benefit you or help you advance your position, throw it to the back of the list.
What are the consequences if you don’t get this task done today or at all? If not completing the task will not get your fired from your job or set you back in any way at home, it’s pretty safe to say that it is not as important as it may seem at the moment.
Does the task help you advance into a better position? While everything may seem important or time restricted, they usually are not. In fact, certain tasks will usually benefit someone else more than it will benefit you. If the task at hand does not help you advance toward one of your goals, leave it for now and work on something with higher priority.
Will the task at hand help advance your family? When it comes to your family life, certain tasks may not benefit you directly. This does not mean that they should not be a priority. However, if it can help one of your individual family members or your family as a whole advance into a better position than it surely deserves to be on your top priority list for the day!
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
Many individuals chose to start their journey to a balanced life in a simple notebook. Start a running list of all the tasks that you feel you need to complete, short and long-term and start prioritizing. By asking yourself the questions previously posed, you’ll soon see that most of the tasks you thought were so urgent, are in fact not that urgent at all. Each day make a list and start letting tasks roll over to the next day and the next. At the end of each week, take a glance at the tasks you completed and those that you haven’t gotten to yet. For those leftover tasks, make a note of the category the fall under. If you start to see a pattern, start omitting them from your future lists. This will help you remove the excess weight from your mind, which in turn, will alleviate the unnecessary stress from your subconscious.
One of the best ways you can maintain an active and balanced schedule is to communicate effectively. Don’t be afraid to involve co-workers and family members into your schedule to help you get more things accomplished effectively. Time management is everything, if you can delegate various tasks to others to help you get the job done more effectively, you can fit more into your daily schedule. Of course, this does not mean pushing your tasks onto others, but rather ask for minor help to get the work done quicker. For example, after preparing a presentation for your big meeting, ask a co-worker to proofread it for you and run the copies needed for distribution. This will save time.
Balancing Your Personal and Professional Life Effectively, does it work for you?