Friday, February 1, 2008

Are You Having Trouble Balancing Your Life?

Are you having trouble balancing your life?

This is a common challenge that most people encounter and find difficult to resolve.

I hope that this article assists you in taking some steps to improve the balance in your life.

The 3 important questions that I ask my clients when they want a solution to creating more balance in their life are:

1. Do you value your time?

2. Can you be disciplined?

3. Are you willing to change habits?

What are some causes for us getting out of balance?

· Dealing with the urgent and not the important
· Being disorganised
· Procrastination
· Too much time spent on the phone or computer
· Watching too much television
· Changes in family roles
· Belief systems
· Deterioration of boundaries between work and home
· Disease to please. Can’t say “NO”
· Inability to delegate
· Lack of planning
· Longer work hours
· Clutter in our environment
· Time bandits

What are the consequences of not having balance in your life?

· Poor health
· Stress
· Feelings of frustration
· Fatigue
· Difficult to nurture relationships
· Overwhelmed with urgent tasks
· Regretful thoughts
· Loss of control

As you can read from the list of consequences, a lack of balance in your life can have a detrimental effect on your life and impact your level of happiness.

Below are some suggestions to help you restore some balance in your life.

1. Devote and allocate time to important activities

Don’t ignore important areas of your life simply because they are not in crisis.

Remember, IMPORTANT activities are those which help you to achieve your goals in life and make you happy.

Most people start with the quick, easy or enjoyable tasks. Think about starting with the most IMPORTANT tasks instead.

Eliminate activities that make the smallest contributions to your life.

2. Improve Time Management

Use a Weekly Planner.

To-Do-Lists (Want-To, Should-Do & Must-Do). Shorter the better.

Avoid the LPP system (little pieces of paper)

Prioritise what is important.

Set deadlines.

Whenever possible, perform several roles at once.

Ask yourself, “Is this activity really necessary? Do I want to be spend my time doing this, and if so why?”

3. Avoid Procrastination

Develop a TNT habit - ‘Today, not tomorrow!’

Decide whether it is worth doing. If it is do it! If not don’t.

Do the worst tasks first. It will make the rest of the day a lot easier.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and tell yourself that as soon as it goes off you can do whatever else you want, but until it does, you must sit in that chair and work on the project/activity in front of you.

Clear your mind, ground your thoughts, pause and breathe.

When you feel overwhelmed remember that all you have to do is the next thing. A few next things later and you will have tackled quite a bit.

Celebrate what you have accomplished, no matter how small.

4. Set Boundaries with Communication Technology

Turn off your mobile from time to time.

Spend less time on unimportant phone calls.

Watch less television.

Spend less time on the computer.

Set two e-mail times per day. Avoid the lure of having to read your e-mails regularly. Set boundaries, especially after-hours.

5. Say “NO”

Detach yourself from other people’s emotional and physical hold over you. Don’t be a slave to their “stuff.”

Don’t feel like you have to please everyone.

Make others respect your time and allow them to be aware of your schedule.


“I will have to check my calendar and get back to you.”

6. Delegate

Look at how you can share the load.

Identify activities that can be done by others.

Call on specialists to do work that you cannot do effectively or efficiently.

Do what needs to be done and let the rest go. Don’t beat yourself up for not completing everything.

7. Plan

Have a plan for your life and how you want to live it. You set the agenda.

Plan out each day the night before. By planning ahead we stay focussed on the true top priorities instead of getting side tracked.

8. Clear the Clutter

Establish systems of organisation.

Use the 3M principle:
(Minimise Clutter, Maximise Space, Maintain Order)

Resolve debilitating and distracting emotions that are getting in your way.

Spend less time with people in your life who are hindering you.

Simplify your life. Make things easier for yourself. Don’t take on too many tasks, try to do too much, and own too much. Focus on one thing at a time.

9. Rest

Stop and enjoy things and people around you.

Schedule more free time in your day.

Schedule a few days each month with no agenda. Billy Joel – “There are times when you need to let the field lie fallow.”

Spend some time alone.

Spend time doing things that you love to do.

10. Paperwork

Find your paperwork a home quickly.

I trust that some of these suggestions will help you to achieve greater balance in your life.

If your life feels to chaotic to manage and you are worrying about it, why don’t you take the first step to solving it by utilising the services of a coach like myself who can offer you the assistance that you need to get your life back on track.

Author: Steven Decker - Life Management & Success Coach

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