Make Time for What You Want in The New Year
Most people in today’s working world are feeling the pressures of having too much to do and too little time to do it. The stress of trying to do more with less is beginning to take its toll on my productivity and of most of the people I know. The illnesses, mistakes and even accidents resulting from lack of sleep and extreme stress cost us more than what we are attempting to gain by doing too much. The realization that both time and energy are finite has prompted me to take a deeper look. This year, the buck stops here.
Over the past several years I have been on track with goals of improving my health and quality of life. It wasn’t one big thing; it was all the small adjustments to absolutely everything I do that has freed up minutes each day. That extra time has allowed me to dedicate time for activities that keep me physically fit and well (i.e., working out, sleeping and eating properly), which altogether have contributed to an improved quality of life. But it is still not enough.
Each day I become increasingly aware of the nagging feeling of moving too fast and missing something. I have missed friend’s birthdays, their children’s weddings and an elderly neighbor’s moving away party and remained unaware of some challenges close friends were facing, to name a few things I wish I had been present for. There have been far too many important occasions or life events that can’t be replicated. It’s time to take a closer look at where my time goes.
Going into the New Year, I have planned more changes that will impact my business and my daily life with the goal of improving my overall quality of life in several areas. To get started, my approach was to create a list of all of my activities and all of the people I am involved with on a daily or weekly basis. I then identified those activities that left me feeling tired or unproductive. Next, I started to identify the relationships (not done with this yet) that resulted in interactions that either left me feeling drained or cost me time with no pay back. The activities were easy enough to cease. The people side is a little tougher.
In order to make some serious changes, it takes some hard thinking (I am not done with this yet, either) and then creating a plan for changing or ending some relationships. With the first go around, I came away with a very full list of activities that still energize me, and coincidentally, a long list of people whose involvement in my life consistently is a positive or productive experience. Seeing what I want to keep in my life makes it somewhat easier to remove what I don’t want.
The tough part will be putting in place new behavior that over time, will make more room for all that I want in my life. As I have learned through taking steps to improve my health, it will take small, consistent behavior changes over a period of time to reach some bigger goals for my quality of life. And, as in years past, rather than wait for the New Year to start making changes, I began the moment the thought crossed my mind.
Going forward, I will review each day to determine what could have been left out or added to improve my quality of life. Yesterday I came up with three changes and have immediately taken action on all of them. That’s a good start.
What do you want to find time and energy for in this coming year?