Finding Time For You
Experts in the fields of psychology and personal effectiveness report that if you feel harried, frazzled, fragmented, or just plain uneasy about your lack of personal time, it's not only because you have too much to do. It's because you're not satisfied with most of what you do.
According to renowned leadership authority and teacher, Stephen Covey, Ph.D., the unsettling feeling so many people have - the dissatisfaction with our lives - exists because we are not spending enough time on the things that are most important to us.
In his book, First Things First, Covey explains that the key to living a meaningful life begins with determining what is most important in your life and then aligning the choices you make every day with those things you've determined as most important. Additionally, we need to shift our mindset from simply responding to what's "urgent," to a mindset of knowing and doing what is most important in our lives.
First Things First: Determine what is most important in your life. Ask yourself questions such as:
"Clarity on these issues is critical," says Covey, "because it affects everything else in your life - the goals you set, the decisions you make, the way you spend your time."
The Need For Balance
If you don't think balance in your life is vitally important to your happiness, success and health, consider this. There is considerable evidence showing that mishandled stress at home interferes with work performance, and mismanaged on-the-job pressures create or magnify problems at home. Other research shows that the quality of personal relationships strongly influences job productivity, disease resistance and longevity. Conversely, people who value power over family and friendships appear to have a harder time fighting off disease.
Ask yourself these questions:
Important: Success or failure in any role you play contributes to the quality of every other role, and your life as a whole. Keep balance in your life. Identify your various roles and keep them right in front of you so that you don't neglect important areas such as your health, your family, professional preparation, or personal development. Evaluating your various roles and attaching a level of priority to each is another important step toward making more intelligent decisions on where to put your time and energy.
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