Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Find Time for What Really Matters

Remember when you were a kid and summertime meant hanging out with friends, sleeping late and going on vacation?
Now, summertime means you’ve got to try and figure out how to get all your work done before you take time off, cover for vacationing colleagues and keep the kids from killing one another while they’re out of school.
Somehow, the summertime giddiness of our youth has turned into the dread of too much work and too little time.
The problem is that this feeling of being overworked isn’t confined just to the dog-days of summer, but seems to be a feeling we experience all year.
A recent survey for Huffington Post finds that 77% of us feel stressed “regularly,” with the biggest causes of that anxiety being reported as too much work and too little time.  Words such as “pressure,” “overwhelmed” and “inadequate” were used as descriptions of the feelings that stress evokes.
Stop channeling a hamster
Carson Tate, managing partner at Working Simply, says there are steps you can take if you want to stop feeling like a hamster on a never-ending exercise wheel. If you want to find more ways to enjoy your summer – and all the other times of the year – you can begin by:
  • Recognizing that time is a commodity. If your co-worker asked for a bunch of money, would you just hand it over? Probably not. But Tate says we often do that with our time. “We’re so willing to give away our time,” she says. “But it’s a commodity you cannot get back.”
She suggests thinking about how much your time is worth per hour.
“Then look at how long you’re spending in meetings, on various tasks or writing emails.  If you’re sitting in a meeting where you’re not contributing and could instead be working on an important project, then that has a direct bottom-line impact,” she says.
  • Develop a five-minute list. If you’re sitting at a swim meet waiting for your child’s competition, it’s a good time to read an industry article you’ve wanted to peruse, or even make a quick phone call to schedule a vet’s visit for the cat. If you write down (read more here)

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