Most people complain that they do not have enough time. The truth is, however, that most people do not know how to manage time wisely. Time management is crucial to an effective work-life balance. Effectively implementing time management will reduce stress and help bring balance to life in and out of the office.
The Urgent/Important Matrix
Many people confuse the urgent with the important. Urgent tasks do need to be done quickly, but that does not make them important. We are often stuck completing urgent tasks at the expense of the important ones. Important tasks are the ones that help us meet goals. Often, urgent tasks, such as fixing the copy machine, are distractions from what is important. Learning the difference between urgent and important will better anyone’s time management skills.
Learn to Say No
Managing time requires that people learn to say “no.” This may seem cruel, but it is not possible to meet everyone’s needs. You must learn to say “no” kindly but firmly. Do not allow people to talk you into urgent tasks. You need to stick with a schedule and plan of action. Do not deviate unless it is a true emergency. For example, proofing a colleague’s letter is not an emergency that you must complete at once. Complete your important tasks first.
Flexibility is an important skill. Life cannot be predicted, and inflexible people fall to pieces when change beyond their control comes. Being flexible simply means that you are not resisting the inevitable changes of life. Flexibility is not passivity. It is being able to embrace change. This will reduce stress and improve work life balance. For example, car trouble will throw off your schedule, so do not try to keep up with your tasks that day.
According to the 80 / 20 rule, 80 percent of our success is the result of only 20 percent of our actions. The rule implies that we should place our focus on the 20 percent of activities that are the most successful. This requires that we prioritize goals. When this is done, concentrate on the 20 percent of activities that aggressively move you towards those goals. Give most of your attention to this 20 percent.
More About Work-Life Balance
Benefits of a Healthy Work-life Balance
Signs of a Work-life Imbalance
Employer Resources to Improve Work-life Balance
Tips in Time Management for Work-life Balance
Goal Setting to Improve Work-life Balance
Optional Ways to Work
Work-life Balance At Work
Work-life Balance At Home
Stress Management for Work-life Balance
Work-life Balance for Working in a Home Office