With so many competing priorities it can feel very overwhelming when we are trying to do it all. It is not impossible to see everything you want actually become your reality - you just need to take some time to prioritize and shed what you no longer need.
Millions of people struggle to find a balance between the competing interests in their lives. There is work, family, health/fitness, hobbies, and making time to connect with your inner self - not to mention getting a good night's sleep. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. First things first: You're not alone in this!
Furthermore, most of us (deep down), believe that focusing most of our hours and effort towards the "work"side is the only way to get ahead in life. But let me tell you a secret: the top leaders and highest achievers focus on what they want, and that includes finding balance in their lives.
How do they do it? Let me show you.
Be honest about what you need and respect the boundaries of others
You can only make the most of your time if you know where and how to focus your energy. Sit down and identify what really matters to you and which milestones really signify achievement toward your larger goals. Share this with your family, colleagues and friends so that everyone around you understands these needs and work with you to make sure these needs are met. Offer to make it a reciprocal process for those you are affecting. You will respect the boundaries of others and help them meet their needs also.
There are so many ways to make this happen. Is exercise a must in your work day? Let your team know and find a flexible way to schedule it. Do you need one day completely off each week? a no-email, no-phone-calls-or-texts, no-work-at-all day? Tell your team and make it happen. And remember: everyone around you has needs, and they may need help making them happen, too.
Take a real look at your lifestyle and personal habits
Most adults these days suffer from sleep deprivation, low amounts of daily exercise and sub-optimal eating habits. If you are feeling unbalanced in your life, these negative habits may be the reason. Do yourself the favor of slowly making positive changes in your diet and lifestyle to allow yourself to really thrive both at work and at home. The key here is to take it slowly. For example, try to go to bed 20 minutes earlier every day for 2 weeks, then add 20 more minutes. If you're looking to eat better, replace one unhealthy snack with something that
Trim the Fat
Think about all of the things that compete for your time, and decide what to keep and what to discard. If you volunteer with three nonprofit organizations, select the most meaningful one, focus on it, and stop scattering your attention among all three.
Fight the time suck rabbit hole
If you can learn to identify and eliminate the many time sucks that are already in your life, you will take back a lot of hours. It may seem like a minute or two on social media or surfing the internet is an insignificant amount of time to waste, but these minutes add up. Try this: For one week keep a time-suck journal, writing down each way you waste time and how much you lost to the time suck. This allows you to create a practical plan for dropping these time-wasters. Most phones these days also have a screen time feature so you can see how much time you use your phone and what you are spending that time doing.
Find that perfect pace
Those who enjoy dynamic careers that grow and are not plagued by burnout have learned that pacing your self is the trick. Self-awareness is the tool that can help you feel when it's time to gear up, and then again when it's time to downshift a bit. Don't measure your self by someone else's pace or routine. At the same time, be honest with your self about where you are and don't be hard on your self if you need to reset - building new habits takes time. Just start again tomorrow.
Forget multi-tasking and engage
The most productive people don't have less to do. They simply focus well within an organized plan. Don't try to do so many things at once. Choose to do only tasks that merit your full attention, and then execute them with the focus they deserve. This goes for your personal time just as much as your work time. It can help to break your day into manageable chunks of time. Depending on the task it can be in 1-hour chunks, 30 minutes or even 15 minutes.