This is one of those articles that most of us ignore because we think we manage our time perfectly fine. Because I have always used a diary and have managed to squeeze so much work, training and study into my week I thought I had the time management thing nailed! Sadly not though.
Time management isn’t just about using the time you have to fit in as much as you possibly can but it is also about using the time you have to maintain a work life balance. A great tool for assessing your work life balance is ‘the wheel of life’. I used it last year and realised how ‘out of balance’ my life was. I recommend you spend twenty minutes or so using the tool too and see if there are areas that you would like to spend more time developing.
The wheel first divides your life up into different areas. You can use the wheel above or create your own with your own titles for each area of your own life. Then you give a score out of ten to each area depending on how satisfied you are with the amount of time you spend on developing that area.
I realised I was spending the bulk of my time in the following areas: business/career, finances, health, personal growth but much less time in family and friends, romance, fun and recreation and physical environment.
Now just because I spent little time on developing those particular areas doesn’t mean that my life was a wreck!!! It could have been that those areas brought the most happiness to my life. However, when I thought about it, those areas were important but they didn’t bring me the most happiness. Family, friends, romance, fun and recreation are what made me happiest so I knew I needed to plan my week to include more time in those areas. So I did and my life started to feel more……. whats the word Im looking for…. errm BALANCED!!! Less stressed, more relaxed and happier.
Anyway I recommend you give it a go. It doesn’t take long and it will help you figure out what is important to you and where the gaps in your life are. In fact it is worth doing once a year at least as our lives can start to creep out of balance again without us even realising it. I did mine again recently and although it was nothing like it was, it was looking slightly out of balance again. So I began working on it immediately.
Oh and by the way, if your thinking that you couldn’t possibly spend less time working then you may be wrong as I thought the same but I will come to that in part 2!