There are times in life that we get so focused on our professional or physical goals, we forget to look at the whole picture. In many cases, our focus on the goal itself obscures the other parts of our lives. Instead of taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers along the path, we walk as quickly as we possibly can toward our destination. In some cases, we literally kick those flowers out of the way trying to reach our goals.
We’re all guilty of ignoring things we shouldn’t be in favor of other things, but it’s a hard habit to break. For example, maybe you don’t have time to spend with your family throughout the week in favor of spending all of your time together on the weekend. The problem with that scenario, though, is that you’ve spent so much time ignoring your family during the week, they no longer want to spend time with you on the weekend.
Unfortunately, you can't always predict what life brings, and in order to be flexible enough to reach your goals and stop and smell those flowers along the path to that goal, these tips may be helpful.
1. make your to-do list or your schedule as rounded as possible. life isn't just about business. it is also about family/relationships, physical fitness, social interaction, spiritual/relaxation time, etc. don't forget to enjoy other great aspects that life has to offer.
2. prioritize. while you shouldn’t procrastinate, you should remember that tasks that can be held until the next day should be if necessary. for example, if you have to choose between taking 2 hours to watch your son's little league baseball game and finishing the power-point presentation that needs to be done in a week - choose the little league baseball game.
3. learn to multi-task. if there are activities that can be combined, then do so - as it will save you time in the long run. for example, if you are able to go for a run with a friend to catch up with life while having a great workout at the same time...then, kill two birds with one stone to save that time.
4. plan ahead. the more time you give yourself (as well as others) to plan around things, the more time you will create for yourself. don't wait until the last minute to book the appointment or to complete a task. think long-term and work towards it as opposed to feeling out of control and panicing last minute.
Remember, completely being able to take control of your time is just not possible. Other things will intervene, but ultimately the more organized, you are, the better you’ll be able to handle everything you need to accomplish in an effective manner. It’s possible to smell those metaphorical flowers on the road to reaching your destination, but you must plan ahead to make it happen or you will miss everything along the way!