by Emma Grey (Life Balance Specialist)
We often feel at the mercy of other people’s plans for us: work deadlines, family commitments, even the traffic we battle through or the queues we stand in. If we focus on the ways that the world pushes and pulls us, and ignore the ways we respond and choose and behave, we can begin to feel pressured – as if we’re living someone else’s life.
Say ‘no’ to give meaning to your ‘yes’
Every choice you make to accept a new commitment comes at a cost. It might be time spent exercising, time getting on top of your work or maybe it’s watching your child’s sports match. The day is not a sponge, into which we can squeeze more than its weight in commitments – it’s just 24 hours.
Choose what matters most to you – health, relationships, the parts of your career that are yours… whatever it is that means the most, and that becomes your ‘YES’. Every time you say ‘no’ to something less important, you’re honouring that ‘yes’.
Stop colouring in the title page
Remember in primary school how you’d start a new unit of work by colouring in a title page? It was the preliminary setting-up of the ‘real work’, before diving into the content properly.
Sometimes we get stuck colouring in the title page at work, and stifling our own progress. Whether it’s from fear of failure, perfectionism, procrastination or some other motivation, getting caught in the ‘setting up’ stage – making sure everything is perfect before we begin – causes pressure closer to the deadline. Stop colouring in the title page and move on whether you feel ready to or not.
Create ‘white space’ in your diary
The busier you are and the more responsibilities that you have, the more time you must allocate to rest, recreation and rejuvenation. Carve some ‘white space’ in your diary and treat it like gold.
Learn what relaxation style refuels you best. It could be time on your own, a night painting the town red, sport, music, travel, a movie, a cooking class … anything that allows you to switch ‘channels’ in your mind.
If you don’t have time, make some. If you need help, find some. Being ‘badge of honour’ busy isn’t impressive – it’s unhealthy.
Nobody else is going to rescue you from an overly-chaotic life. It’s up to each of us to ride in on our own white horses and rescue ourselves.
For more tips on life balance, time management and self-esteem visit www.worklifebliss.com.au where you can download a free eBook on the 7 Types of Busy.