Emphasizing task completion over maintaining a balanced life tends to create stress rather than reduce it. This style of prioritizing sets the stage for failure and negative thinking when people fail to meet deadlines, or meet them in one sphere of life only by neglecting responsibilities and dependencies in the other. Yet so many feel that they do not have a choice regarding the tasks that must take precedence. People are often asked to prioritize tasks according to their urgency. This misplaced emphasis tends to cause people to neglect their less demanding, but perhaps more satisfying relationships in favor of “oiling squeaky wheels” with potentially damaging long term results. A “values-centered” and “balanced-focused” approach will create a fuller, happier and reduced stress lifestyle, which is overall healthier for all individuals. However, most of us don’t have the luxury of spending the majority of our time on the things that are most important to us. So what do we do?
Balance: This time management technique is to learn to distinguish true emergency situations from situations that seem urgent but just aren’t that important. Before you drop everything next time, ask yourself: Is this truly important or just urgent to the person requesting my help? What will the consequences be if I don’t handle this immediately? Do I actually have important and urgent things that should be done instead? Is there someone else that can handle this situation?
Delegation: You should also consider delegating tasks to other people. There are a number of benefits to you, to the person that you delegate your tasks to, and to the organization as a whole when you learn how to properly delegate. The benefits for you include: reduced stress, additional time to dedicate to tasks that you truly need to work on for yourself, and practicing the skill of effective delegation.
Avoid Multi-Tasking: Though some may find it better to multi-task, the problem with multi-tasking is that it consumes more of your energy than usual and, in many cases, it’s proven that it actually ends up taking more time to finish those individual tasks. The best way to complete a task is to finish it and then move to another one. Taking breaks is of course ok, as you don’t want to drain out all your energies; however, try not to do everything at the same time.
Stick to a Schedule: You will feel accomplished and capable when you create a schedule that reflects the balance that you wish to have in your life and follow it.
Schedule Time for Creative Activity: What is it that lights your eyes up when you think or speak about it? That fire in your soul should be fed, not ignored in order for more mundane tasks to be completed. Make sure you set a time in your schedule to dedicate to something creative that you are passionate about.
Health: Eating healthy, balanced foods, being active and meditation or prayer are ways to be healthy that will positively affect all other areas of your life.