In life as we get older and add more responsibility we struggle with prioritize and time management. As a kid you get to play, be care free and not have to many worries in life. As we become young adults, the pressure of school, relationships, and “what’s cool” can seem to be over bearing at times. As we transition into adults its work, work, work, and maybe a little social time with friends if time allows. Soon many of us transition into a family with children a spouse and even more responsibilities.
Like so many others I found myself in that same position. I’m married to a wonderful woman with a demanding career, two amazing children that require and deserve quality time, and a career path for myself that was eating up the hours of my day. Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved every bit of my life, but I was struggling to manage time for myself, my family and my work without massive amounts of stress. This brought me to a time of serious self-assessment, it was time to prioritize what REALLY mattered.
I began a serious exercise of making a short list of what was important to me and how I could do a better job of managing those things. I looked something like this:
Time with family, time working, time for myself. Then I broke things down a bit deeper, this is important.
Family: What does that look like?
I like to make my kids breakfast in the morning and enjoy some coffee with my wife to talk about each other’s day looks like (communication is key).
I like to sit down as a family and catch up on each other’s day and just interact.
Work: My work can be demanding. I am self-employed which does allow me a bit more control of my schedule, but that really translates into 18-hour days with some breaks, for the important stuff.
Me Time: Outside of enjoying my family and making sure I am effectively doing what I need to do for my businesses, it is important to me to exercise. It makes me feel good about myself and increases my overall energy.
After I wrote down what was most important to me I decided to make a daily schedule to try to operate off of to be most effective. Here is what it looked like:
In all honesty, this doesn’t always work smooth, but it creates an outline to live/learn from. The one factor I found I didn’t have time for in this exercise was alcohol. Trust me, I tried. I found that alcohol really didn’t fit in this schedule if I wanted to stay consistent, and consistency is key. If I had a couple cocktails or glasses of wine at night I found that I was less likely to do the evening work I committed to (added stress). Often eating food, I shouldn’t and maybe staying up a bit later. This negativity also carried into the morning. I was less likely to get up and go to the gym. My energy would be lower throughout the day which resulted in less items accomplished. This cycle feeds stress and anxiety which lead to being unhappy and unfulfilled.
It wasn’t until I removed the alcohol from this schedule for me to see the major successes come into play. I realized that a drink or two was causing damage to my goals and I really didn’t have time for it. I decided to commit to 30 days without a drop. No excuses, no acceptations. This level of discipline was the eye-opening experience that really changed my life! I stuck to my schedule and found all the results I was looking for. Lower stress and anxiety. More energy. I looked and felt healthier and refreshed.
Please give this method a try and let me know how you do. firstname.lastname@example.org