Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day! How can we possibly fit everything in when we are being pulled in so many directions by career, family, and all of life’s other obligations?
Learning how to let go of the non-essential tasks can help free up space in your life to better manage the necessary activities and make room for more balance.
Here’s a little exercise that will allow you to identify where you need to focus your time, get more organized, and incidentally create more space in your life.
STEP 1: Create a list of tasks you need/want to work on.
STEP 2: Beside each task, put a check mark beside it if it’s urgent.
STEP 3: Beside each task, also put a check mark beside it if it’s important.
Don’t have time to sit down and create a list? Ask yourself if what you need/want to do “is urgent, important, or both”? Depending on your answer, here’s how you can evaluate each task:
URGENT & IMPORTANT – prioritize it now
IMPORTANT & NOT URGENT – do it later
URGENT & NOT IMPORTANT – delegate
NOT IMPORTANT & NOT URGENT – let it go
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent & the important.
The urgent are not important, & the important are never urgent.”
Learn to Let Go
Are there any tasks that ranked low on urgency and importance that, upon reflection, simply aren’t really a priority? These may qualify as “things you don’t want to do and actually don’t need to.” Let them go. This will free up space in your life giving you more time and energy to focus on the important things.
On the other hand, are there items that “you don’t want to do, but actually need to”? These are items you should consider delegating to get them done while freeing up time in your life to help create more balance.
The tasks that are checked as urgent and important require your attention. Find ways to divide these goals or tasks down into manageable, bite-sized chunks that can be easily taken care of.
For example, is your goal to improve your nutritional wellness? Start by taking a quality multivitamin every day. Easy. Or, commit to eating a salad every day at lunch. Find small, achievable actions that are easily integrated into your day-to-day life and build on them.
Be patient with yourself and don’t overdue it!
One of the reasons why many people feel they are so busy is because they’re always running behind. It’s not fun when you constantly feel like you’re trying to catch up, so why not get ahead? As much as possible, do things in advance to make it easier to get those things done when you’re in a hurry.
For example, do you want to improve your physical wellness by going to the gym after work? Pack your gym bag the night before so you can just grab it and go. The same principle can be applied to meals. Cook extra on the weekend so that you have leftover for lunches/dinners during the week.
Applying some of these principles can make life a lot simpler during the times when there are more demands on your schedule. Let go of the non-priority tasks. Delegate and make yourself a priority so that you can enjoy the present moment and free yourself to create more balance in your life.