Time management and work/life balance are two subjects I am not equipped to ever speak about, and neither should anyone else.
However, these topics are requested often. Why are we all convinced that we can conquer these myths?
One of my values is efficiency. I love learning life hacks to use my time wisely.
For example, I have learned that keyboard shortcuts can save me valuable daily minutes. Years ago, while training in my profession, I watched other seasoned co-workers use their keyboards to manipulate different applications. These computer users were like musicians.
Their fingers knew where the correct keys were to create beautiful “music.” These performers rarely used their mouse to find menu options. Instead, they studied and memorized the keyboard shortcuts to open (Ctrl/O), edit and close (Alt/F4) files.
I have timed myself managing my email with only my keyboard and saved myself 18 minutes in one day. However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot manage that time. I do not have the power to stop time or add more seconds to my day. I can, though, manage myself.
In the past week, I have worked with four new clients, and they each have the same goal to find more work/life balance.
They would like to work hard for eight to 10 hours a day plus have valuable family time every night. During family time, they want to cook homemade meals, attend every sporting practice and game, have meaningful time with their spouse, and read bedtime stories before tucking their children in for bed.
That is a lot to expect in a matter of four hours after work.
Why do we expect balance in our lives when even our earth does not have balance? The earth’s axis is tilted, which causes different seasons. Let’s stop looking for balance in our life and instead focus on the seasons of our life.
Authors Rory Vaden and John Maxwell discuss these life seasons in their books. We know that there is a time to be born and a time to die. Farmers also know there is a time to plant (springtime) and a time to harvest (autumn.)
These seasons of work require more time from the farmers than what they can give to their families. If they do not provide more energy to their work during these seasons, they will not have food or money to get them through the cold months.
Tax accountants also know the importance of giving more energy to their work during the year’s first four months. Family time is limited during the tax season. However, later in the year, family time increases.
When is your harvest season? When is your slower season? Do you give yourself time for both? Don’t expect too much from yourself, thinking you can do it all.
We can’t do everything. Whether we choose or not, there is only so much that can be done in a day. It all comes down to choosing our priorities. John Maxwell said, “Be aware of the seasons and appreciate them. Maximize them when they’re upon you. You will then have a fulfilling life.”
Isn’t that what we’re all working toward?
It’s time to rephrase our goals. Instead of seeking time management and work/life balance tips, pursue self-management goals and seasonal habits.
Also, do not create unrealistic expectations for yourself. Choose your priorities and focus your energy on that task. Enjoy feeling fulfilled every day.