Bringing balance to a busy personal and professional life is truly challenging. In order to accomplish all that seems necessary, most people resolve to work harder and faster. As a result, many individuals express frustration about feeling overwhelmed and not having enough time to focus on what or who is most important to them. In addition, this mounting stress can lead to compromised health and vitality.
Without a doubt, time can be counted among our most precious resources. In fact, many surveys have shown that if forced to make a choice, most individuals would pick having more time over having more money.
In your own life, you have likely discovered that one of the biggest factors contributing to your life satisfaction is having a sense of control over how you spend your time. Ironically, Odette Pollar, author of Take Back Your Life, recommends that the best way to do more is to do less. For example, don’t keep trying to jam more and more into your al-ready over-crowded schedule, but determine to drop several activities and demands instead.
However, before taking this step, you will first need to analyze your priorities. Once you are clear on what is most important to you, then you can eliminate all that does not fit your criteria. Saying “no” more often will allow you to say “yes” to your priorities.
In Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity, author David Allen offers a number of principles and practical suggestions for managing daily activities and responsibilities. He confidently proclaims, “It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelm-ing number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control.”
A key practice in Allen’s methodology for managing our lives is what he calls “outcome visioning.” In other words, picturing in our minds—regarding any commitment, activity, or project—what “success” would look like and feel like. Some individuals call this pro-cess a “mental dress rehearsal”—a way of imagining a desired result that helps them to gain clarity about available resources and creative approaches to achieving their goals.
In your own life, you too will discover that the clearer your vision of the future becomes, the easier it will be to move toward that image. In addition, as you intentionally “make room” in your life for what is most important to you, the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment you experience will increase and multiply.