“There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”

“I have no life –  the work hours are killing me!”

“Vacation??  What’s a vacation?!”

“I’d love to take up golf, but who’s got the time?”

“My family never sees me.  I sure wish I could at least get home in time for dinner.”

Sound familiar?  Are you struggling to balance your life responsibilities – work, family, time for self?  You’re not alone.In these times of downsizing, doing more with less, increasing demands placed on us with the evolution of technology (e-mail, cell phones, social networking sites, etc.), we’re losing ourselves and our quality of life.  At times we may feel out of control……..like a ship tossed about in a violent storm.

 STOP!  Take a deep breath, relax, and think about what kind of life YOU want to lead.  Write down your professional and personal goals…..those things you want to do, have, and be that will bring you fulfillment and happiness.  Be very specific in what you put down so that you will know what it looks like when you achieve it.  Instead of writing, “I want to spend more time with my family.”, say “I am home for dinner with the family five nights a week.”  By stating it in the latter form, you have already psychologically moved to having accomplished it.  You can also measure how often it happens and will know what it looks like when it happens…..confirmation of achieving your goal. 

Great job!  You have now identified what is important to you and the priorities in your business and life.  These will be your new focus.  Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can begin to evaluate the tasks you perform and how they relate to your goals.  Make a commitment to yourself that you will only do those tasks and activities that will make a difference and bring you closer to getting what you want out of your business and life  – for the short-term and the long-term.

Sound too easy to be true?  Actually, once you know where you’re headed, you have to overcome self-limiting attitudes and behaviors.  Many of us have been conditioned to think working late or looking busy are good traits – it makes us “look good”.  Although a strong work ethic is important, if you find yourself often working late, I would question if you are working effectively and possibly wasting time during the day.  You may really be demonstrating that you’re not a very productive individual.  This surely doesn’t help us look good in the eyes of our superiors or provide a positive role model for our team members.  By consistently focusing on the priorities, you display good time management behaviors that will be woven into the fabric of the culture of your company.  Your organization will become known as one where meetings start and end on time, people are prompt, and deadlines are met.

Now, take control of that wreckless ship and become the captain of your destiny