DESPERATELY SEEKING BALANCE
DESPERATELY SEEKING BALANCE
Time is a precious commodity. If you lose money, you can always make more. I know you are thinking, "Well that may be easy for you to say." It really is true. Money can be replaced. If, heaven forbid, you lose friends, you will eventually find others to replace them. If you waste a minute of time, however, it is lost forever. It can never be regained. Managing time appears to be a difficult task. Each of us is provided with 24 hours in a day and we cannot manage to create anymore. The ability to utilize the time you have effectively and efficiently is the key to determining your success, happiness and fulfillment. It will enable you to achieve life balance and to create a productive and profitable existence. This applies to you no matter what profession you have selected as your life's work.
You start this process of managing time effectively by answering three critical questions. The first question is "What is it you desire?" Few people truly know what they desire from their life and their career. You will be among the select 5% of all people in the universe if you can determine what it is you want. This is significant because this top 5 % are the most successful, the most fulfilled and usually the happiest of all. That is because they know what they want and are ready to pursue it. Once you have determined what you want the second question to ask yourself is "How am I going to obtain the object or objects of my desire?" The answer involves listing and evaluating the actions you must take every day to obtain what you want. As a result of this step you will create a list of your priorities. When you know what your priorities are you will realize that the term time management is a really a misnomer, it is really priority management. The third and final question can be answered once you have established your priorities. This question is "What actions and tasks are not essential to getting what I want and can be eliminated from consideration?" You must focus only on those critical tasks that are necessary to achieve your primary purpose and goals and ignore the remainder of activities. This will assist you in creating that most difficult yet critical list; a not-to-do list. Many successful people draw-up a daily to-do list. An extremely helpful task many of us have learned from our mentors. You are going one critical step beyond this when you create your very own not-to-do list. Realize that there are a myriad of choices out there and you cannot possibly do everything. Focus on the few vital tasks that are absolutely necessary to get your primary goal and forget about the unimportant many.
Let's use an analogy. The items and activities that are high on the priority list are your CRYSTAL BALLS. These are highly important. You could even say essential to your happiness, fulfillment and success. Your crystal balls will most likely include your career, but may also include time spent with your spouse, your children, and those few close relationships and meaningful activities. Cherish these crystal balls and do not let them drop. For if they drop and break your life will suffer. The activities that are low on your priority list are your RUBBER BALLS. These may include activities that do not produce happiness and fulfillment and will not assist you in obtaining your burning desire. They are the items listed on your not-to-do list. At a critical point in my life I determined many activities that were taking my time away from my primary pursuits of career and family. These were my rubber balls. You can let your rubber balls drop and revisit them at a point in your life when time is not such a critical issue. They will bounce back. For example, I dropped the sport of golf when I was involved in building my dental practice and when my family was growing and needed my attention. Golf is a fun activity, but I found it to be extremely time consuming.
The essential aspect in the pursuit of balance then is to determine your crystal balls and your rubber balls. Let the rubber balls drop, but protect those crystal balls as if your life depended on it. For it most certainly does! It was Marilyn Monroe herself who said." A career is wonderful, but you can't snuggle up to a career on a cold and snowy night." Put some balance in your life