Managing Time and Living Life

Bringing balance to a busy personal and professional life is challenging.  In order to accomplish all that seems necessary, most of us resolve to work harder and faster.

Therefore, Americans are increasingly experiencing a time crunch.  The result is mounting stress and compromised health and vitality.  And yet, despite our best efforts, many of us express frustration about not being able to bring tasks to completion and not having enough time to focus on what or who is most important.

No doubt, time is one of the most precious limited resources we have.  In fact, most people feel that if they had a choice, they would pick having more time over having more money.

In your own life, you will find that one of the biggest factors that contributes to your life satisfaction is gaining (or regaining) 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 overcrowded schedule.  Instead, determine to drop several activities and demands.  However, you will first need to analyze your priorities. Once you are clear on what is most important to you, 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 overwhelming 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 what “success” would look like and feel like for any commitment, activity, or project.

Some individuals call this process 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.

You 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.

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