JUGGLING OUR PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL PRIORITIES

I constantly hear people around me saying, “I’m just too busy”, “I don’t have time to do it all”, “there’s not enough hours in a day”. Does that sound familiar to you?

To live a fulfilling, balanced life we need to be more in conscious control of our habits and lifestyle.  Effective personal management creates freedom.

Having spent 15 years of the first part of my career in professional health care and nursing, I spent a good deal of time with people who were faced with a terminal illness or potentially fatal diagnosis.

The common thread with these people was the realisation that so much of their life had been caught up with doing the urgent things that showed up in life every day, and that they neglected the most important things, which was usually their family, relationships and their health and time out for themselves.

You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to neglect the important things in your life and give in to the urgent ones.  One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is, not only to tell the two apart, but also to be able to prioritise your time between the two.

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused on the important things in life:

  • Determine what your values in life are – Our values drive our behaviour and our decisions, so being clear about what you value in life will help you to stay on track and make decisions regarding what’s most important to you.
  • Have a clear vision of your future – Having clarity around your long and short-term vision will also allow you to prioritise things that are most important to you.
  • Set goals for all areas of your life. – Keep life balanced by setting goals in all areas of life e.g. family and relationships, health and fitness, finances, business, personal time out and hobbies etc.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day planning – When we plan and prioritise, we control events instead of falling prey to events that control us.  When we plan our most important tasks and events, we reduce the amount of time they take, improve the quality of the results they produce and reduce the stress in our lives.

I want to share with you a thought-provoking excerpt from the famous psychologist and author, Denis Waitley.

You may have heard the story about the analogy of the “circus juggler” to each of us as we try to balance our personal and professional priorities.  I have heard the story repeated by many keynote speakers and have used it in previous books, but have never been able to trace the identity of the original author.

When the circus juggler drops a ball, he lets it bounce and picks it up on the next bounce without losing his rhythm or concentrations.  He keeps right on juggling.  Many times we do the same thing.  We lose our jobs, but get another one on the first or second bounce.  We may drop the ball on a sale, an opportunity to move ahead, or in a relationship, and we either pick it up on the rebound or get a new one thrown in to replace what we just dropped.

However, some of the balls or priorities we juggle don’t bounce.  The more urgent priorities associated with self-imposed deadlines and workloads have more elasticity than the precious, delicate relationships which are as fragile as fine crystal.  Balance involves distinguishing between the priorities we juggle that bounce from the ones labelled “loved ones”, “health” and “moral character” that may shatter if we drop them.

The reason I always ask my seminar attendees to list the benefits of reaching their goals is so they can arrange them in the true order of importance to them, and give them sufficient amount of attention as they juggle them within their time constraints.

Handle your priorities with care.  Some of them just don’t bounce!

COMMITMENT – THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN LIFE & BUSINESS

There are only a few key principles to success at anything in life, and one of those is commitment. A true leader commits to their family, their organization and themselves…to be the very best they can be in all areas of their life.

Words of wisdom from the great genius Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~ writer, artist, athlete, politician and visionary.

“Until one is committed their is hesitancy, a chance to draw back…There is one elementary truth – ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. This is, that the moment one definitely commits to oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, BEGIN IT NOW.”

Worth contemplating don’t you think?

In pursuit of a happy, balanced life we all have moments where we reflect on the need to change aspects of our lives where our happiness and needs are not met. Unfortunately in the busy-ness of our lives these thoughts are fleeting, thoughts we hear within our minds and feel with our body, then the moment of our truth is lost when we become distracted or fearful. When we don’t listen to our internal ‘talk’ and take action, notice how over time these thoughts keep coming up, a pattern starts forming.

When we talk about commitment we are not talking about rules of engagement, this goes without saying in the modern world, we are talking about: Commitment to your own self, respecting yourself and forming a contract to address the need to change those parts of yourself or your life that make you unhappy.

The 1 week Challenge

Small steps is the way to go…commit to making your first step by challenging yourself to a 1-week challenge:

  • Ask yourself: “Where am I now?”; “What do I want to change?” and “What is the first step I need to take?”
  • Write out your actions and commitments to start making the changes in your life with clarity and precision – no vagueness or loopholes.
  • Let a friend know about your challenge to keep you accountable.
  • Daily read your actions and commitments, and put pen to notebook and write any further actions you choose to take.
  • Congratulate yourself for committing to take ACTION towards your commitment and creating the changes.

I would love to hear how the challenge went and share your inspiration with my readers.