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Yesterday I wrote about work/life balance and some of the things that you can do to make sure that you’re not just living to work. It is important - both to your family and friends and for your emotional health - to have a life that is not focused purely on work.
Yesterday was just the beginning though. There are so many other things you can do to create a better work/life balance in your life!
Get Rid of Time and Energy Sucking Activities
Think about the things that you do each day and consider the value that they are adding to your life. Many people spend time doing things that don’t make them happy and don’t make their relationships better but they do them out of habit or boredom.
One of the things you can do is create a time budget. Just like when you create a money budget, the first thing you need to know is where you are spending your time. Exactly what are you doing every day? Start keeping a time journal and do it for at least a week. Write down everything you do/did and how long you spent doing it. At the end of a week, go back and look at how you spent your time. For each activity, ask yourself how it benefited you. Did it add value to your life in any way? Do you need to spend that much time on that activity for it to provide value?
Get rid of the time and energy suckers!
Some of the things you might want to get rid of include:
- Time spent on the phone listening to the neighborhood gossip
- Time spent on the Internet
- Time spent watching television
- Time spent chatting after work in the office
- Time spent running errands
Find creative ways to take those out of your time budget so you have more time for things you actually enjoy doing with people you like!
The truth is that it is easy to get caught up in time and energy sucking activities because they don’t require us to use our brain. They are generally pretty much thoughtless activities but they don’t help us in any way or they don’t add to our life. They just kill time!
Many of these things we do out of habit or we do them because we’ve never really thought about not doing them. It is just habit to let the neighborhood gossip tell us about what she just heard and it is mildly entertaining so we don’t try to stop her. Watching television is an easy way to pass the time at night.
The good news is that with some effort you can get rid of these things. And once you’re no longer doing them you will be thrilled to find that you suddenly have time to do arts and crafts with your kids or you have time to go to the park after dinner or you might even have time to go on a date with your spouse!