WHERE DID ALL MY TIME GO? – A Beginner’s Guide To Simplifying Life & Work
It is said that time is money but money can be redeemed when lost, while the same cannot be said for time. Do you often find yourself asking this question? "Where did all my time go?"
Don't hesitate, admit it. If this question pinches your heart every night when you go to bed, you know that there's something drastically wrong with what you are doing with your life. But, do not fret. You are not an alien. Just like you, there are many others around the world who feel the pinch, when they think of where their time went. Let's take for example, the life of an average, hard-working Joe - 'Ben'.
Ben's Dilemma - A Story
Ben lives in New York. He has a loving wife and a four-year old son. Ben is a small business owner and though he was proud of himself for starting his dream venture, he very quickly grew unhappy with his business, because he always seemed to be busy. This also impacted his relationship with his wife and son, who were always complaining about him not being around. Everyday, he had too much to handle on his platter. It was the same old charade, with e-mails, juggling bank accounts, attending meetings for investments and so on and so forth. Ben worked hard to meet both ends - his work and his family. But the harder he tried, the more he failed. But why did that happen?
Ben dreamt of taking his business international , but his hopes were crushed when he started to notice that his clients and his profits began to fall because of the erratic schedules that Ben had to work with as a small business owner and also because he also had other responsibilities as a family man. Ben?s world started to fall apart. One fine evening, Ben returned to find his wife upset. She accused him and threw a fit because he had conveniently forgotten their anniversary. "How could you forget our anniversary?", she yelled.
Ben slowly started to realize that he desperately needed a quick solution to balance both, his work and life, otherwise he risked losing both. To make matters worse, Ben didn't find time to play with his son either. Suddenly 24 hours in the day were not enough for Ben. He wished he had just one more hour in the day to sort his life out and get his business back in order. That's when reality struck him. He had let his business and personal life slip out of control because he believed he could handle everything by himself. He slapped his head in embarrassment and asked himself, "Where did all my time go?"
If this story rings a bell and feels extremely familiar, you should ask yourself one more question, "Why did all my time go?"
But, there's nothing to worry about just yet. Ben can bring back the balance and happiness in his life and so can you. It's true that time can't come back but the bigger truth is you can compensate for all the lost time by making the best use of time you already have in your hands. It is really not that hard to be happy! By making a few quick but drastic changes to your life, not only will your life become more manageable, but you'll begin to believe that you have more hours in the day.
1. Strike out the things you hate to do!
Maybe you love to walk your dog, go for a swim, do the dishes or sing to your plants in your kitchen garden. But unfortunately, you are stuck with paying electricity bills, calling vendors for your business, arranging data or responding to ceaseless e-mails. If this sounds like something you don't like to do, then why do it in the first place? Start by making a list of all the activities that you don't like doing. Once you have done that you will be able to identify the areas that take away a lot of your time unnecessarily and you will be able to channel your energies and time better to other activities that actually need your attention.
Now that you have eliminated the things you don't like to do, you are already one step ahead to living a happier and a more productive life. To make it easier for you, also write down the list of activities that you indulged in before your life started to spiral out of control and you started to feel helpless. Think of all those activities that brought a smile to your face and de-stressed you rather than burden you mentally. Your goal now should be to allot at least 2-3 hours to pursue these activities that you love to do, every single day. In doing so, you'll find that you are more relaxed and charged to take on the world. Sure, business is important, but not more important than you are. Give yourself a break once in a while. You deserve it.
3. Make Time For The Activities That Don't Interest You
Now that you have gotten back to doing the things you love, you can finally look at squeezing in the other activities that once took up a lot of your time and you 'thought' required your attention. Be it making calls to clients, sifting through complicated bookkeeping work, handling administrative tasks for your business or just paying the regular bills for your house, slot at least 4-5 hours in the day for these activities. With 2-3 hours devoted towards doing what you love and 4-5 hours channeled towards other activities, you'll slowly start to regain the lost work-life balance and still have a few more hours at your disposal at the end of the day!
4. Or... Explore Other Options!
If you find that you are still not able to strike the perfect work-life balance, even after making amends to your life, you are either doing it wrong, or you really do have a lot more in your platter than you can handle. If this is the case, explore other options to increase time and productivity. Outsource your work to a third party company or a Virtual Assistant, perhaps? Outsourcing all your mundane work to a professional, sitting halfway across the world from you, could probably be the best thing you can do for your business growth and life!
Virtual Assistants are trained across a wide spectrum of disciplines, industries and verticals and can help you streamline your work and life just the way you want. By doing the right homework on a professional Virtual Assistance provider and a few e-mail exchanges, you will be well on your way to securing a helping hand that can work on business tasks, personal work and even specialist work like SEO, Content Creation, Bookkeeping or Market Research. Why be stressed yourself when a Virtual Assistant can handle all the work that you do not like to do, do not have the time to do or don't have the expertise for?
It can be quite a struggle to juggle business and personal life. This post intended to throw some light on a few simple steps that you can take to strike the perfect work-life balance, increase productivity, and make more time for yourself and for your business growth. If you are however, looking for a more permanent solution; one that you can count on, it would be prudent to consider outsourcing with a reliable, virtual assistance company like GetFriday. Take the right step for the sake of your life and business, and you will be well on your way to making renewed time for yourself, for your loved ones and your business.