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MAGAZINE : Career/Job

Are You Living to Work...Or Working to Live?

Here are five tips to help you decrease your stress and increase your efficiency at home and at work.

How many times have you put off fixing that bathroom sink or missed that important school activity? ‘No time’ is the common cry of just about any busy mum or dad but despite the fact that each day has just 24 hours; with a little careful planning and better time management, we all can find one extra productive hour per day.

Many are those who need to be overworked in order to feel that they exist. Fuelled by stress and caffeine, it can become a habitual way of life and a mantra.

To better organise your time requires that you ask yourself certain questions, in short, to step back and accept some changes in your habits.

1. Learning how to sort your priorities
This principle can apply everywhere both at home and at the office. It consists of classifying your activities into four distinct groups:
- Group 1: any urgent and essential activity
- Group 2: what is essential without being urgent
- Group 3: all that is urgent but which is not essential
- Group 4: what is neither urgent, nor essential

Believe it or not, most people have the annoying tendency to concentrate all their energy into the things of Group 4, quite simply because in appearance, these things don’t look complicated. Logically, one should focus more on the activities of group 1.

2. Being honest with your planning
Knowing how to distinguish what is urgent from what is important will better help you to disperse them in time. Writing entries in your planner means giving yourself realistic objectives. All you need to do is re-read each evening, what you’ve written down and you will quickly realize whether it’s a possible deadline or not. Each day, prepare a to-do list. Make sure it includes both your family and your work obligations from category 1 first (urgent and essential). Then see whether this list is compatible with the duration of time allocated to achieve it and add an extra 20% of additional time for unforeseen events. Establish your priorities and rank them by importance.

3. Carrying out balanced choices
If you realise that you won't have time to take care of your family because of an overloaded work schedule, then be prepared to seriously ask yourself what your life goals really are. If you choose to give precedence to just one aspect of your life, work for example, you will sooner or later begin to experience a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction. Obviously, work may impede on some family events or activities, but this must occur on exceptional occasions. If you feel unable to focus sufficient attention on your children, this is a clear sign that you are not balancing your priorities. To devote more time to your children, think of the category in which you place their education and growth. Is it Group 1, 2, 3 or 4?


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