“If I could only add an hour to the day.” I love good science fiction too, but the lament about needing more time isn’t likely to alter the fabric of reality. Dang. So between now and when we create a zippy and reliable way to alter the time-space continuum, let’s get real. 

You probably have a very long list of goals, projects and an endless list of to-dos. And you’ll never get it all done. As long as you’re alive, there will be more to do. So get comfortable with life’s endless array of possibilities. And give up on the impossible fantasy of having more time to get it all done.

If you accept that there will be an ongoing list of things that are still to be done, the challenge you face is this: to do what is most important, in a way that you feel good about, to a standard you feel proud of and that brings overall fulfillment to your life. Whew! That’s a lot to consider. It’s also a way to think about work-life effectiveness.

The alternative to creating more time is to develop greater work-life effectiveness. Some of the essential tools are:

1. Create more energy. Eat, sleep, and exercise as though your life depended on it

2. Develop sharper focus by limiting unproductive multitasking

3. Prioritize use of time and make sure you have enough time for renewal

4. Manage expectations; your own and others

5. Devise smarter strategies for accomplishing goals.

These tools are rooted in taking responsibility for your personal balance and productivity. When you are in balance, energized, focused and clear, you master your use of time rather than being its victim.

Action Steps

1. The next time you feel overwhelmed by having too much to do, do the unthinkable: Pause, step back from everything pulling at you and take a deep, balancing breath. On the exhale, pause right before the next inhale and say to yourself: “I can find balance”. Do this at least three times. Then come back to your activities.

2. Notice times when you don’t have enough energy for an activity. Then ask yourself, if I had more energy, could I do this activity faster? Better?

3. The next time you are involved in a task or activity that you are resisting, investigate what you’re really resisting. Unconscious resistance can drain energy and lead to procrastination and exhaustion, which rob you of valuable time.

4. Inquire about participating Barbara’s Work-Life Effectiveness Coaching Program. Coaching can in-person or remote, so you can call in from any location.

5. Consider taking the Work-Life Effectiveness Assessment. It’s quick, inexpensive and will provide valuable information and techniques to create balance in your busy life.