Are you Time Poverished?
Karen is a working mother who managed to land an exciting, fulfilling job which requires international travel. She's seeing parts of the world that she never dreamed of visiting, and she has found her work for a non-profit organization is more rewarding than any other job she's had.
And yet, while she wouldn't trade her position for any other job in the world, Karen has come to the realization that she is now hopelessly time poverished. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to talk with her daughter, touch base with her mom, pay bills, wait for the cable repair manâ¬"and the rest of the 101 things she needs to do each week.
Mike has built an impressive career as the head of a statewide service organization. He has one child left at home and he wants to devote all the attention he can to her. Yet, he struggles each day balancing the demands of work and home. Mike is far from alone in his predicament.
The average working parent now has to spend six and a half hours more on the job each week than the typical working parent did 30 years ago. Add it all up, and you might be working six weeks more each year than your parents did. In addition, a survey conducted by Jupiter Research found that the average consumer now spends about 14 hours a week online for shopping, bill paying, and other chores.
Interestingly enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has concluded that the average 35 to 44-year-old American has only a little more than four hours a day for recreational activities. Much of the rest of his or her time is devoted to work and child care. Research indicates that both men and women are being affected by the 21st century time crunch. As a result, it wouldn't be at all surprising if you came to the conclusion that you are time-poor.
If you're wondering whether you are just a little short on time or truly time poverished, ask yourself the following questions:
o Do I feel as if I'm falling short when it comes to fulfilling my obligations to my family? Are my spouse and/or children being shortchanged?
o Am I getting less than seven hours of sleep each nightâ¬"even though I know I need as much sleep as I can get to be truly effective at my job? Do I feel as if I'm constantly on the verge of total exhaustion?
o Do I continually eat my meals on the runâ¬"and gain weight as a resultâ¬"because I simply don't have the time to cook a nutritious meal and sit down to enjoy it?
o Do I have to overdose on caffeine each day in order to maintain my crazy schedule? Do I feel jittery as a result?
If you answered "yes" to any of the preceding questions, you can consider yourself time poverished.
Once you accept the idea that you are, indeed, woefully short on time, what can you do about it? Psychology experts say the key is to prioritize. Determine what you absolutely have to do yourself each day. Then, determine if there are certain things you can "farm out." For instance, it might be well worth your while to hire a lifestyle management company to handle some time-consuming professional duties, such as meeting and event planning, the relocation of your facilities, or research for your business' target market. Since lifestyle management companies are so much more than an errand service, they can provide you with the professional support necessary to help your business grow and thrive.
Meanwhile, a lifestyle management company can ease your time crunch at home by waiting for the appliance repairman for you, connecting you to a pre-screened vendor, or house-sitting while awaiting a furniture delivery. You can use their services to connect with a landscaper, painter, insurance agent, and the like, relieving your stress level and saving you some precious time.
It all comes down to this: instead of trying to be as busy as you can possibly be, think about the results of all of your activity. You may have heard of the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule. According to this principle, 80 percent of unfocused effort yields 20 percent of results. In contrast, 80 percent of results are accomplished with only 20 percent of focused effort. By focusing your time and energy, you should be able to achieve your goalsâ¬"personally and professionally.