I recently returned from a trip to Asia, and while I was there, I had the opportunity to ask a number of leaders what their most “pressing” question might be concerning leadership. There were many questions, but one question came at me from 6 different people from 3 different countries: “How do I manage my time and my life?”.
I was reminded that this question isn’t just for those of us that are leaders in organizations, but it’s a question everyone is asking. I find I ask this question as well.
I just read the book “Well Being” by Tom Rath and Jim Harter (©2010 Gallup Press). In the book, the authors have identified 5 essential elements of our life that we need to manage: Career, Social, Financial, Physical and Community. They assert that if we can focus on these 5 areas of our lives, then we’ll be able to function “well” and find balance.
The book also provides an online tool that lets you track how you’re doing on a daily basis, and it lets you compare yourselves with others with a similar background as you.
I did the assessment, and was pretty pleased with how much balance I had, then they asked me some specific questions about yesterday. I decided to answer honestly, and after reflecting on my day yesterday, I realized that I didn’t get enough sleep, I didn’t eat well, I didn’t excercise enough, and I failed in a number of areas. I went from feeling great to being discouraged. The authors then came back with this challenge: They talked about the fact that finding “balance” and “well-being” is a daily decision. They talked about how some days would be tough, and others would be great, but we need to look at the big picture, however the big picture is made up of a bunch of days. My job today is look at these areas of my life and address each one, and make decisions that will help me move towards my goals.
I recommend the book. I’m going to continue to work through it and do the online assessment for the coming weeks and months.
I come back to this question that was asked in the Philippines and in Indonesia this past week, from leaders who are simply asking, “How do I manage my life?”
My answer today is the lesson I’m learning: I’ll do what I can…
Today I’ll eat better.
Today I’ll get more sleep.
Today I’ll invest in the people I love.
Today I’ll spend time with my God.
Today I’ll do my job to the best of my ability.
Today I’ll make an impact in my community and my world.
Today, I’ll do all that I’m able to do.
1 Peter 5:7 tells us “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
In the Message translation it reads: “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”
The best place to start in managing your life better is to simply start doing it today. Start with small things, and work towards your goals and that alluding balance you so desperately long for. Start today.
For more on time management, CLICK HERE