I think the way I want to think. I live the way I want to live.
– Sidney Poitier
Work-life balance comes up a lot. I try not to use the term because it is both delusional and blamey. We all want the self-regulation and energy to do all the things that matter to us. Decades ago, I read Unplug the Christmas Machine, a book about how to move away from materialism and make holidays more peaceful and love-filled. I still use the book’s tools, many of which apply year-round. To me, the book can be summed up as follows: prioritize your priorities.
Modern life requires us to stay grounded in reality and place a stake on the ground on those things that are most important to us. We must reckon with the fact that we can’t get it all done. Break the mold on how you “manage time” and ask nothing of yourself but to get to the things that matter most… the things in your yellow box above.
- Confront the fact that we have 28,000 days or 920 months on this planet (average)
- Organize your time to do less task-switching and spend less time scrolling
- Triage each 24 hours with the most important things first
- Decide where to place your attention, our most important resource
- Operate from your priorities and values, not from efficiency (recipe for misery)
- Wait till inbox is clear before we get to our highest priorities
- Assume that you can do it all
- The more efficient you are at doing low-value work, the more of it will come your way (cleaning up after others, answering emails)
- To not decide is to decide to be bobbing and weaving like flotsam on the current
- Let circumstances and others be in charge
- Place no limits on what moves you way from your deepest priorities
Pearls from Oliver Burkeman’s great book, Four Thousand Weeks, read this article
Last month, Eileen was a guest on the Wellness Warriors podcast. Click here to listen.
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