If a single word could describe modern life, acceleration would be it. Change generates change, and there has been more of it in the past 50 years than in the previous 500.

The good news: our standard of living has gone through the roof. The bad news: we pay a price Ė time. Time poverty has become a serious issue. Even if people have money, they may be flat broke when it comes to time.

What follows are three suggestions on how to adapt. While there is no universal solution, by reading a few tips, you may find one that works for you.

Put a Little Yin in Your Yang
The days of nine-to-five are coming to an end. Work life is invading the home. Many people consider this a negative, but donít jump to that conclusion. Some personal hours are sacred, but others may be opportunities to use time more effectively.

For example, a big meeting is tomorrow and you need more preparation. You also want to get home to see the kids. Bringing home some work to do after the kids go to bed lets you do both. Allow work to enter the home, but just donít let it live there full time.

On the flip side, donít feel guilty when your personal life gets managed from the office. Of course, this requires a professional attitude Ė work is the priority and others may not want to know details of your private life. It also requires an employer who understands and trusts that you will get the job done.

Forcing work and personal issues into time slots can cause stress. Find what works for you, not what works for the clock.

Be Here, Now
When you work, work. When you play, play. This may sound as though it contradicts the first point, but itís not a matter of where you are, itís about where your mind is. Itís an issue of attention.

Focus on what you are doing while you are doing it. Donít let those little stresses from work enter your mind on a Sunday drive with the family. Think about the kidsí report cards while making dinner, not during client meetings. Recognize when your mind is shifting away from where it should be and bring it back to the here and now.

This requires discipline. A lot of it. But you will be happier at home and more productive at work if you can master it.

Use the Gray Area
We spend a lot of time in transition from our professional to our personal lives. Pick up this down time Ė transition your mind while your body is in transit. Read work documents on your commute to the office and a good novel on the way home. If you drive, use books on tape.

This might help you to "be here, now" when you get there.

Change is never easy, especially if it affects your lifestyle. But making the effort will pay out Ė in time.

Read meeting dilemmas solved by the Meeting Guru.


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