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
Put a Little Yin in Your Yang
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
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
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.