Living a more balanced life – 7 time saving tips
There is so much that has been written on this topic, from lots of different gurus, so I will try and add something of meaning. This is based on my personal experience of nearly 30 years in dental industry (yes, I am that old!) and through several different life stages. I will be making some generalisations as these are based on my experiences. Everyone’s journey is unique.
What mattered at 20 is not so important at 50
Starting out on a career is exciting as we are keen to put into practice all we have spent many years learning, and to continue to learn and progress. In those first years the ambition is strong. We drive for more and seem to have endless energy including a higher appetite for risk. This is an investors dream, someone with drive, ambition, energy, fresh ideas who is not too worried about risking it all. This is the time when majority of working population don’t have a lot to lose so it is easier to focus on work, risk more and, if successful, the rewards can be substantial. This is the time when brave young dentists buy their own practice and experience a steep learning curve. With owning your own business there is always a steep learning curve and starting when you are younger with more energy and enthusiasm can be a recipe for creating something great.
Some stress is not a bad thing
If there was no stress, we would not do a lot of the things we do. As human beings we are designed to feel at ease with status quo and resist change, but our environment is not static. Due to limited resources and higher competition, we are challenged out of our status quo to compete with others for work, status, and other opportunities. Our conditioning to achieve and the competitive environment are a perfect mix for a stressful life. To reduce stress and create balance we need to set our priorities, boundaries and define goals.
So, what are your goals?
Is it starting your own business, landing a dream job, spending more time with family, traveling the world, skydiving, getting a specialisation, reducing stress while taking care of your parents or kids, exercising? The list is endless, and it is important to realise that you cannot do it all, at least not at the same time, and that is ok.
It is easy to give yourself a hard time, especially when haunted by images on social media of ‘others’ seeming like they have it all. Set a general direction for your life and then select a couple of priorities to focus on at a time. If your children are very young, they will require a lot of time (trust me, I know). As they get older, they will not need as much of your time and you can focus on other activities. It is important to focus on the priorities of here and now and make the best of the available time.
Here are my top 7 time saving tips:
- Keep a one-week time diary –This should be enough to highlight how your time is spent. Break the diary sections into as smaller chunks of time as you can manage (30 min segments max) and make entries for all the time spent during that week detailing the type of activity. There are several apps that have a short free trial period and will help you log the actives for the week. Some activities are a huge time drain and this exercise will help you identify those time drains.
- Reduce Social Media—Switch off the notifications and remove ‘badges’ (little red numbers that appear next to the app) on social media apps. This will minimise the compulsion to check messages and will give you time to live your life rather than watching somebody else’s.
- Create blocks of time —If you focus on one activity until it is completed you will save time required to acquaint yourself with a different activity each time your swap from one to another. Multitasking is not a virtue, we can all do it but it is not a very effective use of time in the long run.
- Learn to say ‘no’—This is hard, but it is important if you want to be in control of your life. If you find saying ‘no’ difficult, at least start with ‘not now’ and suggest a time that may fit better into your schedule, explaining why if necessary. People will learn after a while and you will feel more in control of your life.
- Limit timewasting (TV, pointless browsing etc.)—There should be space for relaxing activities so try to combine those with your priorities. For young parents, an example would be, spend time playing with the children and putting them to bed at the expense of another activity you can do when they are asleep.
- Focus on your productivity—Don’t allow schmoozing to eat away at your time at work. Whether it is with patients or colleagues, a lot of time can be spent socializing. This can become a major problem when trying to get work done. It is important not to be abrupt with people, just be more succinct, and help even chatty patients to move along. This is an art where you can’t control others, but you can take charge of your own time.
- Try practising mindfulness —Mindfulness has become very popular over the last few years and takes a small amount of time daily but allows you to learn how to reduce the unnecessary worrying and ruminating leading to a happier life overall. In our lives, we try to make everyone happy but face it, that’s impossible. We need to do the best we can, set boundaries and focus on what matters most to us in life.
For the best decision in your life contact MediEstates or MediCruit, and we will help you with your priorities.
Commercial Director/General Manager