Time is our most precious commodity, so what would you do with a few extra hours if you had them? Work more? Go to more meetings? Sign up your child for another activity? Volunteer more? Mow the lawn? The list goes on forever.
Would anyone just leave those extra hours unused? Probably not. No matter whether you are a business owner, corporate employee, single, married, parent, grandparent, or retiree, the average American is far busier than he would like to be.
We are a hard-working, resourceful, and successful nation, but we are also a very stressed out, unhealthy, and a somewhat unbalanced society. In fact, for all of the great health care available, we have one of the shortest life expectancies of the developed world. I am convinced it is in part caused by our can’t-sit-still lifestyle.
Most Americans are giving, generous, and caring people, especially with our time. But what does the airline attendant tell you in the case of a sudden loss of cabin pressure? “Take the oxygen mask and place it over your own head before helping those next to you.”
It’s time for us to help ourselves, and put ourselves in a position of strength before we try to help everyone else around us. This goes for our families, personal relationships, careers, communities, children, faith, and we could even take this to a political or economic level — but I won’t.
So, where do we start? Take back control of your calendar. Time blocking is a simple method to carving out time for your most essential personal wellness activities. One hour, two hours, half a day — whatever it takes for you to rejuvenate, reflect, exercise, sleep. Make sure that you have the energy, positive attitude, and focus to be at your best in every facet of your life.
There’s one important rule: time blocks cannot be compromised. It is very easy to fill your block with something that seems like a necessity. Every compromised time block will reduce your productivity and happiness over the long haul. Don’t compromise, and you’ll be on your way to doing less, better.
By Peter Blok
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