Time and productivity columnist for the NZ Herald

Robyn Pearce: Count your 'hats'

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How many roles are you currently committed to? Photo / Getty Images
How many roles are you currently committed to? Photo / Getty Images

We constantly hear the work/life balance drum being beaten these days. Do you sometimes wonder if you'll ever stumble across that mystical Holy Grail of perfect life balance? Or does it seem like something that only happens for others? And if you're a parent as well as a business person does it seem like a joke?

If life is too busy, maybe it's time to step back and evaluate. Are you trying to fit too much into every day, every week?

How many roles are you currently committed to?

Take a minute to count up all the roles you juggle - they might include parent, care-giver of aging parents, grandparent, sibling, friend, employee or employer, taxi service to various child-based activities, contributor to voluntary organisations, church or community group member, sports activities, ..... How many categories do you have? And - have you put 'self' in there?

Around the world I'm now hearing the phrase 'energy management' as opposed to 'time management'. Consider those multi-layered hats you wear - can you grade each on an energy ratio?

Most of our close relationships are non-negotiable (sorry, you can't return that messy 12 year old!), but what about some of the more peripheral ones?

• When do you experience your highest energy?

• What lights you up? And what drains you?

• Do you find yourself reluctantly putting in 'time at mill' on some of those committees or activities?

• Are you feeling stretched like a sick rubber band as you run children to endless classes and events, leaving no time for relaxing?

There are no prizes for being a martyr. The kids won't suffer if they don't belong to all the same clubs and activities as Willow and Ali down the road. If we try to do everything we'll end up doing nothing properly.

We'll also burn out, be snappy, poor company, tired parents and lovers and less-than-effective workers.

Look for things to let go of - commitments, additional roles, projects, even magazine subscriptions - so you can have some time to relax as an individual and as a family.

If life is too busy, maybe it's time to step back and evaluate. Are you trying to fit too much into every day, every week?

I've often heard young parents say, 'I want to do the best for them. If they don't get a chance to do [fill in your own gaps] I might spoil their chances to succeed.'

The most important thing you can do is have an harmonious home. Stressed and exhausted parents will have grumpy tired kids who only want you, not a million commitments.

- NZ Herald

Robyn Pearce (known as the Time Queen) runs an international time management and productivity business, based in New Zealand. If you'd like a conference speaker, time management training for your firm, or to receive your free report 'How To Master Time In Only 90 Seconds' and ongoing time tips, check out gettingagrip.com

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Time and productivity columnist for the NZ Herald

For 22 years author and speaker Robyn Pearce (known by her clients as the Time Queen) has been sharing her experiences and knowledge about time management and productivity with countless clients and readers around the world as a keynote speaker, educator, coach and writer of 8 books and many hundreds of articles. She often appears as a subject specialist on television and radio. Robyn learnt her subject the hard way. Through the years of raising six kids, single parenthood and then a highly successful real estate career, time management was her biggest challenge. The good news is – she won, and now helps others find more time.

Read more by Robyn Pearce

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