April EFAP NEWS: Prioritizing Tasks and Balancing Life
Prioritizing Tasks and Balancing Life
It seems there is never enough time in the day to tackle your complete “To Do” list. Increased work demands, abundant family obligations, commitments to friends and organizations, and our 24/7 accessibility have all significantly affected our limited time. How do you prioritize tasks and find balance, and ultimately peace amongst the chaos?
Identify what is really important. Do you really need to be on that committee or volunteer for that position? Please don’t misunderstand this. It is wonderful and beneficial to engage in groups and support volunteerism, if you have the time and if you aren’t currently over scheduled. Take an inventory of your life – work, school, family, friends, religion, organizations, volunteer work, exercise, and whatever else places a major role in your life. Prioritize your list based on what is really important to you – financially, socially, spiritually, and physically. Also evaluate whether items on your list make you happy. Consider some of the items toward the end of your list. Can some of these be dropped – temporarily or permanently?
If lower ranked priority list items can’t be omitted, consider allotting less time, mentally and physically, to them for a short period of time, just as a test to see if that eases any possible stress. Maybe instead of volunteering two hours every week, you drop it to one hour every other week.
Also, key here is to learn how to say “No.” Toddlers have this down, so embrace your inner child and learn to pass on some opportunities when your time is pressed. It is okay to say no, and focusing more on less tasks may be more beneficial than saying yes to many tasks, and having very little energy to give to any of them. If you are afraid others will view you as uncooperative, explain to them how you are already over scheduled and heavily committed. Tell them you understand the importance of this role, and feel at this point in your life you wouldn’t be able to give it the time and proper dedication that it requires. People appreciate your honesty, and your ability to identify realistic expectations.
Pace Yourself. Often this is easier said than done. If your list includes spending time with your kids and you want to increase that time, start ‘a little at a time.’ Schedule activities with your kids. Children would much rather spend one hour with you commanding your full attention, rather than six hours with you while you are checking your phone every few minutes. Tackle projects one brick at a time. Dividing large projects into small, manageable segments will help you reach your goal quicker, and completing each segment will give you a sense of accomplishment and security that will successfully reach your ultimate goal.
Don’t forget your health. Nutrition, exercise, sleep, and downtime are crucial. If you need to increase any of these areas make it a priority on your list. Taking care of yourself is essential as you attempt to care for others.
- All issues related to pet care
- Identifying “handymen” such as plumbers, electricians, lawn maintenance
- Home improvement/repair
- Low-cost housing searches
- 211 resources: lower income basic need challenges (foreclosures, setting up a bank account, housing expenses etc.
- Specialized meal services (home delivery, Kosher, Ethnic, etc.)
- Service connections (ex. locating the cable provider in my area)
- Weather related support such as snow removal, flooding, tree removal, etc.
- Moving, relocation, and transportation services
- Working with a financial advisor to lower your mortgage
- Tickets and entertainment
- Community services (schools, public/private, houses of worship, etc.)
- Health and Fitness (clubs, trainers, food stores, etc.)
- Finding acceptable assisted living centers for your parents
- Speaking with an attorney on a legal matter
- And more….almost anything you can think of.
www.HelloE4.com with your username and password. On the homepage, click on “UPCOMING WEBINARS,” and follow the easy instructions.
e4health administers the College’s EFAP program. To access their comprehensive web site, with many tools and articles, go to the e4health web site.
Username: middlebury college
Or call them at: 800-828-6025
(phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)