April EFAP NEWS: Prioritizing Tasks and Balancing Life

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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.

Use your resources. Did you know that E4 offers numerous convenience services? Our philosophy is to help you with whatever challenges life gives you. Let us help with the research and specifics regarding any of the following:
  • 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.
Five Buckets Principle
April 19th
12-1pm and 3-4pm EST
11-12am and 2-3pm CST
10-11am and 1-3pm MST
9-10am and

12-1pm PST

Is it possible to meet the competing demands of job, family, friends, school and work? The resounding answer is yes! In this webinar, you will learn the Five Buckets Principle of work-life balance, which focuses on identifying priorities, making choices and managing expectations.
REGISTER TODAY! Space is limited
Click on the time you would like to attend above.
You can also log on to

www.HelloE4.com with your username and password. On the homepage, click on “UPCOMING WEBINARS,” and follow the easy instructions.

Unable to make it to the scheduled webinars? 
We have them archived for your convenience. Visit
  www.HelloE4.com click on E4 University, then click on Webinars to search by  webinar title.

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
Password:    guest
Or call them at: 800-828-6025
(phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)