According to the American Time Survey, North Americas are enjoying more leisure time than previous generations. So why do we feel time-starved?
The study further shows that the quality of leisure time has actually diminished. To me, it’s clear that the issue has nothing to do with time and it has everything to do with how efficiently we use it and what we use it for. We are so busy being busy that we don’t actually take the time to focus on what we are doing.
The concept of work-life balance is an unrealistic notion of having it all. Because of this, many of us feel like we don’t measure up.
Life is meant to unbalanced, uncoordinated, unpredictable and tough. Life is about making choices, albeit some are harder than others, and it’s about figuring out what is important to you. I’m not recommending you give up on your dreams. Instead, I’m telling you to assess your passion and goals and follow those instead of following others.
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way from some of my mentors.
- Find your purpose. Eric Thomas who is a dynamic motivational speaker talks about finding your why. If you don’t have that fire inside, you’re not living to your fullest potential. You need a compelling and genuine reason to drive your motivation. It gives you purpose in life.
- You don’t have to be perfect. In The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman discuss the obsession most women have with perfection. “Women apply for promotions if they have 100% of the job’s requirements, whereas men are happy to go for that step up if they have only 60% of the skills required.” You don’t have to be perfect to get what you want.
- Change doesn’t happen overnight, so be kind to yourself and be patient.Set your goals and figure out your action plan. Day by day work towards your goals. Eventually, there will come a time when you experience failure. It’s part of life. But it’s not about how many times you’ve failed. The most successful people have probably failed more times than they’ve succeeded. What differentiates them from everyone else is that they didn’t give up.
- Take responsibility. If you are in a position that makes you unhappy whether it’s your work situation or a personal relationship do something about it. Speak up, lean in, and change your future. These are things I learned from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. Things can get better if you do something about it. But only you can champion the change.
Encourage yourself to get better for your sake and no one else’s. That is the only way to grow, progress and feel fulfilled. Stop putting unrealistic expectations on yourself and concentrate on what is important to you.