HOW many times have you thought about doing something you would like before reminding yourself that you don't have time?
Are you working more, enjoying it less and dreading the time you spend at your workplace?
When you get up in the morning, do you ask: "Is this all there is?"
Do you have a growing sense that you would be happier doing something else?
You are not alone. Many working professionals feel the same way as they get older and as their careers settle into a relatively safe comfort zone. Workdays get longer, and free time with friends and family is at a premium.
Many people spend so much time doing what they must do that they do not have enough time for what they love to do.
The feeling of not having enough freedom to pursue quality time with your family or other activities that would nurture you can leave you feeling stressed and unhappy.
If you want a happier, revitalised life, you have to make changes - to your routine, your work attitude and to achieve your personal goals.
Change your routine
To increase your level of happiness and satisfaction with life, you have to find more time in your schedule for a life that reflects what you would really like to do. There are several ways to do this:
Take stock of how you spend your time.
Look at how you spend your days, and see what time-wasting activities can be cut.
Could you be more efficient at work? Are there things in your schedule that could be dropped without serious ramifications?
Reprioritise your activities. What really is important? Who or what deserves your time?
Analyse your to-do lists and streamline tasks where possible.
Carving out a little time here and there can add up to a greater feeling of personal freedom to do what you would really enjoy.
For instance, the time you spend watching television each day can be positively channelled elsewhere.
Learn to delegate both at work and at home.
There are duties that can be delegated to assistants and family members.
For example, reassigning cleaning responsibilities to your children can free up time normally spent on housework and foster a sense of responsibility in your kids at the same time.
Next, reset your schedule.
Digging yourself out of a hole is next to impossible when you add new things to the heap each day.
Delegate what you can, and keep only the most essential tasks and commitments for yourself.
Learn to say "no".
Before you take on any new responsibility, think carefully about how this would impact your life, both in a positive and negative way.
Think also about your motivation for saying "yes".
Do you just want to avoid feeling like you're letting someone else down?
Be careful, you may be the type that convinces yourself that you have limitless time in your schedule and find yourself with time for everyone else but yourself.
Devote your energy to the most valued parts of your life - your family, friends, the favourite project at work and so on. Make these activities part of your new daily routine.