Know where to set limits and say no
Some things take a lot of time and may not return much. This applies to business and time off.
Reasons to undertake a task:
- Do it if it makes some profit
- Do it if its educational in some useful way
- Do it if it builds business relationships.
- It may be worth doing if it brings some measure of personal satisfaction.
Alternatives are minimizing the item, which is satisfying it with minimal effort or time; ignoring it if it is not important; or outsourcing it.
Look at How You Spend Your Time
You can keep a log of how you spend your time. Note how much time you spend on things that you don’t put a priority on. Note how much time you spend doing nothing. If you start reconstructing time so that you have some solid results you will feel much better about things; it’s about achievement not how much time you spent (or wasted!) on an endeavour. Being creative, finishing a novel, and quality time with family are all items then need to be high on the priority list.
Make a list of Things you do want to do with your time.
This is and individual and subjective as it gets. People don’t decide what they enjoy, but they discover it over time. If you enjoy something, and it doesn’t cause problems like health issues or environmental damage, then do it and feel better for the experience.
Anything that gives a lasting result tends to be more satisfying than something that is just enjoyable for its own right. Finishing a woodwork project and displaying it or finally mastering that piece of music on you instrument of choice can give you long term satisfaction; you put in some effort and have something to show for it. Alternately, doing puzzles or videogames apparently improves mental cognition; anything that improves your mind is worth spending some time on. Anything that involves interacting with people you actually like tends to be beneficial and enjoyable, if only because of the people factor. Then again, some solitary hobbies can also be good.
Think Laterally and Creatively with Planning.
Some events have a set date. Others can be moved around, or scheduled concurrently. Try putting parties on Sunday afternoons. Everybody else uses primetime, find the gaps that others aren’t using. If you realize how much time you spend watching TV, use some of it to bake for upcoming events. Plan things while on the train ride home, and get then done when practical. If you have systematic tasks to get done (washing, checking accounts …etc.) get them done before you go to bed; you’ll sleep better when you feel the task is out of the way. If you have creative decisions to make, sleep on them. Your brain can solve things while you sleep, and provided they aren’t stressful both you and the solution tend to be more creative from this.
Whenever Possible, be in the Moment.
No life means anything if you’re not actually there. Sure, some things need to be done for the sake of a future goal, but keeping a mind on the goal will at least help a little. If it’s a social event, be people orientated; if it’s creative, enjoy it. Avoid worrying about something that you cannot change for the moment. If you do have problems than need sorting out, they will be processed in the back of your mind, and will benefit from the lower stress and positive frame of mind that comes from living in the moment and enjoying yourself.
Be People Orientated.
Religion tends to support generosity and good will, but so does social research. Accumulating money does not buy happiness, but spending it on others does seem to have a positive impact. Going out of your way to find that item somebody needs actually gives you a sense of satisfaction’ knowing your company benefits somebody else can be immensely satisfying. We’re hardwired for social interaction. Be an individual, and appreciate all the other individuals you encounter.