As anyone working the usually nine to five nine grind knows, the concept of "free time" can seem like a fantasy only college students and Californians get to experience. But no matter how much time you spend at the office or tethered to your iPhone, life doesn't have to be totally subsumed by work. To prove that living—really living—is possible for even the business-minded among us, AskMen has put together a list of 50 tips to succeed in business and still have a great life. Here are five of our favorites:
33. Don’t be afraid of missing out/enjoy the here and now.
Just as balance requires us to focus on the most meaningful areas of our work life, balance also means applying that strategy to our social life. Spend time on relationships that are genuine, giving back and sharing with great friends instead of packing your schedule with every party on the map. Enjoy the here and now. Take your head up from that smart phone and have a real conversation with the person sitting next to you.
27. Identify your time-wasters.
We all have them. Whether it’s checking social media or sending meaningless texts, the first step is to identify the unnecessary things that are sucking your valuable time. The second step is to quantify how much time you spend on each activity per day. By consciously assigning them a value, it will trigger a red flag when you catch yourself slipping into old habits. Next, decide which items should either be limited with a given set of time to be enjoyed, or be eliminated altogether.
23. Don’t send that email.
Emails are great for practical messages, getting in touch with people, and sharing an agenda for a meeting. However, they are terrible for any communication that involves the risk of negative emotions. In particular emails are awful when trying to sort out conflicts. Go straight for some in-person dialogue instead, and start by listening hard to what the other party has to say. Listening is not really an option when writing an email, and what we write can so easily be misunderstood.
12. Follow your energy.
It’s easy to assume that those who always work according to a well thought out plan are generally more productive than those of us who are less disciplined. While it’s extremely important for both success and balance to know what you are working towards (and why), it’s equally important to allow some room for improvisation. Make a habit out of asking yourself, “What will I be great at doing right now?” By following your energy, you will get into a flow a lot more often, and that’s a wonderful state where you are significantly more efficient dragging yourself through your planned work.
7. Put people first.
When you're very busy, it can be tempting to cut down on face time with your colleagues, in particular your subordinates. Resist the temptation. Your team is not a burden on your shoulders — they are the helping hand you need. Or at least they can be, if you remember to put people first and invest in the relationships that are crucial to your success.
Head to AskMen to see all 50 insightful tips.
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