A Common Problem... And A Rare Solution

I am having real problems balancing work, studies and my social life - its really hectic and I'm not coping. Please help! - Evelyn, Kenya

Without knowing more about your situation, Evelyn, I'd suggest that the only way to manage the different aspects of your life is to use self imposed limits.

This means establishing exactly how much time you're prepared to put into your work, your studies and your social life.

Some aspects (work, for instance) may not have much flexibility, especially if the number of weekly hours you have to work is clearly defined.

Having said that, at least you know how much time is available for other things - in your case, studying and socializing.

Both of these can probably go on for as long as you want. Neither are ever "done".

Here's what to do...

Work out how many hours you're realistically prepared to work, study and socialize each week (use a weekly planner to help you),

Make sure you leave some “slack time” each week. In other words, time that isn't accounted for.

One of the most common mistakes people make, when it comes to managing their time, is to try to fit in too much. This is why they have that feeling of being overwhelmed – they are simply trying to do too many things.

The solution?

Do less. Either in terms of the number of commitments, or the time you give to each.

Ideally, taking on fewer commitments is preferable. Why? Because each commitment invariably demands more of our time than we envisaged it would when we first took it on.

This can be in the form of unforeseen aspects or tasks that take up more time than we expected, or it can be as a consequence of the momentum associated with “getting into” something.

Going back to what I said at the beginning about establishing self imposed limits...

You have to be the one that does that because you can guarantee that nobody else will do it for you (and even if they did you probably wouldn't want to stick to them).

So take on less and just say No!

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