One of the most common problems we hear about these days, at least in the Western world, has to do with the so-called work/life balance, and the lack thereof. More and more people find themselves overcommitted, overstressed, overscheduled and under-executing. This is because we are so overwhelmed by everything we take on, that we struggle to finish things and end up pushing through without a compass, or even a map, to show us the way.
We have been led to believe that the solution lies in effective time management, but this is not entirely true. It is important that we learn to manage our time effectively, but this practice cannot be mastered unless you take a few steps back. If we have no idea where we are going, how can we manage the journey (and the time) it takes to get there? If we are not clear on what our priorities are, and on what motivates us, or if we don’t know exactly what we want, how can we plan our days effectively?
There are basically two main root causes for us always being behind schedule: not having enough time for some activities and always saying yes to others. If we currently find ourselves overworked and overwhelmed, then we are stuck in what the author defines as a “whirlwind” life. This does not necessarily mean that we are completely swamped every minute of the day. Let’s imagine that we do everything at a reasonable pace, but we still find ourselves answering emails and sitting at the computer until eleven at night. Being up and still working at that time is surely a sign that there is something wrong and that we need to make some changes.
Changing is never easy, it requires commitment and dedication, but, in the end, it is the only way to find peace, achieve results, and restore a sense of calm to our lives. Many people prefer to continue to swim in the chaos that is their everyday life rather than take responsibility and do the work that change requires of them.
But how is it that, in spite of all the modern comforts that are available to us these days, our lives are still so full of stress? If we think back to when our grandparents were young, they didn’t have all the gadgets we do, for one thing, they had to hand wash their clothes instead of having a machine, and so many other conveniences that we have today didn’t exist when they were young; yet, they had plenty of time to spend with the family.
The truth is, while technology has simplified our lives in some ways, it has also brought with it a certain degree of additional complexity. Today, the key to better management of our existence is to take control. In her book Prime Time, Ria Story suggests a formula to help us achieve our goals through a series of interlinked steps and exercises.
But before we get started, it is important to understand the concept of Prime Time.