Americans feel they’re busier than ever and though some studies agree, others disagree. That being said, you probably are fairly strapped for time especially when you consider everything you’d like to do in the day. Unfortunately, you’ll always be too busy to accomplish everything but, if you want a successful career and a happy life, you should never be too busy for these six things.
1. Investing in Your Future: Whether it’s contributing to your 401k and IRA or taking a course in a skill you’ve been meaning to develop, investing in your future is essential for a happy life and a successful career and you should always make some time in your weekly schedule for these activities. While you don’t have to go to early retirement extremes or jack-of-all-trades status, you should make time to invest in the future of your skills, your finances, your career, and more!
2. Maintaining Your Relationships: One is the loneliest number and being lonely can be extremely detrimental to your personal happiness and your career success. From professional networking to spending time with loved ones to making new friends to bonding with your coworkers, making the time to maintain relationships should always be a priority.
3. Improving and Maintaining Your Health: From preparing and eating healthier food to getting enough exercise or simply not sitting all day long, improving and maintaining your health is essential for a happy life. And, although it may not seem like it, improving and maintaining your health can help your career in the long run. Whether it means having to take fewer sick days or being able to join the company softball league or simply feeling more confident in your clothes and having that confidence trickle over into your work performance, it’s important that you’re never too busy to improve and maintain your health.
4. Setting Goals and Tracking Metrics: If you don’t have goals, you run the risk of meandering through life and stagnating your career. If you don’t keep track of key metrics, you run the risk of never achieving those goals. Make sure you’re never too busy to set goals—even if they’re small and gradual—and find a few metrics to keep yourself accountable and keep track of.
5. Effective Relaxation: If you want to avoid burnout you need to make time for effective relaxation. Spending time with loved ones, spending time disconnected from the digital world, spending time on your hobbies, and getting enough sleep at night are great, time-effective ways to optimize your relaxation so make sure you’re never too busy for regular doses of these things.
6. Planning and Looking Ahead: Setting goals can help you plan your life and look ahead to the future but, if you’re not thinking big enough or far enough out when setting goals you need to make time to plan and look ahead. If you’re too busy to do this because you’re too focused on the right now, you may find future career stagnation. The best way to do this is having a five year plan, regularly checking job openings to see what the qualifications are for your dream job or if the right opportunity has finally come along, and prioritizing activities that contribute to your ideal future.
You’re too busy to do everything, but you should never be too busy to do these six essential things if you want to have a successful career and a happy life. And who doesn’t want that?