Seek balance in life during stressful time


POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009

I recently taught a time-management class to students in Chaminade University's Hogan Entrepreneurial Program.

I shared time tips, tools and techniques with this entrepreneurial, forward-thinking group, stressing the need to strive for a balanced life.

One young man said that in looking ahead at his life — and how he wants enough wealth to be able to provide a nice home and life for his future wife and children — he sees himself working long hours at the expense of his family.

That's truly a dilemma for him and countless people. To that, I shared that there are no easy answers and that there is a caution regarding the hurry for wealth and success that can result in imbalance and regret. This caution applies to women as well as men.

I think William George Jordan expresses it well in “;The Majesty of Calmness.”; In the chapter titled “;Hurry, the Scourge of America,”; Jordan writes, “;In the race for wealth, men often sacrifice time, energy, health, home, happiness and honor — everything that money cannot buy, the very things that money can never bring back.”;

Now, I don't think that anyone purposely decides to live an unbalanced life, but for many well-meaning people, it's all too easy to lose sight of the big picture and what's really important.

And in today's economy, it's necessary to put in the hours required to earn the income needed to survive. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to prevent shortchanging family and personal life.

At the recent “;Get Motivated”; Conference in Honolulu, NFL quarterback Kurt Warner was asked how he balanced his career with his wife and seven children.

His answer: “;Whatever I do, I fully focus on that. Whatever I do, I do 100 percent.”; He separates time for career from time with his children. Even if he has only one hour with his children, he said, he is fully focused on them.

That's a good place to start, to fully focus and to “;be where you are,”; as it's not realistic to immediately change one's time allocation between work and home.

One technique to help fully focus on work at work and on personal life at home is to compartmentalize your day. On the way to work, begin to focus solely on your workday. Then, on your way home, switch gears and focus solely on your personal life.

This is easier when you can finish important tasks and tie up loose ends at work and at home. That takes being organized and prioritized and having a plan to get important things done. In my next column, I'll share some tips to do that.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to identify any imbalance in your life, focus fully on where you are and begin to restore desired balance.

See you in two weeks!


Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Her column runs the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).