By Maria Gracia
Steve is a stock broker, working on Wall Street. He catches the subway at 7:00a each morning and works a full and stressful day, trading for his clients.
After the stock market closes for the day, he goes to his office and continues working . . . researching, handling paperwork, catching up on reading and making his phone calls.
Instead of breaking for a healthy lunch or dinner, he usually just grabs a high-fat, fast-food meal.
He finally catches the 9:00p train home. He rarely has enough energy to greet his family when he arrives, never mind spending any quality time with them. There are even many weekends that Steve insists on working.
Then, it happened.
Steve's wife received a call and learned that Steve was in the hospital.
He had a heart attack. He was only 47 years old.
Steve was lucky enough to have survived. His doctor instructed him that he had to take it easy. He had to get lots of rest and relaxation. He had to stay home from work for six to eight weeks. He had to exercise. He had to eat better. He had to slow down.
Less than two weeks had gone by, when Steve decided he was well enough to go back to work.
Against the advice of his doctor and to the dismay of his family, Steve's hours at work were stretched even longer. He had so much work to catch up on, since he was in the hospital for the past 11 days.
Two weeks later, Steve was back in the hospital again. He had another heart attack.
Once again, he was miraculously lucky enough to survive. His doctor inquired, "Steve, why would you return to work in such a short time, when I clearly recommended -- insisted -- that you first have sufficient rest? Why would you go to work, continue with your long hours and remain on your unhealthy diet? Didn't you learn anything from your first heart attack?"
Steve replied, "Doctor, I don't have time to be sick. I can't waste time being laid up in the hospital."
How sad. Steve survived two heart attacks, but how much longer could his luck continue? Steve had no sense of balance in his life. He was spending 95% of his time working and not taking care of himself. The scale was tipped too heavy on one side. After his second heart attack though, Steve finally evaluated the amount of energy and stress that was being caused by overwork. He now uses his time more effectively and is living a more healthy, balanced and happy life.
Time management is not about working harder. It's the art of balancing the time in your life between the things that matter most. Work may be important . . . but what's the sense of making lots of money if you're not going to be around for you and your family to enjoy it. After all, nobody wants their tombstone to read, "If only I could have spent a few more hours at work."
Let's think about some of the important things in life that should get a percentage of your time . . . health, family, friends, work, rest, relaxation, entertainment, good nutrition, exercise, goals . . .
Giving 95% of your time to work, and only giving 5% of your time for everything else, is not a healthy balance for you, or your family. Why not spend a moment right now to determine how balanced your time is. Take an honest evaluation of yourself. Then:
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