Sometimes, we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a bird’s-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?
Marilyn remembers meeting with a senior executive who, for 20 years of her marriage, arranged dinner for her husband every night. But as she was the higher earner with the more demanding job, the grocery-store trips and daily meal preparations were adding too much stress to her life.
“My response to her was, ‘Maybe it’s time to change the habit’.” The executive was worried that her husband might be upset, but Marilyn insisted that this structural change could help her reduce stress.
So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialise in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation, says Stewart Friedman, a management professor from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life.
Stewart recommends talking to the “key stakeholders” in different areas of your life, which could include colleagues, a spouse, or a partner in a community project. “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow,” he says. This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you can devote attention to your higher priorities.