In life, I’ve learned that maintaining consistency is key to realising the goal. But I’ve also learned that neglecting relationships, my family and myself in my personal time can come at a great cost. That’s why I created a “time strategy”, a core approach to balancing the effectiveness of my time while trying to positively balance wellbeing.

Recently, I took a much-needed time-out as part of this strategy, that’s where I took this photo. I embarked on a weekend getaway to a rural location, disconnected from the world (literally no mobile reception!). It was an opportunity to recalibrate, recharge, refocus and indulge in my passion for getting off-road in my 4WD with my family.

Compartmentalising time

I used to think that working holidays were a necessary evil. But I’ve learned that they’re ineffective and create value for nobody, they signal to others that you don’t really value your time, which means they won’t either. When we fail to compartmentalise our time, we risk blurring the lines between work and our personal lives. This can lead to burnout, strained relationships, and a sense of guilt that we’re not doing enough in either sphere.

What works for me?

While daily time management feeds into my time strategy, the most impactful part of my approach is planned weekend getaways to rural or remote locations. Being in nature, surrounded by nothing but the sounds of the waves or birds and trees, it’s my happy place. Sometimes I swag it, others a cabin or holiday home. Either way, it’s where I can clear my head, reflect on my priorities, recalibrate, and reconnect with those closest to me. Perspective can’t be attained through shortcuts, it takes an investment in time, time away, mentally, and physically.

But…. I never have the time!

Have you said this recently? We all have 24 hours in a day, simple. The rules of the game are the same for all of us. So, whether it’s work focus, family time, sleep, exercise, or intentional time to disconnect and recalibrate, it’s up to us to manage our time effectively because if you don’t manage it, life has a way of managing it for you.

Don’t let the “grind” consume you. Take control of your calendar, and remember that consistency, like routine, can set you up for success or lead to unrealised potential, erosion of relationships and unintended outcomes.

How I stay motivated, progress, not perfection

Nobody’s perfect, so progress is what’s important and what motivates me to keep consistent with my time strategy is when I came to realise just how much impact my choices were having on the lives of those around me, my family and friends, and those I work with, colleagues and clients. I didn’t realise how, despite my best intentions to remain true to myself, when I’m “pressurised” by the goings on of business or life, out of habit or as my survival skill, I just keep on pushing, sometimes pushing people away as a consequence, repelling opportunities, and just not being my best self, at all.

I reflect on this every single day, and just to make sure, it’s in my calendar.

What can you do to recalibrate? What’s your happy place?

By James Orr