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Reclaim Your Time

Finding the right work-life balance

happiness” into your life, look for ways to trim existing fat. For example:

1. Eradicate what you hate. There will always be necessary aspects of life that you don’t enjoy. But there’s a fundamental difference between necessary evils and unnecessary tasks that drain your reservoirs.

At work: Are there weekly meetings you have or reports you produce that aren’t necessary or that could be done less frequently? You may be surprised by how much control you can exert over your workload.

At home: Which of the most time-intensive tasks that you truly dislike in your personal and family life could be outsourced to others? Free up that time by outsourcing and reclaim your time.

2. Stop doing things no one should do. We all take steps in our lives that just don’t generate meaningful results. What obligations have you taken on in your professional or personal life that are unproductive?

At work: Eliminate “meetings to schedule meetings about scheduling meetings.” Instead of surfing the web when you’re bored, get up and take a walk or do deep-breathing exercises.

At home: Stop checking your email or social media “just one more time”. Stop cleaning the house before the cleaners come!


Non-negotiables are activities that excite and recharge you. You would commit to these activities no matter what. Without non-negotiables, you get stuck in a pattern of perpetual workaholism and finding yourself mired in an endless list of tasks and to-dos.

Without non-negotiables, we often negotiate with ourselves. i.e. “I was going to exercise today, but I just feel so tired, I’ll do it tomorrow.”

These are two benefits of setting these non-negotiables:

1. You eliminate the need for discipline. If you are strategic with your commitments, they can become the cornerstone habits that make everything else in your life easier. Ask yourself: What are the things you struggle with most on a weekly basis, and make success automatic?

Example: If you struggle with eating late at night, set a non-negotiables like; “Eat four meals with 30 grams of protein during the day so that I can stop eating at 7 p.m.” or “I do not keep junk food at my house”.

2. You set up bumpers to keep you out of the gutter. Do you and your family members talk about the dates or adventures you want to go on together—but it’s always “just talk”?

The solution: Put a commitment on the calendar and set up painful consequences for failure. If your non-negotiable is a date night every Wednesday at 6 p.m., let everyone know that you will not be available during that time and why. Then buy a mason jar and agree to put $5 into it anytime you miss.

Such non-negotiables can serve as bumpers to keep your life out of the gutter—just as bumpers at the bowling alley help keep the ball out of the gutter.

Start by focusing on making initial non-negotiables in four categories:

  • Health: “I will do some sort of physical activity for 45 minutes at least three times a week.”
  • Relationship: “I will take my spouse/partner on a date night every Thursday at 5 p.m.”
  • Business: “I will take business calls and meetings only after 11 a.m. so I can devote the first two to three hours of each day, when I do my best thinking, to sales and marketing strategies.”
  • Personal: “I will wake up no later than 6 a.m. every day.”

Remember: No one else will fight for your time and energy as well as you can—it’s up to you. Ask yourself if it’s time to make some key changes in your life to reclaim your time and strike the right balance between work and life.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by the VFO Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2020 by AES Nation, LLC.

This report is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase any security or advisory services. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investment in any security involves significant risks and any investment may lose value. Refer to all risk disclosures related to each security product carefully before investing. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency. Kevin Best and Best Times Financial Planning are not affiliated with AES Nation, LLC.

Kevin Best CFP®, MS, AEP®

Personal CFO

Best Times Financial Planning

345 Woodcliff Drive, Suite 2A, Fairport, NY 14450

Office: (585) 504-3600


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