TIME: My $300 Billion New Year’s Resolution

Time is my New Year’s Resolution in 2014

I took a stay at home vacation this week, and it was fabulous. With the exception of this blog post and less than a handful of work calls and emails, I haven’t written or done a damn thing related to work. It’s been the most vacation I’ve had in 4 years. This week I had the privilege of doing some really awesome and normal things. (Click here to get the full rundown from my Instagram.)

  • Went to the beach with my daughter
  • Slept in every day until after 7:00 AM
  • Painted gold stripes on my living room walls
  • Made homemade cinnamon rolls
  • Re-arranged my bedroom furniture at 11:00 PM just because
  • Pinned pins on Pinterest. Hence the bedroom re-arranging and stripes on walls

Since I can’t remember my life has been go-go-go, and it’s been nice to have no schedule and take the day at its own pace which for me means time to organize sock drawers and plant succulents in my outdoor garden in California. These are things that I enjoy doing but have abandoned in my personal life due to the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day. In retrospect, while I have enjoyed the time “off” and “away,” I have been working unpacking, organizing and just living life. This living life thing is fun and yet exhausting. It’s work. It’s also not something I do enough of. More importantly, why am I taking time off to just catch up? What is “this” thing that’s a barrier to me just enjoying and living life?

Meet Stress. Your Personal Kill Joy

This is your life and my life with stress, and it’s not okay. It’s effectively taking over, running and managing our lives.

Stress is a silent killer of relationships, families and life. And yet we welcome it with open arms like we do that late night email or work call from our boss. We can’t shut it off. And by “it” I mean our electronics, our Facebook (speaking from experience), the constant worrying about money, what you don’t have that everyone else does. It’s the ultimate personal and life kill joy and yet we let it control, run and manage our lives. Why?

Why and how do we let this new stress-filled balance-less normal creep into our life?

A stunning ninety-three percent of employees, admit to running personal errands at work not including those like me who take time off just to catch up with daily life. There truly are just not enough hours in the day.

Time Management Hacks are Hacked

I’ve tried reading Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Workweek, but all it made me feel was depressed and angry at the way he hacked the system effectively cheating to find more time using time management tactics and less stress. Is this the only way?  It’s been over two years since I read that book, and I believe that much of what Tim said was utter bullshit. He’s never been a woman, a mom and someone who has to balance taking a conference call, while sweeping the kitchen floor covered in Cherrios while making their kid’s a brown bag lunch, so until he’s done that, he’s just a guy selling a gimmick to me.

For the record, talking about Tim Ferris stresses me out. Maybe his next book can be the 4 Hour Therapy. 

Your Job is Your Number 1 Cause of Life Stress

Studies tell us that stress is bad. It ages and adds weight to our bodies and is a self-fulfilling cycle feeding it’s selfish ambitions over and over again. It creates barriers to living life. Whether you are an entrepreneur like me, stay at home parent, a boss or an employee, there is no work life balance when it comes to stress. Doing the average is stress filled and time is something there is never enough. The American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress’s 2013 Stress study highlights how stress regardless of it’s source infiltrates our business and personal lives.

  • 31 percent Employed adults who say they have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities
  • The Number 1 cause of stress is job pressure followed by money and health
  • Stress costs employers $300 Billion in employee productivity, missed work and health care costs 

While exercise, eating healthy and drinking in moderation is good, what I really need, what I really need is less stress and more time in my life. This week reminded me of that as I spent the afternoon folding socks, preparing frozen casseroles and steam cleaning my upstairs floors. Time is my New Year’s Resolution in 2014.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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