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24/7 Philosophy Is Creating Epidemic of Weary Workers

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With the plan in hand, one can sit down and "decide what you need to do to accomplish the plan goals." She says that she and her husband mapped out their life plan three years ago and since that time "our lives have completely changed."

For example, Warfield says that she and her husband decided to work together in the consulting business so that they could determine their own work hours, an arrangement that allows for more time for family meals and outings with their children.

L. Michelle Tullier, PhD, an Atlanta-based time management consultant and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, tells WebMD that most people feel overwhelmed or exhausted when their values come into conflict with their priorities.

She says, "there is nothing wrong with living a values-based life, but when faced with day-to-day realities [for example, balancing work and family], people experience high levels of guilt and stress when their values collide [as in, 'I love my kids more than my job but I must go on this business trip']. My solution to this quandary is to recognize that values and priorities are two different things."

Tullier says values "provide the overall framework for how we lead our lives; they provide a broad set of boundaries and rules for living that keep us feeling fulfilled, stimulated, and connected. But our priorities are the guidelines we use for everyday survival. They keep food on the table, help us meet our day-to-day obligations to others."

When what "[we] must do on a given day doesn't mesh with our overall life values, we feel guilty and stressed leading to a sense of exhaustion," Tullier says. In her work, Tullier helps clients understand "how their values and priorities must differ at times and how a balanced life can never be achieved only using values-based time management. Day-to-day priorities must be factored into the equation. When this is done right, guilt and stress are reduced dramatically and one feels much more in balance."

Or if that doesn't work, Hyrum Smith tells WebMD that one can just write "your own constitution. Write down what really matters to you." Smith believes so much in this idea that 18 years ago he invented an easy way to write this personal constitution: the Franklin Planner. The planner is named for Smith's inspiration, Benjamin Franklin.

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