When people want to move to career freedom, often they don't want a new career at all. They love their career -- but they also want a balanced life. Here are ten questions to help you get started on the quest for "more time in your life -- and more fun."

1. Where does leisure rank among your list of values. Are you working to pay for something that ranks lower in your list?

2. Can you seize moments during the day, evening, lunchtime and weekend? Think "fun" in fifteen-minute segments.

3. Can you buy leisure time? Hiring a teenager to mow your lawn may give you an hour or more, depending on the size of your property.

4. Are you doing things that don't need to be done? I once worked with someone who stopped answering requests for reports from "senior management." When someone called to ask, "Where is your report?" he would prepare one. Most of the time, nobody noticed!
Same goes for housekeeping: do you need the "cleanest house in town" award?

5. Are you setting limits effectively? Saying "no" to invitations is a beginning. You can also define your scope: "I will be happy to help as long as I can do the work on Saturday." I've role-played scenarios with people who think the earth will cave in if they say "no."
Often they're amazed to find that nobody misses them.

6. Are you losing energy to procrastination or fear? If you dread making that call or put off changing that light bulb, do it now and enjoy leisure, guilt-free.

7. Are you surrounded by ghosts of, "everybody else is doing it?" Chances are everybody else is miserable -- or isn't doing it either.

8. Do you make time for energy boosters and time expanders? Meditation, journal writing and exercise will increase your energy and miraculously add hours to your day. I don't know how it works but it does.

9. Can you take a large block of time each week to do exactly what you want? Two hours? A whole afternoon? An afternoon in an art museum (or an evening at a basketball game) will often unravel the knots that keep you working late.

10. Too busy to follow any of these suggestions? Feeling trapped by the "should" monitor? Call a friend, counselor or coach -- someone who can offer you an objective insight and clarify priorities.

Bonus question: Very few people on their deathbed say, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office," or, "I should have done more dusting." Will you be one of the few?

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and careercoach. She works with midlife professionals who seek greater freedom in their work and life. More tips on time management: http://www.midlifecareerstrategy.com/timebook.html