Balance your Priorities

How much faster, busier, more hectic and  demanding can our lives possibly get?

These past two months have been especially challenging for me with numerous family issues and my own health concerns. Although I study life balance and help others through my teaching, speaking, writing and coaching I found myself bursting at the same seams I’ve helped others better handle. All of my techniques and strategies were in my tool box and once I took a deep breadth, re-focused, and took things more slowly I was able to manage day-to-day and see the rainbow at the end of all the rain that was pouring down in my life.

Living a balanced life  has become one of the biggest challenges in our  society.  However, as I’ve learned from my own experiences, until you get your thinking and actions aligned, you’ll naturally be out of balance. To be in balance, you need to align your life with your top priorities and live that way each and every day!

Your priorities come from your core — your personal values.  They define what is really most important to you. They help guide your decisions about where and how you will spend your time, money and energy.

If you want to live a balanced life, begin by defining your core values and key priorities.  Define what life balance means to you. 

A blanket answer will not resonate with every one of you. We will have different answers to what’s important to us and what life balance looks like for us. Life balance is a concept that has a different meaning for each of us. What’s a balanced lifestyle for one, might not be balanced for another.

The key to getting the right balance, is making time for what’s important to you.

Redesign the Job you Hate

Being unhappy at work can be very de-motivating and depressing, but with our current economy, where good jobs can be hard to find, quitting is often not an option. Rather than throwing in the towel, you can change the way you think about your work to make it more meaningful. Even subtle change can lead to significant workplace transformations. Use these remedies for job dissatisfaction to make the situation more pleasant. If you want more detailed explanations, follow this link to my full blog at Experis/Manpower Group.

1. Take on a positive outlook.

2. Rethink your current job.

3. Plan your day differently.

4. Alter your work environment.

5. Build relationships.

6. Reward yourself.

7. Take a lunch break.

8. Know your motivation for staying.

9. Have goals, dreams and aspirations.

10. Tap into company resources.

11. Seek professional help.

12. Look into transferring departments or locations.

Consider the alternatives before you make a decision to leave. Finding a new job isn’t always easy. If you can find ways to improve your current situations, it’s usually worth pursuing it. When all else fails, prepare for other employment by setting goals, gaining clarity around what you want and don’t want in your next position, updating your resume, reviving and building your network, and polishing your skills. By setting goals you identify a finish line, and by meeting the goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis you give yourself something to feel good about.

Getting Help

Been talking about the need to be able to ask for and accept help for years but now that I am reliant on others, I am truly experiencing the power of help in a new way!

It has been several days since I had surgery. Maybe I was in full denial, but I really believed I would bounce right back. I didn’t arrange for any help. I had coaching client sessions scheduled the remainder of the week because they were all scheduled to occur by phone.  I find that I wasn’t ready for the reality of not being able to do anything and feeling so crappy.  The pain was so bad that doctors/nurses had to keep increasing my pain medication. The effects of anasthesia, pain medications, discomfort left be quite immobilized and needing help even for some of the most basic things.

Although I had prepared my family and business by removing a lot from my plate, had done a thorough house-cleaning, cut back work appointments, bought a full week of groceries, planned a week of meals with my husband, etc. things seemed to unravel when my condition wasn’t quite as expected. My teenaged kids were not as helpful as I thought they’d be. My husband grew bored with sitting around and helping me. Even the dog pouted because he didn’t get his daily long walks with me. I hadn’t planned ahead or aligned the help I needed. I falsely believed that I would be able to handle things.

After having a bit of a meltdown and feeling sorry for myself, I was able to appreciate the help I already had. My sister-in-laws who coordinated visiting on separate days to help out, a friend who stopped in with the medications she picked up for me, the many phone calls I receiced, the help from my husband, my mother-in-law and the kids. This morning I took control and put out emails, texts and calls for help. As a result, I had lots of response!

The lesson learned is that when you act like ‘super-women’ , people expect you to be such but when you expose yourself to needing and accepting help, there’s a world of people ready, able and willing to help! I am grateful to those who have come to my aid with help, emotional support, flowers, meals, and more. Too bad it takes experiencing a situation first-hand to be able to experience the real power of the lessons!

Distractions at Work

Read about the top five offenders and some solutions you can incorporate into your own life:

Savor the Long Days of Summer

Summer is coming!!!   With summer comes longer days, more outdoor activities and more opportunities to do things together with your family.  Now is the opportune time to put in a new habit of spending some quality time as a family after dinner to go for a walk, pedal through the neighborhood, do some extra reading, play ball, go out for ice cream, or whatever you and your family would enjoy doing together.  It takes about 21 days to get a new habit in place.  Once you’ve developed this time as a normal part of your daily routine, it will be easier to adapt your activities to other times of the year while still focusing on spending time together.

You could also take this opportunity to create some activities just for you, for you and your spouse, or together with a friend or neighbor.  Use this time consciously and create it to be what you want.  It would be helpful to have a handful of activities you enjoy.  Time is too easily frittered away when the effort is not taken to use it wisely.

Select things that are fun and enjoyable that you’ll look forward to doing.  Get in the rhythm of “being” the kind of person you want to be rather than being too SuperBusy to enjoy your life and loved ones!

Tips for Working from a Home-Based Office

The current issue of Treasure Coast Parenting features an article I wrote about the “Top 10 Tips for Working from a Home-Based Office” . Read this article on page 36-37 of the magazine to learn how you can be productive and effective when working at home.

Surviving Work Overload

These days I continually here about employees at every level of the organization who are overloaded with too much work.  This chronic problem is mostly a result of numerous workforce reductions and vacation schedules.  Many of us have experienced that dreadful sense of having far too much work to do and too little time to do it in. The option is to ignore it because you are “too busy” and to work unreasonably long hours just to stay on top of your workload. Unfortunately, the risk is that you may build up resentment, exhaustion and frustration that leads to poor quality work while you neglect other areas of your life and eventually experience intense levels of stress.

Some of the key signs that you or others may be overloaded include:

  • A boss with no real sense of your job
  • Increased sick leave
  • A sharp rise in complaints
    • Poor synergy with a team of co-workers
  • Conversation breakdowns
  • More consistently working longer hours and weekends
  • Increase in turnover
  • Increase in customer complaints
  • Inefficient meetings
  • Improper delegation of tasks
  • Constant interruptions & distractions
  • Too many emails, text messages, etc.
  • Feel totally out-of-control or overwhelmed
  • Employees complaining about work/life issues, limited career opportunities, or lack of skill development. If you colleagues are leaving in droves, find out why!

Work more intelligently by focusing on the things that are important for job success and reduce the time you spend on lower priority tasks.  I found a tool on line at the Mind Tools site, which can help you take the first step in looking at your work, Job Analysis. According to information on their site, job analysis is a key technique for managing job overload – an important source of stress.

Also, try out some of these simple, popular and often effective solutions to many of the problems frequently encountered in the work environment:

  • Proactively discuss with your boss the inefficiencies related to constant change and propose some realistic boundaries.
  • Establish boundaries around when you can and cannot be interrupted by employees or colleagues.
  • Turn on your phone only during designated hours or have your secretary impose a heavy filter on the incoming phone calls. If you are the secretary, keep conversations brief and get all necessary details during the first call.
  • Prioritize your e-mail and correspondence. Don’t leave the email indicator on unless it’s absolutely critical for your job.
  • Accept the possibility of a complete turn-about in your work as a result of uncertainties. Learn to reprioritize when change is necessary.
  • Only permit emergency calls at work from family, friends, and neighbors.

10 Tips for Balancing Work & Family Life

Read this article in the May issue of Treasure Coast Parenting to learn tips you can use in your own life to gain more balance.

Prevent Burnout

In the latest issue of my FREE e-newsletter, I share practical and timely tips for helping you prevent and overcome burnout.  You can read and subscribe here:  Success Tips for Super Busy Parents – Tip #4 (vol. 12) Prevent Burnout. Or, just visit my website and subscribe in the ‘post-it’ on the upper righthand corner of the header.

Got Guilt?

It’s amazing how quickly we can feel guilty, even for the most meaningless things in our lives. Many of my clients struggle with guilt but its purpose it simply to let us know when we’ve done something wrong, to help us develop a better sense of our behavior and how it affects ourselves and others.  Guilt prompts us to re-examine our behavior so that we don’t end up making the same mistake twice. This article in Treasure Coast Parenting magazine offers 10 tips for busting the guilt. Hope it helps! 

see page 48-49

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