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.

Begin with the end in mind

Posted this piece at Manpower’s Experis page to help remind you of the importance of managing your busy life, controlling your time, making more effective decisions, and becoming more proactive, productive, efficient and balanced in the way you live your life.  Please add your comments!



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!

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.

Help for Managing your Full Plate

Your burgeoning work load—not to mention the rest of your life—means you have a very full plate. But managing the mountains on your full plate just got easier! You have all the utensils on hand to more effectively handle those competing demands and conflicting priorities!

Read more….

Adjust Priorities

When emergencies or catastophes strike, cars break down, accidents occur, or health issues arise, priorities often shift on a dime. It could take just seconds to temporarily or permanently change your entire life.

As your time and attention changes to more pressing matters, what do you do with whatever is still left on your plate? How do you continue tending to the important when the urgent is so compelling?

Reflecting on the recent tragedies in the world, including the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the major flooding, the bus accident on Route 95 in New York and other such events across the globe I wonder how people cope.  Although I had no one personally from my family, friends or professional colleagues in the World Trade Center when the tragedy of 9-1-1 occured, we were fixated with the events. Those like me, in the peripheral, went on with our lives and work and continued to focus on other priorities.

However, when it affects you personally, you may be immobilized and fixated on the necessary actions although other priorities continue to exist in your life.  Balancing your other needs and those of your loved ones is likely a challenge. For those who have lived through a death of a loved one, accident, sudden emergency, natural disaster big or small….how did you cope? What are some suggestions you have for others who may now be going through similar experiences?

If the Job Fits…

If you’ve been unemployed, under-employed or just plain dissatisfied with your job, don’t let the feeling of desparation cloud your judgment or impair you from making a wise career decision.

Pay is by far not the only factor in landing a new position!  As the economy begins to recover and companies start hiring, those that feel fortunate to have a new job opportunity may ignore the warning signs that the job doesn’t fit their needs.

Don’t let this be you! Before accepting a new position that seems like a dream job, dig deeper to learn more about the company to help you fully assess the fit. Be sure you understand the job. Know yourself as far as your strengths, interests, needs, etc.

Often, by turning down a job offer, you allow yourself the space for the right position to come along. It’s more difficult to leave a new job once you’ve begun working with the company.

Invisible Mom

Here’s an excerpt from an email I received from a friend. When I researched to find the original source, I came upon Nicole Johnson  .

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way
 one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be
 taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

 Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping
 the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see
 me at all. I’m invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of
 hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

 Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock
 to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is
 the Disney Channel ?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

 Some days I’m a crystal ball; ‘Where’s my other sock?, Where’s my phone?,
 What’s for dinner?’

 I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes
 that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared
 into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going,
 she’s gone!?

 One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
 friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she
 was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
 looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to
 compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she
 turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you
 this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn’t exactly
 sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘With admiration
 for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

 In the days ahead I would read – no, devoured – the book. And I would
 discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I
 could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we
 have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for
 a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and
 expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their
 faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

 A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
 cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird
 on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you
 spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by
 the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, ‘Because God

 I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost
 as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you. I see the sacrifices you
 make every day, even when no one around you does.

 No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve
 baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to
 notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see
 right now what it will become.

 I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of
 the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work
 on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went
 so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime
 because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

 When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s
 bringing home from college for Thanksgiving , ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the
 morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3
 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a
 monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there
 is anything more to say to his friend, he’d say, ‘You’re gonna love it

 As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re
 doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel,
 not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
 world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Here’s the YOU TUBE Link:

 Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know… I just did.

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