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Posts Tagged “balance”

Don’t Pussyfoot Around

After taking my son to start his first year of college in North Carolina, I came home to Providence with a little ache in my heart to have him gone. I was also tired from a couple of days travel and activities and was looking forward to a good nights sleep in my own bed.

My cat, Althea, had different plans. She was not happy that I had left her at home so she woke me up at 7am by breaking glasses. I am serious. She broke two glasses!

You should know that I had someone stay at the house with her for most of the time that I was gone. She was well cared for, even entertained, but for her that did not matter. She did not get what she felt entitled to.

So, she gave me the cat version of the middle finger.

She is now sleeping soundly on her chair like nothing ever happened. So what is the moral of the story?

No matter how hard you try, the people who love you may get angry if they don’t get what they want.

Why is this important? Think about choices have you made to avoid making others upset. Or how often have you doubted your direction because you made others upset? Or, even, how often have you not expressed your pleasure or displeasure to avoid upsetting others?

Next question is: How much do you think this effects your success and fulfillment?

You can’t create success or fulfillment if you pay too much attention to every whim and mood of the people around you. I am not saying not to care. In fact, the central focus of my life and work is about caring more. If we shut down and turn off we are not going to like ourselves or our work. But, we do need to learn to care about the right things.

The right things are:
Did I do the best I could?
Did I act in a way that is in line with my values?
Did I stay true to my intention?

We also need to determine when a negative reaction is a sign that we are letting go of what no longer serves us or when it is a sign that we are going in the wrong direction. Sometimes the frustration of another person can be a reason to jump to the conclusion that “it is a sign” you are going in the wrong direction.

Really, It is a moment to check in with yourself.

How do you feel about what you are doing and where you are heading? If you feel good when you think about your direction then keep going things are just shifting around you. If you don’t feel good about your direction then really pause to take in the feedback. See how it can help inform you about your next steps.

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When To Push?

What I think is funny is that when you are out there looking for advice you can find it every perspective imaginable. What one self-help guru says another contradicts. Basically if you want to believe something is true you can find someone who will tell you that your way of doing things is the right way. You know why this is? Because there is some truth in everything.

There is not an answer. There is just an unfolding.

Over this last week, I have watched my tendency to push. I am definitely someone who can get stuff done. But, what I have not learned as well is how to allow things to happen to receive the things that come my way. So, I thought I would write about it a bit this week and look at when to push and when to “go with the flow”.

I’m sure you have heard the big names say it: In order to really make it you need to work harder than you ever have worked before. You need to push and push until you make it. Well, there is a lot of truth to this. It is also important to push in the right ways on the right things AND, sometimes it is even a good idea not to push.

So, how do we figure this out? When do we push and when to we allow things to be?

The trick is not looking for THE answer but finding your own next step.

Do you have a tendency to be a bit lackadaisical? Or, do you tend to be a work horse? Chances are if you have a default way of being then you need to practice the opposite in order to create more success and fulfillment in your life.

Signs that you push too much:

  • You find yourself irritated by people who walk slowly even when you are not in a rush.
  • You have focused on one portion of your life and disregarded others areas.
  • Your health has suffered because of your single minded effort.
  • You always want more than you have.

Signs that you do not push enough:

  • You have lost a relationship or work because you failed to take action.
  • You procrastinate and make excuses for avoiding certain tasks
  • You never want more than you have
  • You have years of lists that describe what you want to do and you have not done them.

Which ever category you fall into, see if you can find a way to move towards balance this week. Do you need to push or do you need to allow? Decide on one thing that can help shift your tendency and do it today.

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Get What You Deserve

Along with self-care, the idea of “what we deserve” can be riddled with entitlement. However, what it basically means is that we are willing to take in the same amount that we put out -that we are willing to create balance and health in our lives.

Let’s take a moment to tune in and pay attention to what is going on inside of us.

What are you rationalizing, making excuses for, and in general tolerating in your life because you really want something and are willing to get a fraction of it because somewhere deep inside you believe that might be the best you are going to get?

Or, maybe, it does not even get that conscious. Maybe you just settle before even becoming aware of it.

So, let’s wake up. Life is truly to short to be anything less than our full and fabulous selves. It is not a matter of entitlement. It is a matter of stewardship. Ultimately, what serves this life that you are living –what affirms it.

Move in that direction every chance you get. It is a recipe for fulfillment and success.

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When Being A Light Means Burning The Candle

How do those who are deeply passionate about their work balance their lives? I have written a few articles on the topic of balance and could list several ways “to balance your life” but that does not seem to answer the deeper part of this question, which is much more complicated than the basics of work/life balance.

I had someone say to me once that part of the root meaning of the word “passion” is “to suffer”. I suspect that those people who are truly passionate about what they do can relate to this definition of passion — to be passionate about something is to be consumed and driven by it. Where in this experience is the concept of balance? Passion might compel you to write at 3am and work for days without showering, with little sleep, and barely eating. This is not balance — and this is not the work-alcoholism of the typical American that might be remedied by the standard concept of balance.

Anyone who has been passionately connected to his or her work knows that the self is not always maintained in the process. The creative element that is a part of visioning and passionate action requires dissolution of the self. This makes it challenging to deeply understand what balance is all about under these circumstances.

However, if we substitute caring for ourselves in place of balance, we get a bit closer to something that might serve those of us who are so intimately connected with our passion. While balance might imply that we spend a certain amount of time doing separate activities, caring for ourselves implies that we are an essential part of our passionate work. If we are not healthy, then our work is not healthy either.

If we are not healthy then our work is not healthy.

Period and no exceptions.

While the metaphysics of this statement are intriguing, answering the following question will help us to apply it to our lives: How might your approach to work change if you looked at it from the perspective of the above statement?

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8 Ways To Perfect Your Work Life Balance

Sometimes, busy workdays can feel like a marathon with the finish line still miles away. You enter your office early to find a mountain of work waiting for you, a full inbox, and a calendar blocked out with meetings. It’s no wonder so many of us have grown accustomed to working later and later hours.

In a recent study by Accenture, work-life balance — ahead of money, recognition, and autonomy — was the key determinant for more than half of men and women in regards to whether or not they have a successful career. And if you’re regularly working late or not giving yourself days off, your work-life balance is at stake.

I firmly believe in breaking the time clock to do away with the traditional “9-to-5,” but spending every evening knocking out work can be hazardous. Completing your work during designated business hours isn’t just possible, it’s also necessary for staying on top of your career.

Critique yourself
If your 40-hour week has transformed into something a bit closer to a 60-hour week, you owe it to yourself to review the issue. Get to the bottom of where the majority of your time is being spent during your work day to allow for increased time management and productivity. If you find yourself wasting the majority of your time managing your inbox or in meetings, it may be time for some restructuring.

Knockout big tasks first
Rearrange your schedule to ensure you hit the ground running every day by tackling bigger projects as soon as you get to the office. You’re actually at peak performance earlier in the day, so taking on big tasks earlier in the day means you’ll be likely to achieve more. Move your less important tasks to be taken care of after lunch.

Create a schedule
Don’t just put together a half-hearted to-do list, go a step further and establish a schedule for your workday. For example, if you’re planning on working for eight hours, allot an estimated time for each project or task — even the big projects — you’ve got on your to-do list. Avoid falling into the time-wasting trap of replying to emails and returning phone calls. Instead, allot 30 minutes a day to take care of all of your follow-ups instead of regularly staring at your phone and inbox.

Avoid interruptions
Become militant about creating a distraction-free workspace. Close out all unnecessary tabs on your browser, silence your phone, and put your headphones in if it’ll help you work.

Turn off autopilot
Sometimes when you’re racing to finish your to-do list, it’s easy to go into autopilot mode until you complete your work. Taking a few breaks will actually help you work more efficiently and effectively. Once you’ve completed a big task, get up from your desk to stretch, grab something to drink, and just refresh your brain before moving onto the next thing.

Learn the power of saying “no”
You have a busy day ahead of you, and yet you still accepted that conference-call invitation. Sometimes we forget how important it is to say “no” when we’re busy. While it isn’t always possible to turn down every meeting invitation, try your best to make a case when you’re especially busy. For example, you can ask to leave early or have someone share meeting notes with you.

Perspective
Don’t sweat the small stuff and end up turning your to-do list into far more than it really is. Simply focus on meeting the deadlines. If you find yourself anxious about your schedule for the next day or week ahead of you — which may be a reason why you work late — lay out your schedule to take a better look at what needs to be accomplished so you can establish a timeframe.

Know when you’re done
Stop spending your evenings in the office reworking things until they’re perfect. Establish a clear definition of the end result — when you’ve reached it, check out for the day.

Eliminating working late and leaving work at the office often comes down to better time management.

What are your go to tricks for managing your time at work?

Reblogged from thenextweb.com

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