Having it all is the American dream. Career. Clients. Employees. Husband. Wife. House. Kids. Family. Friends. Car. Self…the list goes on. What we often fail to realize once we have of these things is that they each require responsibility, time, and effort, all of which can leave us frazzled and stressed out if we don’t take time to look inward and find the “om” between office and home. Stress can lead to health problems, poor sleep and fatigue, which means we get even less done or worse, take less pleasure in what we do accomplish. Ultimately, frustration mounts, relationships suffer, and we wonder what went wrong.
So, now I’m giving you a few more things to put on the “to do” list, but it is absolutely beneficial for you to consider the following techniques to manage your competing commitments and look inward to find your perfect work/life balance.
1. Know Your Priorities
Your values influence your priorities, and getting your priorities in check is the first step to creating life balance. Your priorities reflect your personal values. What are you about? What is really important to you? Answering these questions will align your daily tasks and responsibilities in order of your personal priorities and values, which will in turn help you prioritize your limited time.
2. Put Yourself on the “To Do” List
Your ability to devote time and energy to the rest of your life ultimately depends upon shoring up your inner resources. Don’t feel selfish about taking enough time to sleep, exercise, eat healthfully, take up hobbies, etc. You can’t possibly take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Put yourself on the top of your daily priority list.
3. Consider a Personal Coach
Sometimes, we just need to ask for help. One way of becoming more aware of the things that motivate us – and their competing forces – is to work with a coach.
Getting the help of a qualified coach can help you better increase your self-awareness. What drives you? What are your basic desires? When you have a qualified professional help you understand what motivates you strongly, he or she can in turn give you tools to more accurately commit and prioritize your energies.
4. Get Your “Inbox” Out of Your Head
A daily “to do” list might get you through your day, but not your entire life. When you have 200-300 tasks, fix the leaking faucet, to sign the kids up or baseball camp, to present your corporate business plan to your boss, it’s easy to keep your head swirling with an endless list. This backlog of tasks uses up too much of your brain, which is poorly equipped to organize this kind of list and creates unnecessary stress. Productivity guru and author David Allen, in his book Getting Things Done, takes a fundamentally different view of the “priorities first” approach. Allen recommends getting all the to-dos out of your head and organized into some trusted system so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting them, whether that’s on paper or in an app or excel spreadsheet, find what works for you. When the “to-do” things are taken care of or in an appropriate place, you can turn your attention to nurture what really matters most.
Today, ask yourself:
- What values are you neglecting?
- Which values need attending to the most?
- What three things can you do this week, today, to add true meaning and value to your activities?
Once you get to through this, you’re likely have the “om” moment, where your commitments at work and at home enhance each other in harmony and balance.