by Karen Susman
Employee, employer, spouse, significant other, parent, child, sibling, volunteer, church goer, friend, manager, team player, traveler, mentor, protégé, chef, maintenance person, mediator and more. How can you wear so many hats and keep your head on straight?
How can you balance your life? Forget it! There is no such thing as being completely or permanently in balance. You, like a tightrope walker, are constantly re-balancing. You are perpetually out of balance on your way to momentary balance only to find yourself out of balance once again. If you’re mentally and physically present at work, your family is not getting your time. If you’re mentally and physically present at your daughter’s baseball game, your in box is overflowing. You haven’t even considered getting to the gym or reading something spicier than the quarterly report.
The Answer: Focus. Pay attention to the right thing at the right time. Your goal is to be fully present; in the moment. To coin a phrase, aim to be serially balanced. You can have it all, just not all at once.
The Key: So what’s a normal, crazed person to do? The key came from the valedictorian at a Boulder, Colorado high school. This fresh faced young woman, Moonbeam Goldberg, faced her graduating class, parents and other dignitaries. She proclaimed the deceptively simple solution for living a more balanced, full life. “Walk while you’re walking and sleep while you’re sleeping. Don’t sleep while you’re walking. Don’t walk while you’re sleeping.”
What This Means For You: When you’re with your family, be focused on them. If thoughts of work dance in your head, tell those thoughts to skedaddle. Most people don’t feel they spend too much time with family and too little at work. Your professional tasks can take over your life if you let them. Set boundaries.
Take these four not-so-easy steps to be more in balance:
- Determine what’s important to you. What do you value most no matter what?
- Keep those priorities right in front of your nose at all times.
- Say “No” to anything that detracts from your priorities.
- Spend your time on your priorities. Otherwise, they are not really your priorities. If you proclaim that your health is a priority, spit out the Twinkie and get moving.
Sit down with paper and pen, or PC and mouse. Answer these questions:
- What hats do you wear and what tasks come with each hat?
- What hats can you hang on the hat rack? You can always put a hat back on at a later date.
- In what order will you prioritize your hats? Hint: They can’t all be number one.
- Have you delegated tasks and hats? Have you tossed unnecessary hats and tasks into the dumpster-o-life? Or do you keep precariously stacking hat upon hat?
- Have you made time for your physical, mental and emotional health? Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have.
- Are you laughing enough? Everyone will benefit if you get a grin.
- Cultivate simple pleasures that take less time and money. A walk with your family can be accomplished every week instead of waiting for the semi-decade wallet buster trip to Disneyland. Having more life balance is a choice. Choose or lose.
For more tips: 101 Top Dog Secrets of Time and Activity Management
Karen Susman, Speaker/Author/Coach, works with organizations and individuals that want to maximize their performance and quality of life. Check out her free tips and articles at www.karensusman.com. Karen can be reached at 1-888-678-8818 or [email protected].