Purpose: Achieving Balance Between Work And the Rest of Your Life
by: Della Menechella
Many of us get so caught up in
day-to-day pressures that we often find ourselves reacting to external demands
rather than designing lives that really fulfill us. While in today’s economic
environment we face many stresses in our jobs, it is still possible to create
balance between our work and personal lives. The following are some ideas to
help you do just that:
Determine what is Important to
You – When we don’t know what is important to us, it is very easy to let
external demands determine our actions. The result can be that we feel our
lives have lost their purpose. When we know what really matters to us (i.e.,
career, family, friends, health), these critical areas become the barometer
against which our decisions are made. For instance, if you feel that being with
your family is important, you might decide to cut back on some of your
professional meetings so you can spend more time at home.
Define Acceptable Performance
Levels – Contrary to what many of us super achievers believe, not everything we
do needs to be done perfectly. Sometimes ‘okay’ is good enough. Choose those
things where excellence is the only acceptable standard and then decide which
tasks can be less than perfect. When I attend certain meetings, my associates
laugh when they see my binder with its massive amounts of paper sticking out
from all ends. I shove whatever pertains to the meeting into the binder so I
can pull it out when I need it. Could I be more organized? Absolutely, but the
extra effort is not worth it to me. However, when it comes to getting my
programs ready, I am meticulously organized. I write notes for everything I
need and check off each item after I place it in the appropriate folder. Before
I leave for an event, I triple-check to be sure I have everything. When it
comes to my programs, I only accept excellent performance. With other things, I
am willing to cut myself some slack.
Combine Activities – Is it
possible to combine activities so you are able to enjoy two or more important
aspects of your life at the same time? My best friend is a business owner. Each
week we meet for lunch and discuss ways to make our businesses more successful.
On Saturdays, my husband and I go to the gym together. We enjoy each other’s
company while we get our bodies into shape. Combining activities saves time and
allows you to meet multiple goals with reduced stress.
Meditate and Exercise Regularly
– You may think that you cannot possibly fit meditation and exercise into your
already overcrowded schedule. However, taking time to meditate and exercise on
a regular basis can do much to reduce your stress and improve your
productivity. Studies have proven that people who exercise regularly are usually
more creative than those that don’t move much. This means that their ability to
find creative solutions to their challenges is enhanced. They also have the
energy to do the work that is required. Meditation also increases energy and
creativity and reduces stress levels. The few minutes it takes to engage in
these activities will pay big dividends.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate –
Think about all of the things you do. Which of those activities can be
delegated to others? Are there team members who would gain important skills by
taking on some of the tasks that you are now doing? If so, give them the
opportunity to learn by delegating the tasks to them. Can your family members
help you with certain activities? I used to make every dish for our holiday meals.
Now other people help create the dinner by bringing something that they have
cooked. We get to sample a variety of foods and I have the time and energy to
enjoy my guests.
Learn to Say No – Just because
someone asks you to do something, does not mean you have to say yes. I realize
this is more difficult to do in your job or business, but we can often assert
our power of no in our personal lives. If someone asks you to do something,
think about whether or not you can really handle the extra pressure at this
time. If you can and you want to do it, then say yes. If it will be the straw
that breaks the camel’s back, then answer with a guilt-free no. Do those things
that are important to you and bring joy into your life.
So as you continually try to
balance the various aspects of your life, refer to these ideas. They can help
you gain greater control and allow you to feel more fulfilled in whatever you
About The Author
Della Menechella is a speaker,
author, and trainer who inspires people to achieve greater success from the
inside out. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change
and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She
can be reached at email@example.com.
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