The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Top Ten Ideas For Creating "Balance" In Your Life

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, September 02, 2019
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Work/life balance has been and still is a hot topic. Many employers have finally come around to the idea that they can contribute to your life balance but you must take responsibility too. Balance is not an equal measure of work, family and life that remains static.

Think of balance as a metaphor for sailing. What happens on a single person sailboat? Too much wind and the boat appears off balance, moving forward at an angle, sails filled to bursting and the sailor leaning back over the craft, with one hand on the sheet and toes hooked under the railing.

The sailor stays in the boat because he is connected to all the important parts of that craft. When the wind shifts the sailor needs to shift too. You will always find competing demands on your time. You determine how you respond to these demands and sometimes you might choose to sail in a different direction, head to harbor, repair your sailboat or give in to the choppy water and driving wind. The wind and the choppy water represent people and events who are outside our control.

Overhauling and repairing your sailboat represents the need to stop and think, nurture and renew our physical and spiritual self and to re-examine the course we are sailing.

I have created the top ten ideas for creating balance in your life to help you navigate your life and have more balance.

  1. Decide what really matters. Sit down and use your own personal value system to create a list of what you really want from your life. Prioritizing and posting list where you can see it every day will help keep you on the balance track.
  2. Decide what nurtures you and what detracts from your life. End relationships that are a time suck but add no value to your life. Stop doing tasks or errands that waste more time than they save.
  3. Hire someone to clean your home once a month, work with a professional organizer to have your home and your office (if your employer agrees) organized in a way that makes sense to you or hire a local teenage to take care of your lawn or help with other menial tasks.
  4. Say NO. Are you afraid to say no? When someone requests your time and attention say "My schedule is full to overflowing right now. Let me think about it and if I can help I will call you back."
  5. Ask your employer for a flexible work schedule that includes doing some work from your home. You may also need to work part-time, share a job or change jobs if the hours and commute are killing you.
  6. Manage your stress by improving your eating habits and exercising for fifteen or thirty minutes every day. How you react to the demands on your time is directly related to how you feel.
  7. Put some silence into your life. Turn off your cell phone, your Blackberry, your computer and even your television when you get home. You'll accomplish more and you will feel more relaxed.
  8. Schedule time for fun into your planner. Schedule a weekly date night with your spouse, set aside time for exercise and book a massage once or twice monthly. You are more likely to accomplish these goals if you write them down.
  9. Make an effort to get more sleep. When you get enough sleep you will be more focused, efficient and balanced. Join and download an MP3 that will help you sleep.
  10. Stop multitasking. Increase your concentration and efficiency by concentrating on one task until it is finished. Multitasking can contribute to sloppy work, inefficient systems and overwhelm.

Medical provider burnout is a new and troubling trend. If you work in healthcare and need help, ask for help.

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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