Do you ever struggle with getting things done? Do you get anxious and overwhelmed just thinking about what you need to do? Are you challenged with finding work/life balance?
We are often more conscious about managing our professional time and deliverables because we know we are held to performance standards or metrics in the workplace. What about the unwritten or unspoken standards of your personal life?
1. “Do I procrastinate?”
You don’t reach your goals by over-thinking, you reach them by DOING. Do not be afraid of making a mistake or not knowing all the answers. “Procrastinating isn’t just about putting things off; it is about the counterproductive thoughts that sabotage your success” (Burton). Be aware of your thoughts and what you can do to change them. When you really want to do something, take action and do not allow distractions to stop you.
2. “Do I Over-commit?”
If are quick to say “yes” as a knee jerk response, even when you are not sure you want to commit to something, simply say “let me think about it and get back to you.” This statement gives you an opportunity to process the request and develop an honest response.
It is okay to say “no”. “Every “no” does not require an explanation. Sometimes a simple, “thanks, but no thanks,” is really all you need. Use “no” as a complete sentence. If you feel a need to provide an explanation, use a statement such as “that is not going to work for me.” This creates a sense of personal needs and boundaries.
3. “Do I Plan Time for Rest and Refueling?”
According to Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 7 is Sharpen the Saw. “Sharpening the Saw refers to preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.” (Covey). This allows for an approach of self-renewal in the four areas of your life:
a. Physical Renewal: Proper nutrition for yourself and your family is important. In order to stay healthy and re-fuel, you need to ensure you plan balanced meals. It is very easy to grab the quickest, cheapest or most convenient meal while running out the door for work, juggling online pharmacy no rx time between meetings, or after rushing home after a long day. Meal planning is not only important for your physical well-being, but also important to your mental and intellectual health.
Adequate exercise and rest are equally important. Studies indicate that the average person should exercise 20-30 minutes each day and receive 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Proper exercise and sleep will not only help you feel rejuvenated, but can also contribute to weight loss and improved health.
b. Social & Emotional Renewal: Whether you have a spouse, partner, children or a close network of family and friends, planning quality time with them is essential. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and take relationships for granted. Before you know it the day is gone and you realize you have not slowed down to spend quality time with people that you love and care about the most.
c. Mental Renewal: It is also important to make time to expand your knowledge through learning and sharing. This can be achieved through reading, formal instruction, online learning and teaching or sharing your knowledge.
d. Spiritual Renewal: Regardless of your religious affiliations, many people have some form of self-expression. It could be through a form of prayer or mediation, expressing themselves through music, art or nature.
Service and volunteering has always been viewed as good for the soul, but it turns out that it is also good for your health. Research conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Corporation for National & Community Service indicates that charitable work literally makes the heart grow stronger. Individuals with coronary artery disease who participate in volunteer activities after suffering a heart attack report a reduction in despair and depression.
Living a balanced and full-filled life does not just happen. It requires taking intentional steps and allowing time to renew yourself.
Burton, Valorie. Successful Women Think Differently. Eugene, Or: Harvest House, 2012, Print.
Covey, Stephen R. “Habit 7.” Living the 7 Habits: Stories of Courage and Inspiration. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Print.