Why does LIFE BALANCE seem to be so elusive? Because it’s imaginary. No one is ever in equal balance. An admired colleague Krista Clive Smith once described it more like a symphony where different parts are louder than others at different times, but when listening to it as a whole it is harmonic and beautiful.
What would be possible if you gave yourself permission to live in harmony and not strive for perfect balance all the time?
I divide my “life pie” into 4 parts; business, family, service and self-care. No day, week or month is ever the same. If I lived in balance, my pie would look like this:
Not only is this unrealistic, imagine how boring life would be if every day and every week were the same. More realistically my life looks like this:One may say I’m never in balance, but that’s okay. Collectively my pies makes sense. By accepting that my life pie isn’t always going to look the same I find peace and harmony. Understanding this makes me feel grounded, happy and successful. How do you think a shift of perspective about life balance would effect you?
I recently attended a workshop with Alan Weiss, The Million Dollar Consultant. He discussed how to successfully change habits. He stated that if you change one thing at a time you have a 92% chance of success. If you change two things at once your chance of success declines to 53%.
What does that mean for your productivity? It means take it one step at a time. Take the time to integrate each change before adding something new. Don’t rush. Be kind to yourself.
Instead of changing your calendar, your task system, your schedule, and your paper systems all at once, change one thing at a time. Integrate it, be comfortable with it, get it right. Only when it has become a part of your routine should you make another change. It’s a slow process, but better slow and steady than back where you started.
I know I’ve been gone a while. I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t write much last year because I didn’t feel I had much new to say. I’m tired of all the content clutter out there…the same stuff over and over again. I will not waste your time with that. I will write this year when I have new thoughts that I think you would find valuable. I hope that will be often.
Many of you signed up to receive my weekly tip years ago when I wrote exclusively about organizing. I have evolved and so has what I’ll share. I will be writing this year about organizing, productivity, and leadership as they relate to quality of life and making life easier.
This week I want to share with you my alternative to New Year’s resolutions and goals. This year I want to ask you to consider writing down your intentions. For many years people wrote about SMART Goals with the SMART meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I’m asking you to throw that out the window and write your SMART Intentions. Here’s a graphic I made to help you:
Consider what you want for 2016. Set your intentions today and I am sure you will indeed have a happy NEW year.
It’s surprising to see how many of my clients are traveling at this time of year. So much is going on that sometimes people tell me they wonder if it is even worth the effort to get out of town. Add to that the stress of re-entry and it’s no wonder our vacations don’t do such a good job of sustaining us. Of course I have a solution – and it is in that old fashioned form of a list.
I’m all about lists supporting you in getting the right things done, and we do that by creating zones in the list. For travel the list I suggest looks like this:
To make it work for you do as follows:
Find a note pad
Divide it into 4 sections and label them as follows:
Must Do Before – put tasks here that MUST be done or you can’t get on the plane
Like To Do Before – put tasks here that would help you enjoy your trip more if you were to get them done before you leave
Do ASAP When Home – put tasks here that really need to be done when you get home
Do When Home – put the other stuff you think of here
Focus on the “Must Do Befores.” If you get those done move to the “Like To Do Befores”
Like everything else, when you are clear about what’s most important then doing it is easier. And when you get on the plane you will feel peace. Hope you have a great trip.
The only reason to get organized is to get something you want but don’t have. I’m sure you’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but have you ever thought about this from an organizational perspective. Getting organized and being more productive is a direct way to satisfy a basic human need.
But how do you motivate yourself to GET ORGANIZED?
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want:
Don’t say: I can never find anything
Do say: I want to be able to find what I need it when I need it
Understand the benefits of getting organized:
Your most important work gets done
You waste less time looking for things you know you have but can’t find
You spend less money buying things you know you already have
You have peace of mind and are able to enjoy life more
Define “organized” on your own terms:
Organized doesn’t mean pristine or perfect
Organized means you can find what you need when you need it
Let go of perfection and go for “organized enough”
My motivation to be organized is Peace of Mind What’s yours?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
This great quote pretty well sums up why I’m in business. If you judge yourself by your ability to organize when that is not what you’re good at, you are not being fair to yourself. If you can value yourself for what you are good at, and find work-arounds for what isn’t so easy, then you’ve found a better route to productivity AND peace.
Of course you do, but perhaps the question should be, “What are your goals doing for you?” If they are simply floating around in your head, they are probably just frustrating you, but if you take the time to do something with your goals, they can enrich your life.
Many people say they don’t use goals because it seems so complicated. Not so. Using goals to shape your life more the way you want it is really quite easy. Take ten minutes and you are on your way to accomplishing the things in your life that are most important to you.
Before you begin, it is important to review a few key terms relating to Goal Setting. A goal is an action statement that reflects a desired outcome. Life areas are areas you consider important in the balance of your life, i.e.: business, self, family, and service. The term measurable means quantifiable through time, quantity, result, or concept.
“This isn’t so bad” is perhaps one of the more frequent statements I hear out of my client’s mouths. It doesn’t quite matter if we are sorting stuff, culling emails, consolidating post-its or any of the other numerous tasks that go into becoming more organized and productive, I hear it often…”this isn’t so bad”.
What’s that about? Could it possibly be that:
creating order and structure actually is a relief?
getting rid of excess actually feels good?
being in control of one’s responsibilities actually is a good thing?
Yes, I’m convinced of all that, and I’m convinced that having some semblance of order contributes to a better life overall.
Then why is it so hard to do it? The easy answer is because there are so other things we have to do that it’s hard to prioritize taking care of our work space. What if we were to reframe this? For those of you who love to exercise and would never miss a workout, but the thought of spending time getting your office or desk or kitchen island in shape is horrifying – ask yourself why is this any different?
Organizing is simply a workout for your space. Without the maintenance of taking care of your stuff, your space gets sluggish, inefficient and blob-like. Once you invest a bit of time and energy into taking care of it you feel lightened up, more agile and more nimble. And that isn’t so bad.