Work/Life Balance Time Management Tips

- Is Attempting Too Much Frustrating Your Work–Life Balance? -

In executive surveys about time, one of the most frequently mentioned incongruities is attempting too much. Many who do this are burdened with a constant nagging feeling of being overwhelmed. Working under this kind of strain often results in rushed projects, more mistakes, resentment, and even anger.

Picture yourself trying to pack physical objects into a box that is too small. After arranging and rearranging you finally accept the fact that something needs to be left out. People who attempt too much do something similar. They think they can “pack” more events into a “box of time” than it can hold. When they recognize that only so much can be squeezed into their day they are forced with a decision. What will they choose to leave undone? All too often the result is to leave out personal things and then work-life balance suffers.

Is it possible to replace the habit of attempting too much? Yes, but it probably will require a shift in mind-set. There are some common threads among people who attempt too much. They usually do not delegate, they often allow too many interruptions, and they are into their ego thinking that they are the most capable solution to every problem. People who are overwhelmed frequently procrastinate themselves into a crisis mode and are not good at life management. These characteristics have in common a sense of self importance.

Those of us who attempt too much need to make the appropriate adjustments in the areas that apply. Grow others by delegating responsibility. Learn to say, “not yet” to interruptions that can wait until a more appropriate time. Plan ahead! Remember your daily time box can only hold so much. Act according to your plan! These are the “new” habits you need to implement in order to minimize the feeling of overwhelm that comes from that “old” habit of attempting too much. These habits will help you keep your work-life balance in a manageable state of ebb and flow. When compared with the intense, sustained peaks of feeling overwhelmed, the choice is obvious.

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- Work–Life Quality and Balance -

Work–Life Quality and Balance is probably the greatest challenge most of us face today. We refer to "work–life" as the holistic view that work and personal responsibilities, in practice, cannot be conveniently separated. Therefore, a new paradigm of self-management becomes necessary. The basic premise of this paradigm is "don't attempt to manage time, learn to manage your most important activities."

This process of self management begins with identification of your innermost values and how they translate into your major life activities. These are the activities that give you a "sense of satisfaction" and the "feeling of a life well-lived." The process involves the wisdom to balance professional aspirations such as wealth, position, status, and advancement, with personal values such as family, faith, service to others, and the well-being of one's self. In order to achieve this balance, each of us must make a "crucial decision" that might appear to have significant consequences with respect to our professional goals or personal relationships. This decision is commonly the breakthrough that is necessary in order to create the sanity and quality of life we desire.

Work–life quality and balance is fast becoming the primary goal for most individuals. A survey by PricewaterHouseCoopers reveals that 57% of all graduating students in eleven countries have work–life quality as their primary goal. Myriads of articles are included in over 11,000 publications each year aimed at helping people create the elusive balance, stability and quality of life they are searching for.

The complementary dimension in achieving quality and balance is an employee-support system by leadership. This dimension includes work–life programs, managing the whole person, and an adaptable culture that is able to meet the unique needs of different employees. Many organizations have made significant progress in the provision of work–life programs such as flexible work hours, childcare, eldercare, EAP and family support programs, etc., but most are still in the process of learning holistic management and creating an adaptable culture.

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- Facing a Difficult Work-Life Choice? Ask Yourself The Crystal Ball Questions! -

In the process of developing a career, we make crucial work-life decisions – sometimes without conscious awareness of their long-term consequences.

Taking responsibility for your work-like choices begins with deciding what’s most important to you in both the short term and long term and learning to reconcile the two. It means making choices based upon projecting the consequences of those decisions into a “probable future”.

The crystal ball questions to ask yourself are: “Is that future with its probable consequences acceptable to me and my family?” or, “What impact will this decision have on my life five years from now? Ten years from now?”

When we do this we are engaged in a time management process known as the anticipation of events.

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