The hustle and bustle of year-end brings a chaotic mixture of stress and joy. We plan for family gatherings, travel, and celebrations. We get laser-focused on the goals that we still hope to achieve before year-end and we start planning ahead for the next year.
With all the activity, how do you decide what to spend your time on and where to direct your energy?
Here are four tips for more calm, focus, and presence, leading to a stronger sense of work-life balance.
Define what work-life balance means to you.
We each have our own understanding of work-life balance, so start by defining what it means to you. The term “balance” implies that things must be equal in order to balance out. But we all know that's not reality.
For me, work-life balance comes when everything gets the right amount of attention at the right time, and when over the course of a week, I've spent an adequate amount of quality time doing work I love, being with people I love, and focusing on my own self-care and personal development.
What's important to you? How do you define work-life balance? What would it look like and feel like if you were “in balance?”
Imagine your ideal life.
Imagine your ideal life and what it would look like to be bringing your best self forward. In this ideal life …
- What would you be spending your time on?
- Who would you be spending your time with?
- What would you be doing together?
- Which goals would you be pursuing?
- Why are those goals important to you?
Get clear on what you want your life to look like.
Get clear on what you want your life to look like in the future so you can come back to the present and determine what you need to do now to move toward that ideal state.
Clarify your core values and priorities so you know what's most important to you. Let these be your guide as you determine what kinds of intentions and goals to set for yourself.
Use your core values as a compass as you go about your daily activities and make decisions, including decisions about how you spend your time each day.
Integrate your character strengths into your daily actions.
Integrate your character strengths into your daily actions. Your character strengths are your capacities for thinking, feeling, and behaving that drive you to be your best self.
Character strengths are viewed as who you are; as part of your core identity. They're positive personality characteristics that lead you to be your best.
Your character strengths translate your core values into action. Integrating your character strengths helps you improve your productivity, engagement and work performance; and can help you accomplish your goals relating to work, relationships, and overall wellbeing and happiness.
When you bring all of these together into one holistic picture, you see what's most important to you, you know where you're headed, and you have a compass for how you spend your time.
It becomes easier to say yes to your most important priorities and to let go of whatever it is that's getting in the way of you achieving your desired state of balance.
What if you change your perspective?
Most of us take our time for granted, getting caught up in tasks lists, projects, and deadlines.
What if you change your perspective? What if you view time not as a resource to be managed or spent well, but as a precious gift? How do you want to spend yours?
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About the Author
Tabby Hinderaker is a personal life coach with Purposeful Growth. Her mission is to help people cultivate presence, choose purposefully, and grow the goodness in their life. She works with individuals and groups who are looking for more connection, alignment, presence, and calm. Learn more at www.purposefulgrowthcoach.com.
This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog December 16, 2015
- work-life balance