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8 Habits For a Better Work-Life Balance

8 Habits For a Better Work-Life Balance

For most of us who work, our time away from the office is spent on other responsibilities and it feels like we just never seem to be able to achieve the ever elusive, but very much talked about, work-life balance. As best as we try to attain such stability, it just seems like the more we pursue it, the more it slips through our fingers.

You may try your best to take some time off for yourself, however, these times always seem to get dedicated to more work: work around the house, running errands, basically anything that you’ve been meaning to do in your life that you were too tired to attend to after a long day of work. The intention to move towards balance is always present, however, most of us find it really hard to properly accomplish this state of being when we always feel too overwhelmed with work, responsibilities, and a constant sense of not being adequately productive.

Below are eight habits that can help you start working towards the goal of a well balanced life:

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1. Choose the quality of life you desire

In order for you to achieve work-life balance, you have to first determine the quality of life that you are hoping to achieve. While this might seem redundant, many of us have never really decided on the quality of life we aspire to maintain. Instead, we just take it a day at a time with no further thought to what we are really trying to create as our standard of living. This quality of life should not revolve on our possessions but rather on the more intangible (and fulfilling) parts of our lives, such as values and relationships.

2. Know your limits and respect them

Understand that you too have a breaking point where your body both physically and mentally will require a rest. Be in tune with yourself and know how to manage your body. It is best to know your limits and stay within these parameters than to overdo it and regret it later.

3. Set aside time for those close to you

Your family and friends usually tend to be the ones that will help you realize when you are overdoing it. However, those closest to us are usually the ones who get to share less of our time if we are constantly working. Be sure to set aside some quality time with the ones that matter the most.

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4. Build a support network

Usually your support network is made up of those who have been there to support you through your successes and failures without judgment, simply attending to you with a listening ear and words of encouragement. Be sure to surround yourself with those who will always present you with truth and honesty and able to build you up in your times of weakness.

5. Increase your social activities

Get out of the house, fill your calendar with more than just meetings and deadlines, find a common interest group, join an exercise group or attend that weekly social event you always wondered about. The point is to get out of your normal surrounding and your monotonous daily routine. Discover the life that is happening around you.

6. Take some time off

It may surprise you but your coworkers (and your boss for that matter) will survive your absence, no matter what they tell you. Be sure to take some time off for yourself to reconnect, relax, and just enjoy a couple of days where you have absolutely nothing in your planner! Whether you choose a travel destination or simply decide to rediscover your city: take the time to enjoy yourself.

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7. Turn off technology

Social media, television, laptops, and other electronic devices can survive without you too. You can benefit significantly from disengaging from these devices for a few hours. You don’t always have to be the first to know what’s going on in the online social universe. Take some time off to do something relaxing and give your fingers and eyes a rest.

8. Periodically reevaluate your life

Sometimes it’s good to look at where you’ve come from and see where you are in life. Is it where you planned to be? What factors that are in your control could you change? Take some time to consider this and make necessary adjustments.

We all get the same amount of hours in the day, but it is how we organize them that separate the success stories from the failures when it comes to work-life balance. Everyone’s idea of work-life balance differs but one thing is for sure: we all share a need for some form of equilibrium in our lives.

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Featured photo credit: WordPress via tnrtb.files.wordpress.com

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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