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10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Regain Your Work-Life Balance

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Regain Your Work-Life Balance
Flat Tire

Last night my 11-year-old came into my office (9 p.m. to be exact, foreshadow, foreshadow), and said, “Mom, can you please get off the computer and be with me?” I should know better, right? After all, achieving work-life balance is one of the staples of the coaching diet. I turned off the computer and we sat on the couch reading White Fang aloud. I’m not sure which was worse: not being with him, or scaring him to death, but that’s beside the point… I hope. Was there really anything so important that I couldn’t have shut the computer off at say, oh, 5 p.m.? Truly? No.

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So, take a look and ask yourself, “Is this me?”

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You know you’re out of balance when…

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  1. Your mail sits unopened for a week and you pay your bills late
  2. You think that the more plates you can spin, the more you can have it all
  3. You keep declining invitations with friends
  4. You can’t remember the last time you talked with your brother
  5. You forget appointments and blow off commitments (like working out, eating healthy)
  6. You stop writing your task lists for the week and fly by the seat of your pants
  7. You haven’t synched your PDA in weeks
  8. You don’t care if you’re not on track with your plan
  9. You can’t remember what’s in your plan
  10. You don’t answer your phone or you’re always on the phone

Isn’t “having it all” a hamster-wheel myth borne of fear?

Let’s stop the bloodletting and take a look. Making quality-of-life shifts is much more sustainable when the solutions come authentically and naturally from within. We achieve that by asking questions, making inquiries, and recommitting ourselves to actions that are connected to our values.

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To get yourself back on track, it’s helpful to ask yourself some big, tough questions now and then. These
10 questions will bring resonance to your choices and heart to your actions:

  1. What is it to be completely fulfilled in life?
  2. What values, qualities of being must be present for you to have a fulfilled life?
  3. How would honoring those values impact your experience of work-life balance?
  4. What are you committed to? (Not goals… goals are the doings that happen inside the field of commitments.)
  5. What actions give you the least joy?
  6. If you were committed to an organized, energetic, juicy, fulfilling experience in your work and life, how would that change your perspective about #5?
  7. What two or three actions could you take right now that would create the most impact on your wellbeing?
  8. What three things do you do in your daily life have absolutely no relevance to work or life fulfillment?
  9. What are you willing to give up?
  10. When will you commit to answering all these questions?

No, really: When will you commit to answering all these questions?

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

We live in a time of productivity overload.

Everywhere you turn are articles and books about how to be more productive, how to squeeze 27 hours of work out of every 24, how to double your work pace, how to do more and more all in the name of someday getting out of the rat race. Well this is about the side effects of those ideas. If we aren’t multitasking, we feel lazy. If we aren’t doing everything, we feel like we’re slacking. We compare ourselves to others who we think are doing more, having more, getting more and achieving more, and it’s driving us crazy. We feel overwhelmed when we think we have too much to do, too much is expected of us, or that a stressor is too much for us to handle. And we respond by lashing out with emotions of anger, irritability, anxiety, doubt and helplessness.

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This season especially is the most stressful time of year. Between the holidays, final exams, family gatherings and general feelings of guilt that it’s the end of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of all the things you still need to get done. But if you use these tips, not only will you get the important stuff done, you’ll keep your sanity while doing it!

    Is this you?

    Change your thought pattern-stop thinking negatively

    When you feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is start thinking negatively or begin to resent why it’s your responsibility in the first place! The first thing you have to do is to stop! Stop thinking negatively immediately. Instead, focus on the positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, think of how great it is to have some time to yourself. If you’re rushing trying to get things done by a deadline, think how lucky you are to have a purpose and to be working towards it. If you’re stressing about a final exam, think of how fortunate you are to be given the opportunity of higher education. After you’ve changed your thought patterns, you must then say to yourself “I can do this.” Keep saying it until you believe it and you’re more than halfway to ending feeling overwhelmed.

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    Take a deep breath/change your body posture

    When you’re stressed certain things happen to your body. You start to breath shallowly, you hunch over, you immediately tense up and all that tension drives your feelings of stress even more. Relax! Straighten your posture and take at least ten deep, cleansing, breaths. Force yourself to smile and do something to change your state. It could be as simple as giving yourself a hug or as silly as clapping your hands three times, throwing them up in the air and shouting “I GOT THIS!” Think to yourself, how would I sit/stand if I had perfect confidence and control of the situation?

    Focus on right now

    Now that you are in a better state of mind and are no longer thinking negatively, you need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing I have control of and can act on right now? Keep asking yourself this until you have a concrete next step.

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    Take Action

    Now that you know what’s most important and what to do about it, do it! Start with the first step and focus on getting that done. Don’t worry about anything else right now, just on what your first step is and how to get it done. Once that’s done with, determine the next most important step and get that done.

    Let go of what you can’t control (the gambler’s theory)

    Seasoned gamblers understand the importance of due diligence and knowing when to let go. The Gambler’s Theory is that once your bet is placed there is nothing you can do, so you might as well relax and enjoy the process. The time to worry is when you’re figuring out the best odds and making the decision of what to bet when you can actually take action. I used this one a lot in college. After an exam, there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. There’s nothing you can do. And the same goes for feeling overwhelmed. If you can do something about your situation, do it, focus and take action. But if you’ve done what you could and now are just waiting, or if you’re worried about something you have no control over, realize that there’s no point. You might as well relax and enjoy the moment.

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    yoga-422196_1280
      Relax and enjoy the moment

      Stop feeling guilty

      Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. If you are at your wits end trying to keep up with what you think you should be doing, you aren’t being fair to yourself. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for improvement, just don’t go overboard because you feel like you have to. Only you know what’s really important to you, and your personal success journey so focus on what your top priorities are, not someone else’s.

      Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. The important thing is to realize it’s normal and that you can do something about it by taking focused and deliberate action. Happy Holidays!

      Featured photo credit: Stress Therapy via flickr.com

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