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

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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:

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  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 January 27, 2022

5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

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5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

The environment of a typical office or a quiet library may sometimes lessen your productivity as the unchanging views fail to stimulate your senses and keep your brain running. If you are the kind that dislikes absolute silence or minimal noise when working, these unexpected places to work may boost your productivity level!

1. Coffee shops

Research has shown that an adequate amount of ambient noise stimulates your senses and keeps you alert. Where else better to find some chatter and clatter to boost your creative juices? Working in the coffee shop also guarantees something else: unlimited supplies of caffeine!

Caffeine wakes you up by fooling adenosine receptors and speeds transmitting activities up in your nerve cells.If you do decide to try this place out, make sure that your work computer is facing the coffee shop customers so you will be less likely to procrastinate or go to inappropriate sites because people are secretly watching you.

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If your workplace requires you to be in the office, try this website and/or phone app that provides you with sounds from coffee shops around the world. Want to work at a cafe in Paris? No problem, it’s just a button away.

2. Cafeterias

Similar to coffee shops, company cafeteria or food courts provide consistent noise and the smell of food. The aroma of food makes you look forward to your next break and should motivate you to complete your work.

The act of eating likewise keeps your brain alert and produces dopamine. But make sure only to snack and stay around 60% full so that each bite is rewarding and invigorating. Snacking every 90 minutes should keep your brain balanced enough to focus on the work at hand.

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3. Empty University Classrooms  

Whether or not you’re an university student, we have all been a student at some point in our lives. And when you’re in a classroom, your brain is primed to stay focused because you have been conditioned to concentrate in class. In comparison to your bedroom, where your brain is primed to relax, sleep and have fun, the environment of the classroom triggers your memory to stay alert (unless you never listened in class) and work.

If you do decide to try working in an empty university classroom, be sure to bring a studious friend. Once you see that your friend or coworker is working hard, you would feel guilty for procrastinate and be more competitive.

Ever heard of environmental context-dependent memory? Research has shown that environmental context influences the way we encode information. If you study in the same place you first learned the material, your chances of recalling the information are significantly increased. Use environmental cues to your advantage so you spend less time doing more work!

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4. Outdoors

Fresh air, sunlight, cool breeze. Talk about getting your vitamin Ds the natural way. A healthy body is crucial to being productive. If you have a porch, use it to maximize your productivity!

On a cool day, the crisp air is good for waking your brain up. If your work station is indoors and poorly ventilated, the build up of carbon dioxide will cause your brain to be less active, hence, less productive. Try to bring some work to a park nearby or an unsheltered town square where you are exposed to the sun. Fresh air will vitalize your brain and the warm sunlight will bring a smile to your face.

5. The Shower 

Many people experience their “Aha!” moments when they’re in the shower. Why is that? The hot water helps with circulation and improves blood flow to your brain, giving it more oxygen and nourishment to break down your work block.

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If you aren’t motivated to work or feeling bored, a good shower will not only open up your pores, but also give your brain a boost of energy. Keep a waterproof white board and markers in the washroom so you will never lose those wonderful ideas again!

Featured photo credit: Thomas Franke via unsplash.com

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