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8 Steps You Should Take To Balance Your Hectic Life

8 Steps You Should Take To Balance Your Hectic Life

Imbalance leads to bad stress and bad stress leads to poor health. So there in a “nutshell” lies the problem. But what to do about it? How do you strike a healthy balance between work, family, play, spiritual growth etc.?  Here are some simple steps toward achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

1.  Take a self-inventory.

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    A self-inventory will teach you where and how your energy is expended. Assess how you get things done. Learn your strengths and write down action methods on building those strengths. Inventory personal weaknesses as well, not to eliminate them, but to develop them. It may lead to stopping some of those activities which prevent you from achieving a healthy balance.

    Make a list of those things that are of priority and importance to you and strive to eliminate those things that you can do without or are not a priority. Another method is to find ways to combine those things that are important to you. For example, work does not always have to be a serious endeavor. Throw some play in once in a while, as you move toward a balanced lifestyle.

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    2.  Ditch the perfectionist attitude.

    Many, many people consider themselves to be perfectionists and that this is a good thing. It is not. Perfectionism freezes you to the point of inactivity, wherein your obsession with perfection keeps you from accomplishing anything. The trouble with perfectionism is indeed, that life is not perfect. And the more you strive toward perfectionism, the closer you get to imperfection.

    The entire cycle is tiresome and frustrating. It is simply impossible to satisfy a perfectionist, simply due to the plain fact that nothing and no one is perfect. The preoccupation with failure only sets you up for continued disaster. Instead of unrealistic goals, set goals and priorities that are obtainable. Write out workable goals and how to achieve them and instead work that plan.

    3. Develop a “completionist” attitude.

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      As Larry the Cable Guy so succinctly puts it, “Get ‘er done!” Set goals. Write down these goals and mark them when complete. In this way you are developing a track record of personal accomplishments. Stop hesitating and begin. The more time you spend attempting to justify or simply “put off” working a doable plan, the more time that is wasted.

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      Avoid “jumping off the wagon” through worrying whether or not your plan is the “best” plan. Such worry feeds back into the perfectionist attitude that defeated you in the first place. Keep going. If you must, check the plan and goals once a week. And don’t forget to mark off goals as they are completed. It’s perfectly fine to check your progress; just don’t lose your forward momentum.

      4.  Build your community of like-minded people.

      Seek out those people who think like you and befriend them. Hopefully these people are, like you, encouragers. Through these positive friendships you will gain and grow exponentially in confidence. A confident lifestyle helps you “take the bull by the horns” and cultivate the things and ideas that are important to you, permanently sloughing off the non-essentials or the things that drag you down.

      Cultivate those people who will inspire and motivate you to concentrate on the goals and plans that are important to you. In this way, the people and plans that are superfluous or drain your energy are “fired.” Through cultivating these friendships, the burdens of life can be shared, essentially freeing you up to enjoy what is important to you.

      5.  Do one thing at a time.

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        Engage your full attention to the task at hand. This is an equivalent to hanging a “do not disturb” sign in your mind. When at work, concentrate on work-related tasks and do the same when with family. Tackle small or large goals as you see fit. And this is key: it’s your life and through expending your energy on what you believe is important, you will be able to prioritize and achieve.

        Break down larger tasks into simpler, doable steps and then start working on them. This one-at-a-time approach is the real secret in achieving a healthy life balance. Remember to follow through to completion in order to reap the reward of accomplishments, even small ones. You will also gain a powerful feeling of being in control and successful.

        6.  Use a schedule.

        Developing a daily schedule can be difficult. Yet a daily schedule is one of the best ways—indeed, perhaps the only way—to track goals, get more done, and even prioritize. Tracking goals helps you know what has been done and what will be done. Checking off these goals adds to a positive self-esteem and feeling of accomplishment. Priorities, essentially, allow you to expend your best energy into those matters that are most important.

        Always schedule a pleasantry into your day. Something that you look forward to. Perhaps one day it is golf and another it is eating out or visiting friends online. It doesn’t have to be a large or costly activity, only one that you enjoy. Vary your routine and do something you find pleasant and fun every day. Scheduling in this time is also a great way to recharge and tackle the rest of the day.

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        7.  Set healthy personal boundaries.

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          This tip has a great deal to do with priorities. There are only so many hours in the day to accomplish all of life’s tasks, both small and large. Boundaries help by letting you say “no” to a task that may be too time-consuming. Some people may view setting personal boundaries as mean or selfish; quite the contrary, personal boundaries are a gift to yourself.

          The lack of boundaries is what often leads to imbalance in the first place. Setting boundaries lifts self-esteem and lets you take control and responsibility for your life. Boundaries allow “you” to be “you,” free from manipulation and controlling or abusive relationships. Your needs are therefore acknowledged as you come to understand that your needs are as important as anyone else’s.

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          Last Updated on December 5, 2018

          How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

          How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

          Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

          We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

          How do they do it?

          By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

          1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

          There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

          If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

          2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

          Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

          According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

          Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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          3. Demand Learning from Your Team

          CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

          “The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

          His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

          Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

          “We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

          Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

          4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

          Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

          Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

          • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
          • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
          • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
          • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
          • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
          • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

          5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

          Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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          Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

          • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
          • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
          • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
          • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
          • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

            “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

          Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

          6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

          The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

          Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

          You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

          7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

          Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

          But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

          On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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          • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
          • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
          • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
          • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

          8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

          Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

          When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

          9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

          The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

          What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

          Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

          10. Empower Your Employees

          Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

          They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

          Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

          You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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          If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

          11. Nurture Your Company Culture

          Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

          Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

          However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

          Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

          Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

          Be a Leader, Not a Boss

          Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

          However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

          In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

          Reference

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