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8 Steps You Should Take To Balance Your Hectic Life

8 Steps You Should Take To Balance Your Hectic Life
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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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          Published on July 27, 2021

          15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

          15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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          During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

          But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

          Put the Pro in Professional

          After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

          1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

          The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

          Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

          2. Dress the Part

          While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

          Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

          For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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          Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

          3. Stage Your Workspace

          Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

          Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

          4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

          Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

          Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

          Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

          Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

          5. Arrive on Time

          In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

          Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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          6. Turn on Your Video

          Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

          If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

          Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

          7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

          Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

          Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

          Attend to the Pesky Details

          8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

          With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

          Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

          9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

          Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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          Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

          10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

          As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

          Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

          Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

          Talking Has a Time and a Place

          11. Chat Appropriately

          Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

          At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

          12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

          The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

          Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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          13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

          In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

          Manage Yourself

          14. Minimize Distractions

          While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

          Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

          15. Save Snacking for Later

          Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

          However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

          Final Thoughts

          Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

          Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

          Reference

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