Saturday, March 22, 2014

Learning to Pause the Game

With smart phones in our hands for most of our waking hours, what does the separation between work and the rest of our life look like? Mapping out my values helped me be true to myself and those around me: career is my number one focus. But I can't possibly do it 24/7. Well I could- but after awhile you can't possibly do it right. And what about values 2, 3 and 4? Family/friends, healthy lifestyle, relationship?

Lately I've set out to find that balance. I've been to the work-life balance workshops. I even gave a great suggestion in one of them that the facilitator thought I should be teaching the class! But it's more about the commitments and being accountable to them. 

There are three points that will simply help with balancing your life. And we need to take them seriously, especially this early in the game. 

Set non-career goals 

A strong suit of being career driven is that we can be determined and set goals to get to where we want to be. So why not do this for your life outside of work? Whether it be going to the painting class with friends or skydiving, set a specific task that you want to accomplish and map yourself to achieving it. It'll help you stay busy in a good way on your weekends. 

Leave the work at work 

Yes I check my work email every few hours- guilty. But given my leadership position, there are some things I feel I should continue monitoring. But a win lately has been leaving my laptop at work when I leave for the weekend. 

Thursday night I stayed on-site until after 9. I specifically explained to my family- if I stay late, I'll actually take my weekend. We often hear the phrase "wherever you are, BE there" and not always do I practice it. Honestly, if I needed to be at work right now, I would be. Time I start enjoying my time with friends and family. 

Schedule yourself realistically 

Recently I read a beautiful bittersweet quote from Buddha- "The trouble is you think you have time." And sadly we look at our calendar and have a tendency to prioritize the wrong things. Start to be real. 

Take the time at the start of your week to see what can wait and what has to happen in order to support a key deliverable. 
This way you're not slammed with back to back, non-value meetings but have time for coaching sessions. Or even have time to leave a couple hours early to make it to the evening Zumba class. 

Since my trip overseas, this weekend was probably the first that I actually sat back and felt relaxed. The best part is that I continue to build stronger bonds with my friends and family for it and I know I'll be refreshed enough to take on that next strategic item. 

Learn to press the pause button every once and awhile to stretch and smell the fresh air. Either with friends, family, your puppy or just your coffee on your afternoon break. You'll go faster when you press play again. 

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