Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quick Tip - Time Management Through Language Choice

While time is an non-replenish-able resource, and in each day lived, we each get the same amount, we often create challenges to our time ownership, and therefore, our time management, by phrasing things negatively, or in a defeatist fashion.  In order to own, and appreciate, the time we have, please consider the following:
      • Eliminate "I don't have time", "I am so busy" & "I was too busy"
      • Resist saying "You've got too much time on your hands" to others who make activities a priority that are not for you
      • Know that you are not lazy if you choose to relax, rather you are reinvigorating or resetting yourself
      • Strive to have a full calendar, or a full day rather than being "busy"
      • Call before you are late & apologize once
      • Set, use, and request  agendas before attending meetings to avoid "I don't know" as a response to "What are we meeting about?"
      •  "Host" walk-and-talk meetings rather than formal meetings
      • Schedule 15, 20, 30 or 45 minute meetings instead of 60 or 90 minute sessions, and see if you get as much done
      •  Complete "To Do"s immediately, such as passing along cards, or sharing links...not later...time is valuable, so make the most of it!
Time is neither a friend nor a foe, it is not speeding up or slowing down.  Time is relative to our enjoyment in perspective, and yet the same measurable quantity presents each day, so keep language and perspective positioned for success, so that time doesn't feel like it is "getting away from us"!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life."
-  William Arthur Ward  
American Author of Fountains of Faith
(1921 - 1994)

The idea of work-life balance perplexes me, as it implies that work and life are separate, minimally, and possibly in opposition.  For me, and hopefully you, work is a part of life, so the goal of balance is one of Life Balance...period.
Boundaries are not constricting in our lives, rather they are the weights and ways to provide balance. Some of the boundaries I find are well-serving when seeking a life of near balance, while enjoying the challenge of seeking that sense of being well-weighted in our choices, activities, people, and projects are: 

  1. Be selfish...ask yourself "What is in this for me?" and ask "What is the opportunity cost?" before responding with a yes or no, thank you, to a maybes, as maybes create a to-do for later by following up.
  2. Do things you want, without guilt or obligation...or explanation.  Watch your desire to explain, as once we explain, we often excuse ourselves from not explaining in the future, therefore creating a pattern that takes time and energy, and yet provides little in return.
  3. Face fears/worries and address them by really exploring what is holding you back, what could propel you forward, and where you want to go with the fear.  Is this really a fear, or is the language of "afraid" and "fear" making it bigger than it needs to be?
  4. Reinforce behaviors you want repeated with others.  Balance does not come from nagging, criticizing and wishing things were different.  Putting a boundary on yourself that focuses you on the positive not only frees your mind, it clears your mouth from lashing out.
  5. Offer only 2-3 choices for others.  Instead of asking "What do you want to do?", consider "Would you like to go for a run or play tennis Saturday?"
  6. Keep work to one area of your home or home office.  By secluding where work is done, the entire area represents your profession or passion
  7. Set expectations for the amount of  time spent doing things such as lunch, dinner, meetings and even social events.  Knowing your start and end times will allow you to plan smoothly, therefore, creating a plan that has balance for you.
  8. Get rid of the TV in your bedroom.  Bedrooms are for sleeping and other things that have nothing to do with sitcoms, news, or shows.  When the TV is out of your bedroom, you set a boundary and expectation on the room that provides focus without distraction.
  9. Have fun.  Laugh.  Giggle.  Smile.  Make the world a great place for you...and it just may bring joy to others.
  10. Hang out with people who appreciate, utilize and respect your boundaries.  Respect and learn from the balance others display.   
Know that you don't have to do things the same to have a similar appreciation for boundaries and balance, and yet putting things in place, reveling in the feelings and clarity that come from them will encourage more of that behavior, and likely, more experiences that are closer to balance than you've previously yielded in life, and therefore, in work, since that is a part of your life!