Balance In Action

Finding Balance In Action: Introduce a reward system to avoid procrastination

I still struggle on a Monday morning to psyche myself up for work and if I’m honest my morning coffee usually takes a while to finish before I feel able to get down to business. One of the things I do to help myself avoid procrastinating is to introduce a reward system. To me this is having a five minute cigarette break after completing a task (I know, it’s an awful habit).

 

For you it could be going for a five minute walk or making yourself a cup of hot chocolate and maybe if you finish your morning tasks treating yourself to a bite to eat and a coffee at your local café?

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Finding Balance In Action: Take lunch

Having lunch at your desk has become more and more common. Trust me when I say sandwiches taste much better when enjoyed in a kitchen listening to music and reading your favorite magazine. It’s a widely known fact that the more rested we are the more productive we become so commit to taking lunch every day this week and see the difference it makes, both on your productivity and your overall resilience and mood.

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Finding Balance In Action: Delegate

Spend today thinking about the tasks you could delegate at work. Then have a list of the relevant tasks and who to delegate to handy so that should you need to delegate with ease.

 

Keeping a list in this way of possible delegations will give you a valuable buffer should you run out of time on your more important work and will psychologically mean you feel more in control of your workload. If delegating is not a possibility, consider whether you could keep a similar list of possible collaborations and team work.

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Finding Balance In Action: Focus on one thing at a time

For one day only I’d like for you to do a little experiment if possible. Work throughout the day focusing on just one thing at a time and note how it affects your efficiency and productivity. Obviously there may be slight interruptions, but try as best you can to block of segments of time to do each separate task.

 

Indeed, research has shown that multi-tasking actually reduces productivity instead of the wide-spread misconception it enhances it.

 

When I began to do this after owning a work diary I found my overall productivity at work increased ten-fold. If you find the same I would recommend implementing this new way of working into your daily routine, alongside regular diary management.

 

For more on productivity and time management please read my article titled ‘Personal Productivity – How to achieve in record-breaking time’.

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Why do we struggle to find a work life balance?

Unfortunately we live in a society whereby workaholics are praised and people measure their self-worth in terms of their career. Whilst I consider myself a feminist, feminism has meant woman tend to take on more roles than ever before when compared to their male counterparts whilst most men’s identity is still wrapped up in providing for their family. This culmination of all this means that work and the responsibilities of daily life have overshadowed the importance of rest, fun and generally finding a more balanced way to live.

 

But there is another way. A way to meet life head on with a renewed sense of vigor; a way to be restored by rest, more productive than ever as a result and still find time to have fun.

 

Throughout this month’s Monday posts we will explore the steps towards successfully finding a work / life balance. Find your inner Zen with me next Monday!

Balance In Action: Diary management and prioritization

Each morning when I arrive into work I spend five minutes doing diary management. I number each to do for the day in order of priority and scheduling in the time I will tackle it and how long it will take. Then at night I do the same, this time ensuring that all my to do’s for the week ahead are realistic and achievable.

 

I find setting out my intentions for the day and week ahead makes me clearer on my daily goals and focuses my mind firmly on work. It also makes me much more productive as it means I spend my time at work strategically on what matters most.

 

Do you often find you reach the end of the working day rushed off your feet without getting much done? Do you think diary management would help with this? How would you prioritize your workload? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Finding Balance In Action: Break up big tasks at work into manageable steps

Do you have any big projects on the go at work? Break up your big projects up into manageable steps and diarize when to complete each step. This way you can keep from feeling overwhelmed and also see the daily progress towards the completion of a project as you cross off your daily to do.

 

For example, if I were overseeing a major renovation project I would break it down as follows:

 

Inspect site and list all the jobs needed to be done

Get three quotes for each job

Approve the quotes

Send confirmation of work to contractors and book them in

Receive all necessary health and safety documents

Proceed with works

Review works for remedials

 

Are there any major projects you could break down into more manageable steps at work? Do you think it would help you feel more in control of the project as a whole? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Finding Balance In Action: Buy a work diary

One of the things that has transformed my working life is having an A4 page a day work diary. I list everything I need to do and on what day, writing down my to do’s throughout the day.

 

This week commit to buying a page a day A4 work diary (without appointments) and see your productivity at work soar, meaning you accomplish even more than you thought possible.

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Finding Balance In Action: Create a progress life chart

One of the best ways to measure progress in your life is creating a pie chart divided up into the different areas of your life and then scoring it out of ten. I do this every month to keep track of how I am progressing and see what areas of my life need improving and which are doing well.

 

Draw a large circle on a piece of paper and divide it up into eight different segments. Title each segment the following:  work, finances, time, relationships, hobbies and interests, meaning, mission, health and image. Then photocopy the image twelve times for the year ahead and place the pages in your diary at the end of each month. Each month score each area out of ten. This will not only give you a tangible picture of the areas you are excelling at but also act as an early warning sign to the areas in decline that you need to actively improve.

 

What did you score yourself in each of the areas? Did it highlight some areas you would like to work on? Were you pleasantly surprised by the areas you are excelling in? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

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