I Choose to Have My Cake and Eat It Too!
3 Essential Ingredients to the Work-Life Harmony.
In the dog-eat-dog business world of today, the mindset is that one cannot obtain the great career along with an equally as great family life. I beg to differ. If we are able to commit ourselves to these top three practices, I believe that we can stay committed to the both and in fact obtain the “unobtainable.”
1. Morning Moments
Everyday starts with a basic routine; however, most of us just go through these very moments on “auto-pilot.’ We literally could close our eyes and go through our morning ritual. But in order to truly maximize our day and accomplish our goals so that we do not bring our work back to our homes after we clock out, we must utilize these morning moments to visualize all that needs to be done for our work today and focus on setting a plan and schedule that will push us to accomplish the goals by end of work day.
These morning moments are so important that when we go through the step by step in our minds of what needs to be accomplished that work day, when we actually get to our place of work, we will have the sense that we had already been there and not seeing the task at hand as if it is the first time. We will actually take the task on with a deeper confidence and competence because we were prepared for it.
2. The Break-Away
Once we have utilized these valuable morning moments, we must go to the second step of this process, which is the break-away. Around lunch time, when your brain nor body seem like it can go another step or another task, you must step away mentally, emotionally, and even physically from your work area, desk, and work environment. For what, you ask?
To use these afternoon/ lunch moments to begin to incentivize yourself to finish strong, stay committed til the end of the day, and to have a reason to do so. The incentive must be something that you are looking forward to doing with your family (i.e.: a special meal that everyone enjoys, a movie and popcorn, fun board games, a walk down by the lake or beach together, snuggle time, intimate conversation, a restaurant that is your families “spot”, etc.)
When you visualize this incentive, you will indeed finish strong. You are reminded why you work, what you are working for, and for whom you work… your family. The family time that you long for after work will not take away nor distract you from your work; on the contrary, it will fuel you to refocus, refuel, and recommit; therefore, pressing you to thrive in your work and the tasks at hand.
At the end of a long day, after the stress of work and time spent with family is over and you have invested into both the loves of your life (family and business), it is necessary to reflect on the time, energy, and attention spent on each. The main question that we should ask ourselves is “What can I do MORE, BETTER, and DIFFERENT?” By doing this we not only reflect on what we have done right in the day, therefore finding gratification in that we are doing right by our work and family balance, but we also challenge ourselves to go to the next level in each to see where improvements and adjustments can be made.
If we maintain this level of commitment on a daily basis, it will keep the balance between the two…. well…. balanced. One working off the of the other. Each fueling the other; therefore, allowing you to maintain a clarity of your important role in each area. You can have your cake and eat it too. More importantly, you can have your successful career and successful family life as well! The people that typically burn out and are stressed to the point of being sick are usually people that lose the focus and clarity and begin to just try to be successful in some are area of their life. The idea and feeling of being out of control in both areas and not focused on their plan of action, creates a state of being that advocates trying to gain success in at least one of the two areas.
Keep focused and dedicated to your morning moments, break-away, and nightly moment of gratitude and reflection. By planning these moments throughout the day at their allocated time, you are setting up your success. Remember, if you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Plan each of these vital moments and execute each. Don’t do what the majority do and play it by ear, or you will find yourself having to choose between the two loves of your life; when in reality, you should have both.