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Career Professionals with Work-life Balance are Different

Several disciplines support work-life balance including self-management, time management, stress management, change management, technology management, and leisure management.

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The challenges of leading a viable organization, division, or department and of maintaining work-life balance become more acute with each passing month.  Work-life balance, virtually synonymous with work-life harmony and work-life integration, entails having some breathing space for yourself each day; feeling a sense of accomplishment, while not being consumed by work; and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations.

Several disciplines support work-life balance, though individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance. These disciplines include:

  • Self-management
  • Time management
  • Stress management
  • Change management
  • Technology management
  • Leisure management

1. Self-management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that available resources, time and life are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship – no one is coming to steer for us.

2. Time management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important or urgent. It entails knowing what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3. Stress management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, distractions and noise require each of us to become adept at maintaining tranquility and working ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, versus focusing on one thing at a time.

4. Change management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods and re-adapting others is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves making periodic and concerted efforts to ensure that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5. Technology management

Effectively managing technology means ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, flint, spear and wheel. Now, the rate of change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often there is no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but you must rule technology – not vice versa.

6. Leisure management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges the importance of rest and relaxation – that one can’t short-change leisure, and that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Viva La Difference!

With the above in mind, here are 16 ways that executives with work-life balance are different from others:

1) The typical executive thinks that work-life balance is something you need to strive for. Those who have work-life balance (WLB) realize that it is an every day practice.

2) The typical executive becomes stressed throughout the day from the demands they face. Those with WLB anticipate unexpected demands and dispense their energy accordingly.

3)  The typical executive suspects that only the privileged can attain work-life balance.  Those with WLB understand that it is within everyone’s grasp.

4)  The typical executive assumes that you need money and resources to experience WLB. Those who have it know that money or resources won’t help if you’re on the wrong path.

5) The typical executive regards taking time for themselves as a luxury they can’t afford. Those who have work-life balance recognize that taking time for themselves is vital.

6) The typical executive becomes emotional about his/her lack of work-life balance.
Those who have it take a rational, methodical approach to maintaining it.

7) The typical executive strives to get more done, hoping for free time at the rainbow’s end. Those with WLB take time for rest and reflection, on the way to getting more done.

8) The typical executive is resigned to a state of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” Those who have WLB establish priorities and supporting goals to those priorities.

9) The typical executive multitasks, seeking to save time and effort. Those with WLB avoid multitasking with its many traps, and instead master the art of doing one thing at a time.

10) The typical executive seeks technology tools and apps to carve out free time.
Those with WLB have found that simple approaches work best, tools or not.

11) The typical executive believes that greater responsibilities diminish the chances of achieving WLB. Those who have it do not allow such thoughts to impede their progress.

12) The typical executive worries that taking periodic breaks might be seen as shirking their work. Those with WLB regard periodic breaks as vital to their consistent productivity.

13) The typical executive wants to catch up all at once. Those with work-life balance maintain a “pay-as-you-go” system and avoid crash campaigns.

14) The typical executive feels driven by external forces to race through the day. Those with WLB acknowledge that their own habits are the primary force in achieving WLB.

15) The typical executive doesn’t draw upon the resources needed to continually experience WLB. Those who have it assemble such resources and more, to create leisure.

16) The typical executive sometimes acts as a helpless victim of daily noise and interruptions.  Those with WLB monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Minaj, Paul 2024!

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William F. Buckley once wrote “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.” His point being that he did not believe academics made the best legislators. Perhaps the elite intelligentsia are not best suited to govern our affairs. I have long been of the opinion that a highly competent and successful small business owner , a one man (or woman) auto-shop, a Plumber with his own van, or a house painter would be better suited to set economic policy than most of the stuffed suits who have been failing at this task for years. The former has had to beat the ground, provide top-notch customer service, and balance the books every month or risk going broke. The latter was more than likely born with a silver spoon in their mouth, been brainwashed with “theories” at the university, and if they fail, can still write a book, give some interviews, and leave Washington with a pocket full of cash. Similarly, a charismatic mid to large sized real estate agent or most large comprehensive High School Principals likely have the skills to be President of the United States.

When you look at the track record of the people who have been running our government for just the past 20 years alone, the catastrophic foreign policy misadventures, the national debt, the rise of the police state, the failures of the criminal justice system, the fraud, the waste, and the abuse; there is little reason to think that we could be any worse off by plucking average citizens from everyday life to serve in the federal government. Unfortunately, most average citizens do not have the name recognition, money or ability to raise it, or general “star power” to build a national profile. Accepting the premise that any competent adult with a bit more character, intelligence, and integrity than a rattlesnake can serve in the highest office of the land opens a plethora of possibilities.

It is for this reason that I think Nicki Minaj should be the next President of the United States with Rand Paul as her running mate. Unfortunately, the US Constitution would have to be amended to enable Mrs. Minaj to run, as she is not a “natural-born citizen” (given the significant influence foreign agents have on most of our current politicians, one must wonder how relevant this clause still is in 2021). In a previous article I expressed some disappointment with Minaj for her initial response to the criticism she received for her vaccine hesitancy. I did not think she was rebellious enough. Since then, she has doubled down on her position and defended herself aptly against her critics. As an African American, she has every right to be suspicious of the US government pushing free vaccines or any other type of medical treatment, considering what the same US government did in the Tuskegee experiment. Dr. Fauci and crew would like everyone to forget that the US government INJECTED 600 African Americans with syphilis just to see what would happen.

Minaj grew up in NY and waited tables at Red Lobster before she became famous. She is tough, smart, and a successful businesswoman,and a philanthropist. She would win the black vote and possibly turn some major cities out to vote for her. Rand Paul would be the perfect running mate. Paul has been the only national politician who has consistently and bravely questioned mask and vaccine mandates. He has taken Lord Fauci to task more than once. Paul has served in the Senate long enough to be the perfect person to help navigate Nicki Minaj through the swamp. While both she and Rand Paul may hold differing political positions, none of that matters now. A crisis is before us and they are united in a more pressing and common cause; the defense of individual liberty. As I have written before, bodily integrity, informed consent, and our 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment protections are all on the line. As Tucker Carlson has articulated regarding forced vaccines, “If you can do that, why can’t you sterilize me or give me a lobotomy? What can’t you do to me if you own my body?” The elites in power spend a great deal of effort keeping us divided along the lines of race and social and economic class. A pairing of two leaders with different ideas could be the start of bringing people together and taking back the power.

Minaj is an excellent entertainer with a stage presence eclipsing that of Donald Trump. She would easily win a debate with Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. Her ability to act and freestyle rap means she will be quick-witted and articulate on the debate stage and she can connect with her audience better than any politician. She has the charisma and star power to win and, other than opposing vaccine mandates, she does not have to provide specific details on any other political positions. I recall in 2016, Donald Trump ascended to the White House with no details, just phrases like “we are gonna have great health care, we will build a beautiful wall, we’re gonna have the best military…” There were never any details. At this point, the only thing that really matters is that people like Minaj and Paul get in power so that people like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Anthony Fauci are NOT in power. We can figure the rest out later.

Vaccine mandates illuminate clearly the core issue before us today. It is the same question that we answered in the revolution of 1776. Are we citizens or are we subjects? In the 1770’s, South Carolina historian David Ramsay explained the difference between the two: “The difference is immense. Subject is derived from the Latin words, sub and jacio and means one who is under the power of another; but citizen is a unit of a mass of free people, who collectively possess sovereignty…” Nicki Minaj translated and modernized this line of thinking in her response to Meghan McCain’s attempt to shame her into taking a vaccine by tweeting “Eat shit you.” This might be an appropriate campaign slogan for the elite to hear in 2024! It certainly encapsulates the mood of over half the country who refuse to be treated like subjects and who have been told not to test the patience of their daddy in the White House.

Assuredly, many will want Trump to run again in 2024. Ironically, the same problem that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton had in 2016 now befalls Trump, albeit to a lesser extent. People were tired of “Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.” Enough people could have “Trump fatigue” by 2024. Larry Elder’s landslide loss in the California recall after he was (fairly or unfairly) painted as another Donald Trump is a concern. Further, Trump presided over enormous deficit spending, is the father of the Covid Vaccine, and made the fatal mistake of surrounding himself with a cabinet of Washington insiders who undermined him at every turn from day one. Trump may have had good intentions at some point. He and his brand are now compromised. His enemies know him too well. Trump showed us that Washington hates a disrupter, but needs one – and the citizens need a fighter. Nicki Minaj could be that fighter. Plus it would be cool to see her and Rand Paul on the inauguration stage with balloons and confetti raining down while “Super Bass” or “Starships” played in the background.

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The Era Of Approved Dissent

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Guns N Roses Frontman Axl Rose was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of property damage for the role he played in instigating a riot in St. Louis in 1991. He dove headfirst off of the stage and into the crowd to attack a man with a camera and then left the stage mid-concert. This angered the crowd and sparked a rebellion. Months later, when Rose returned to the states from a European tour, he was arrested at the airport. Axl Rose came under fire again in 1992 and was accused of homophobia for having used the word “faggot” in one of his lyrics. In the late 80s and early 90s, Rose was notorious for the use of controversial lyrics, getting arrested, and being a rebel.

By the early 2000s, as Axl Rose’s star faded, rap star Eminem ascended to take his place as the new controversial lyrical artist and troublemaker. What both men had in common is that they were probably the last true mega stars to have been true rebels. Neither artist was readily associated with any cause or social movement. In fact, like Madonna most of the time, it appeared they were being controversial, just to be controversial. Some of it may have been immaturity, drug induced behavior, or the result of a toxic combination of the trappings of fame and misguided youth. Certainly marketing was part of the mix. The result was that the controversy sold records. The polarization of their songs and actions is what stood out.

In 2021, one can’t help but realize that far too many artists have replaced polarization with conformity. Take the latest “controversy” over the news that Nicki Minaj is hesitant to be vaccinated. She revealed she is waiting and doing more research and she shared a story of people who she knows who have had adverse reactions. She has every right to feel however she wants and to express herself regarding this matter in whatever way she chooses. That her very reasonable response to not getting a vaccine is controversial is laughable when compared to say… starting a riot or sending a Native American woman to accept your Oscar award as a protest the way Marlon Brando once did.

Minaj’s tweet about the subject left those longing for the days of rock n roll and artistic rebellion a little disappointed. She wrote: “If I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one.” A missed opportunity for sure. Our increasingly conformist and authoritarian society longs for a time when artists were controversial and didn’t try to softly land their positions as Minaj does here with a nod to mask wearing. What happened to the Rage Against The Machine Mentality of “F&#Ck You I Won’ t Do What You Tell Me!” What happened to the music of liberation, the sound and lyrics of Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, James Brown? Where is the spirit of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and NWA?

While most rational people understand that the actions and words of such artists are frequently grounded in hyperbole, and just plain offensive, most also understand that there are usually one or more kernels of truth in such works. This makes it entertaining. Some of the best art illuminates an injustice, uncomfortable truth, or articulates someone else’s hypocrisy uniquely. Until recently, it seemed rather common for an artist to lambast a national politician, a corporate figure, or law enforcement. One is hard pressed to find a recent song questioning our 20 year misadventure in Afghanistan, the militarization of the police departments, election fraud, lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates, or forced vaccinations. We know that people, and certainly artists, have strong opinions on these matters, regardless of their position. Eric Clapton and Van Morrison recently collaborated on an anti-lockdown tune, but to little attention from the corporations. Perhaps many artists have found it easier to send a tweet than to write a clever lyric.

Today’s radio waves don’t have a Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind” or a Joan Baez protesting for social or political change. Everything just feels corporate, quadrate, as if everything we see and hear has been approved in some boardroom. The truth is, it probably has been. Dissent is quickly purged from social media and the major television networks. We are living in an age of “Approved Dissent.” If you are protesting perceived racism, sexism, or police brutality, the protest is parroted by the mainstream corporate and social media. Protest an election result, a mask mandate, or a forced vaccination and you will get very little to no air time unless it is to paint you as a deranged conspiracy theorist.

Perhaps artists have figured this out. In the year 2021, the age-old question of “does life imitate art or does art imitate life?” has been answered. As approved dissent devolves into approved art, we see art imitating life.

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