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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.

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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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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

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After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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News

Tucker: Why are they so angry?

There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more.

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Tucker gives an extended list of several people who were arrested or had their homes raided, without explanation, for no crime. Highlights include:

“Why have a political debate when you can just arrest people who disagree with you? And that has happened, far below the media radar since the day Joe Biden was elected, and tonight we want to show you … a litany, a list of Americans who have been arrested, detained by federal law enforcement on the orders of the Biden administration, not because they committed recognizable crimes but because they disagreed with the political aims of the Biden administration.”

“Ooh, Trumps a fascist, remember that? Did Trump’s DOJ raid the homes of a lot of journalists who embarrassed his children? No, you don’t remember that, because it didn’t happen. But Joe Biden’s justice department has done that, and then they kept going.”

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“We don’t arrest people for ignoring congressional subpoenas, especially when they cite executive privilege, a principal that has a long history in American history, so no, we’ve never done that, but we can do it now because it was ‘an insurrection’, an insurrection that wasn’t armed, wasn’t planned, it didn’t actually insurrect anything, but it was still an insurrection. Now you’re beginning to see why it’s been so important from the very first day for the media to describe what happened on January 6 not as a riot, but as an insurrection, because if it’s an insurrection, they can violate your civil rights.”

“So, a decade ago the Obama administration was caught sending automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels and Congress wanted to know more about this. Eric Holder, then the attorney general, had a key role in this, ‘operation fast and furious’, you may remember it. So, they subpoena’d him, and he ignored the subpoena, and the media applauded, he was taking a noble position. But when Steve Bannon or Peter Navarro tried to do something like that, they went to jail. Again, we had this exact same thing happen in public ten years ago. A federal judge ruled that Holder’s privilege claim was not legitimate, and he was still never arrested, but the rules have changed. Why is that?”

“There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more. The media think you should be sent to jail if you show disrespect, and so of course, with no media to push back against unconstitutional overreach, the justice department kept going.”

Watch the video below and feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comments.

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