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Face Challenges Head On

Facing a challenging situation? Contemplate how to proceed, and take swift action

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As more people are out and about, you’ve got some decisions to make. Things in your life and likely in your work have changed since March, 2020.  You’re facing some challenges, and accompanying decisions, with a dwindling amount of time to move forward.

The late Earl Nightingale, renowned motivational speaker and author, once said you can’t get to second base if you won’t take your foot off first. You can’t attain what you want if you remain “one of the timid feeders in the lagoon” who fears to venture out into the deep blue sea.

Action is Invigorating

If you’re facing a challenging situation, after contemplating how you’re going to proceed, your next step, invariably, will be to take action:

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* Use the phone now and call whomever you need to contact.
* Buy the plane, train, or boat ticket and meet the people you need to see.

If your challenge involves spending money, review your budget and if you have the means, move the requisite funds into place. If you don’t have adequate funds, list possible ways to help you acquire them.

Identify things that are no longer valid or in the way. Then, without remorse, remove them from your life. If you need motivation, announce your intentions to somebody else, or commit yourself on paper.

Deadly Sin or Divine Aspiration

Like clockwork, when you decide to tackle a challenge, someone will come along and try to tell you not to do it. That someone could be a board member, a key staff person, a vendor, or one of your long term members

“It can’t be done.”
“It shouldn’t be done.”
“You can’t do it.”
“You shouldn’t do it.”
“You’re going to fail.”

Don’t be surprised if you hear these kinds of admonitions. The typical person dislikes change, doesn’t see the possibilities that you see, and can’t envision a successful conclusion. Hence, you can’t take a quick survey of others and expect any meaningful input.

It is valuable, however, if trusted peers point out specific hazards to your goals. For example, if others can offer relevant, factual information that you need to know to fully understand what it will take to achieve your goals, then more power to them and to you.

If you understand the impediments that you face, you’re better off than if you proceed blindly. When you understand the pitfalls and still commit to proceeding full speed ahead, then the choice is indeed yours, and it’s a grand one.

Let’s Get Unreasonable

Some say that nothing of lasting value is accomplished by reasonable men (and of course, women too). It is the unreasonable people — the discontented, the dreamers who still keep their feet firmly planted on solid ground, or the visionaries — who improve peoples’ lives, or, in rare instances, help to advance society.

The reasonable man or woman can talk himself or herself out of anything, no matter how great the merit of the venture or cause. You probably could stand to be bit more unreasonable when it comes to your challenges.

Don’t Take on too Much at Once

Concurrently, executives and high achievers in general face the problem of taking on too much. They’ve been so effective at accomplishing things in the course of their career that they start to think they are capable of accomplishing even more. Their productivity causes these otherwise worthy individuals to create longer and more involved to-do lists than the rest of us.

Many people unconsciously ensure that they’ll never get to the end of their list by continuously adding more tasks after accomplishing even just a few. Over-achievers seem to derive some kind of motivation from never completing everything on the list for a given day.

This kind of approach to managing one’s to-do list is fraught with problems. It is both rewarding and appropriate when you cross off everything on your list and feel complete about your achievements. When you’re able to finish your lists 2 to 4 times a week, you actually come back to work the next morning with more energy, focus, and direction than you might presume.

Completions Yield Satisfaction

Conversely, when you leave the office with unfinished tasks for that day’s to-do list, you unconsciously engender a situation in which you never quite feel complete or satisfied, and you find yourself in a perpetual “striving” mode.

In the short run, it’s okay to leave unfinished tasks, especially when you’re on a specific campaign or project. In the long run, however, continuously over-extending your daily to-do list can have a harmful, de-motivating effect on your life.

It’s understandable that highly ambitious career types want to achieve as much as they can and, if employed by others, desire to greatly benefit their organization.

If you’re not careful, however, and you attempt to accomplish one major task after another instead of alternating large and small tasks, your productivity will actually suffer, as trying to tackle one major task after another can be mindnumbing.

Keen Choices

So, choose to tackle a handful of key tasks each day, alternating them with minor tasks so that you can maintain a fairly high level of energy and allow yourself to leave the workplace with a sense of completion.

You’ll work more effectively the next day, as well as throughout the course of your week, month, year, and career. You’ll engender a most definite sense of accomplishment while experiencing, at the least, recurring feelings of work-life balance.

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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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Bite-Sized Motivation

The insights or wisdom we need to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words

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I’ve spoken to 1075 audiences at conventions, conferences, and meetings, and have had the opportunity to hear probably 800 other speakers as well.

The insights, perspectives, or wisdom we need, to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words. Here are 52 of my own six word “speeches,” drawn from my keynotes and breakout session on the topic of work-life balance. Some of these likely will resonate with you:

Choose from what you already have.
Everyone needs breathing space, especially you.
Information overload obscures meaning and relevance.
Deep breathes are essential for well-being.

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Make every day an organized day.
Allow your natural rhythms to rule.
Stay confident and in control daily.
Manage your time, manage your life.

Slow down to plot your course.
Look for the best in others.
Make yourself indispensable on the job.
Compete with yourself, not with others.

Learn to take control of today.
Manage your time to make time.
Take control of your desk clutter.
You’re the best when you’re fresh.

Do something to take control now.
Major projects often require a jumpstart.
Methodically pare down your paper piles.
Don’t attempt too much at once.

Evaluate your situation and what’s important.
Narrow your priorities to stay focused.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
Learn to embrace your many talents.

Take the time to become organized.
Become aware of how you react.
Arrange your space; help isn’t coming.
Manage the flat surfaces in life.

Periodically challenge yourself to perform better.
Take long, deep breaths as needed.
Reclaim your places, spaces, and graces.
Start big projects well in advance.

Don’t rush the truly important things.
Make the best use of today.
Schedule accordingly: plan for your future.
Be kind, cut yourself some slack.

Opportunity knocks, but are you answering?
Conventional wisdom has diminishing value.
When practical, substitute time for money.
The market for top talent lives.

The self-reliant survive and thrive.
Leadership requires forethought and super-vision.
Learn from and capitalize on mistakes.
Firmly face the future with confidence.

“Now” holds a lot of opportunity.
Control but don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Treading water won’t propel you forward.
Have you ever really tested yourself?

Life goes on; do your best.
Continually seek out the higher ground.
Luck is distributed evenly, but disguised.
You must be doing something right.

 


 

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Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “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. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

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

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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 life, time, and available resources 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 can only 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 understanding 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, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

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

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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