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Refuse to Let Politicians Diminish Your Sense of Well-Being

Ours is the first era where people can effectively take charge of their own health.

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For nearly one year, we have witnessed how mayors and governors, particularly in Democrat strongholds, are eager to control our lives. They take great joy, if well-disguised, in telling us when to come, when to go, what to wear, and how to act. Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan; Gavin Newsom, governor of California; and Bill deBlasio, mayor of New York, immediately come to mind.

Some of what they have decreed makes sense, but much of it extends beyond their duties and jurisdiction. Even in these challenging times, and despite intentional government interference, ours is the first era where people can effectively take charge of their own health.

Thanks to an abundance of resources, available primarily via the Internet, we have the opportunity to diagnose and to take action regarding what ails us more often and more effectively than any generation before us.

Certainly, doctors still play an important role and always will. We never want to substitute legitimate medical observation for what we conclude on our own. However, what we can research and discover as a result of our comprehensive reading, increasingly, represents reasonably sound information.

A Sea of Natural Cures

Sometimes we can avoid having to pay for expensive visits to doctors, outpatient services, clinics, or labs: Today, for whatever ails you, it’s possible to find potential natural remedies and to avoid ingesting pharmaceuticals. And why not? For tens of thousands of years prior to our recent history, people communed with nature and they gleaned many health-enhancing gifts that nature had to offer.

Hundreds upon hundreds of herbal remedies, and plant and flower extracts were discovered through the ages, passed on to offspring, and are available to this today.

One can search online and find potential natural cures for this affliction or that. Food is a remedy in many cases, as are legitimate supplements.

When else has humankind ever had the capability to learn so much, so easily, that could be of value to one’s health? Rather than endure a surgical procedure, as recently as one score ago often perceived as the only option, alternatives might well abound. Undertaking the exploration is worth the pursuit. Thereafter, if surgery is the most prudent path to take, with the advances in surgical procedures, if you must be operated on, it’s likely to be to your benefit.

An Array of Options

No matter what edicts an Andrew Cuomo or a Bill DeBlasio levy in the name of ‘protecting’ us, ostensibly from ourselves, we still have an array of options. We can find useful information to help lower blood pressure, stave off headaches, or reduce stress.

Meditation is effective as a stress reducer and immediately comes to mind. If you’ve never tried it, don’t knock it. Medical journals today now discuss the multitude of benefits that accrue to regular meditators. The physical manifestation of meditation, namely yoga, is also beneficial to your health. Yoga is proving to be a physical “elixir” that can help you in ways that normally one wouldn’t presume.

Stretching can work wonders and, the older you are, the more likely you need to be stretching on a regular basis. You can buy books on stretching, read articles on stretching, and view YouTube videos on the topic. You can quickly gather a variety of key illustrations and carve out for yourself a program that could last for months or years. Even doing simple stretches yields amazing results.

Exercise, as you already know, is vital to effective mind-body functioning. Exercise offers you greater mobility, enhanced mental sharpness, better sleep, better digestion and elimination, and much more. As with meditation, yoga, and stretching, a host of web resources are available to guide you.

Drugs No, Supplements Yes

As you assume a greater charge of your health, you’ll encounter information about supplements. They will show up in your reading. Many people are confused between vitamins and food supplements, versus pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs.

Vitamins and supplements essentially are the crushed extracts of a larger volume of food. The best have no additives. They give you the benefits, in part, that the original source would provide. Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs, those in a pharmacy, are chemical compounds manufactured in a laboratory, to achieve a specific outcome within your body.

Pharmaceuticals are not natural and generally include a host of additives and preservatives. The list of side effects issued at a rapid pace on TV commercials is more likely than not to occur. They are the direct effects of ingesting artificial substances and abdicating control of your body in the hopes that such ‘magic pills’ will ‘fix’ you.

Working in Tandem

Enlightened doctors today recognize the importance of working with you. So, discover as much as you can about your situation before your appointment. Then, spill the beans. Let the doctor know what you have uncovered and conclude. It’s all grist for your personal health mill.

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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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Business

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:

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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Business

Work-life Balance: The Enduring Quest

Organizations today recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity

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Thank goodness that organizations today increasingly recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity. As such, the corporate quest for work-life balance, harmony, and integration has gained great prominence.

Key Aspects

Here are 12 key aspects of this pursuit gleaned from a variety of programs:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, and part-time opportunities allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

2. Have Clear Policies: Establishing clear policies and guidelines regarding work hours, overtime, and expectations helps employees manage their time effectively.

3. Support Mental Health: Providing access to mental health resources, counseling, and stress management programs can address employees’ emotional well-being.

4. Give Leave: Offering generous paid time off, including vacation, sick leave, and parental leave, allows employees to address personal and family needs without fear of repercussions.

5. Prevent Burnout: Encouraging employees to disconnect from work-related technology after hours helps prevent burnout and supports work-life separation.

6. Support Workload Management: Ensuring that employees have manageable workloads and realistic deadlines prevents excessive stress and long working hours.

7. Provide Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness initiatives, such as fitness facilities, nutrition programs, and health screenings, promotes a healthier work-life balance.

8. Enable Employee Assistance Programs: Such programs provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal challenges.

9. Promote a Culture of Balance: Company culture plays a significant role in work-life balance. Leaders should model a balanced lifestyle, and the organization should celebrate accomplishments beyond work.

10. Maintain Continuous Communication: Engaging in open dialogues with employees about their needs and concerns regarding work-life balance fosters a supportive and responsive corporate culture.

11. Empower Workers with Training and Education: Providing training on time management, stress reduction, and resilience equips employees with the skills to better balance their lives.

12. Leverage Remote Work Policies: Crafting clear remote work policies and expectations ensures that remote employees have a structured work-life balance.

Bringing in the Hired Gun

As the world’s only holder of the title, “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” as issued by the USPTO,  I am often summoned by organizations to enhance work-life balance for their troops. In all, I’ve delivered programs and spoken to 960 groups. Below depicts an encounter with a company who shall remain nameless for reasons of confidentiality. See if this squares up with your experience in your organization.

The following responses were derived as a result of my sending a questionnaire to the conference meeting planner where I was to be their keynote speaker. I requested the names of 10 people who would be in the audience. I called each of them to discuss their current challenges. Here are their actual replies to three of my questions:

1) If you could magically resolve a work-life balance issue, what would it be?

* Have more breathing room between high-level projects.
* Accomplish more during the workday and leave mentally free.
* Hire more staff!
* Take vacations and time off with no big pile ups when returning.

* Be allowed to take some Fridays off and catch up on much needed appointments.
* Reduce the number of pop-up requests and questions flying at me all day long so that I could ACTUALLY do what I need to do each day.
* Be approved to work from home or adjust my hours. My personal time isn’t respected.

2) What do you seek to derive from attending a session such as mine?

* Manage my time more effectively.
* Gain tools to embrace life while living it
* Develop stronger skills.
* Make work-life balance a reality in our company’s work-first culture.

* Acquire strategies, tips, or ideas to re-think my approach.
* Learn to change my focus, to be more productive, balanced, and focused.
* Be able to balance the few things that I do control during my day.
* Discover tips for keeping my staff in balance.

* Gain a realistic expectation of what we can achieve or experience.
* Develop a more positive outlook for the group.

3) Are there any observations you could offer?

* Work-life balance is a huge topic organization-wide. We are high performers who want to do a good job. We compromise our personal lives to meet work demands. We have to keep pace with the leaders and teams we support. If we don’t, we’ll be deemed unresponsive.

* A frenetic pace seems to be inherent in this company. Our team does a good job of emphasizing work-life balance; the problem lies with the surrounding divisions that thrive on working all the time, for no good reason. Yes, we are in a global space, working in different time zones, but some of these people are beyond the pale.

* What I love about this organization are the people. They are dedicated to the cause and truly want to deliver reliable, affordable, dynamic, and versatile solutions to our customers. However, our frenetic pace isn’t necessary. Not every project is the most vital. Not every problem is an emergency. Not every request has to be filled now.

* If in charge, I’d implement a more efficient, logical pace organization-wide. If we all took a breath and reevaluated how we work, in a more focused environment, we might find that we could produce better results with less stress.

Resonates Strongly

As you can see, the topic of work-life balance resonates strongly among today’s career professionals. Going forward, may more organization recognize and acknowledge the critical role that employee wellness and work-life balance has on the organization’s overall effectiveness.

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