More small shifts to achieve a better work-life balance
Last month, I talked about the practical side of work-life balance, and the small steps we can take to improve our lives. This month, let’s focus on the spiritual side. It’s not only about time management and delegation; it’s about attitude and mindset, too! Here are some (practical) spiritual suggestions to achieve a better work-life balance!
Be present in the moment. We’ve heard this a lot, but it takes a lot of practice not to have our mind wander while we’re working on a project. This can be done by breathing deeply, and focusing our mind only at the task at hand. Being present truly is a practice. It is non-judgmental, and it is awareness of all that is around us. It is not looking ahead at what’s to be completed later on; it’s a stillness that allows us to just be where we are. “Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. It is all we ever have, so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.” –author Pema Chodron. Meditation is an excellent way to practice this mindfulness: here’s a helpful link with some free meditations: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22. Anything that can quiet the mind from excessive chatter can only help our productivity and focus!
Concentrate only on the solution. Instead of looking at each item on your desk, or each issue at home, as a problem, concentrate only on ways to move the project forward or solve the issue. This small mindset shift will help you recognize that everything can be figured out—whether it needs more research, creative thought, or the fine-tuning of a solution that’s already there. This is a lot more than just being optimistic or positive about a resolution; it’s about understanding that we have the skills to do what’s needed, that all issues can be sorted out. Be confident in your abilities to get things done.
Remember that everything is temporary. While working on a difficult task or project, remember that the issue is only temporary. At some point, the task or issue will be finished or completed, and moved off your desk or out of your life. I have often done this when doing work which I dislike—I constantly remind myself that it will be done soon, finished, completed—woo-hoo! Set aside a certain amount of time for the difficult projects, and when the time is up, move on. Make the next task on your list an easier one, so you’re balancing your projects, and not handling two difficult ones in a row.
Be happy with your accomplishments throughout the day. Be proud of yourself for every big and small thing that gets done and is off your list. Know that you’re working hard and making a difference!
Call to action: What one solution above can you try this week? What one task have you been avoiding that you can tackle in a certain timeframe, knowing that a solution is present, and the project is only temporary in your life? Comment below, and let me know!