After a busy spring and continuing the elusive search for work/life balance, its time to reflect back upon my New Year’s resolutions for leading a happier, healthier and more productive live (at work and at home!). I’ve been doing pretty well on most fo the tips, but still hoping to adopt a few of these words of wisdom more consistently.
- Stop complaining. It is easy to dwell on reasons our career, lives and families are challenging, unreasonable or stressful. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of work or family life, take control and change your situation for the better. And as the cliché goes “choose your battles” and stop stressing about organizational or personal situations you truly cannot change.
- Avoid drama. You are never going to win an argument with someone who isn’t rational. Instead, turn the demand or rant your boss, client or in-law spouted into a calm and positive opportunity. Don’t get defensive, don’t seek validation, overcome your need to be right or prove a point. Walk away from situations that truly aren’t worth your energy.
- Turn OFF the devices. Being accessible 24-hours a day not only kills work/life balance, it sets unrealistic and unreasonable expectations. Truly shutting down for even a few hours a day will help you distress and recharge your body and your brain.
- Admit you’re human. Take responsibility for your own errors. Admitting you are wrong and working to rectify the situation in a thoughtful manner builds camaraderie and encourages an honest approach to business and personal matters.
- Make changes. Focus on clients, projects and priorities with the highest opportunities for meaningful results and highest impact. Don’t get distracted by bureacratic process or minutia. This applies to friendships and relationships too! Spend time with people who enhance your life, not hinder your growth and happiness!
- Take risks and challenge authority. The most successful relationships are built on mutual respect. Instead of saying “yes,” when given an assignment, carefully consider business implications. Don’t be afraid to offer ideas and solutions that may seem against the norm. Your ability to take initiative, generate new ideas and deliver thoughtful counsel will earn you respect and grow your role beyond that of a tactician and into a true strategist.
- Maintain perspective. Most of us aren’t doing life-saving surgery, fighting a war, or solving the debt crisis. It may feel like that sometimes, but although the work we do may be important and meaningful, maintain perspective lose the self-importance.
- Get over it! Your boss or client criticizes your work or, worse, you. Not everyone is going to love your work all the time. Your openness to suggestions or criticisms and ability to learn from them, and not dwell on the negative will serve you well.
- Consider your legacy. Even if you aren’t far along in your career or a given relationship, take a moment to think about how you wish to be remembered and reflect on how you are living your life. If you honestly consider how you are perceived by colleagues, friends and family you may change your behavior, relationships and perhaps even your professional path.
- Be benevolent. Volunteer, take on a pro-bono client, and consider building your corporate social responsibility offerings or career path. Working to improve society should be an element of everyone’s work and lives, regardless of the profession.
- Take a real vacation and truly disconnect (see tip #3). Your office or business will not likely implode if you don’t check in for a few days or, gulp, a week. Read. Play. Sleep. Hike. Relax. Avoid the news/TV. Focus on the people you love.
Enjoy the moment you are in right now! Happy summer!