I was talking to a coworker the other day about work. He responded that he felt swamped and work was descending upon him like an avalanche. Besides the over the top hyperboles, there are many that I have talked to that feel overwhelmed by their work and that’s not good.
Stress can have negative effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Stress in one aspect of your life will often lead to more stress in other parts of your life. One real life example is Tiger Woods. It was very sad watching all parts of his life crumble in full view of the public. A balanced life is important. As one part of your life begins to crumble, there is no way to keep it from damaging other parts of your life.
I would like to share 5 things that I do to sustain balance in my life, that will keep you ahead of the avalanche.
1. Set goals. Make long term goals that you wish to accomplish in your life. Break up your life into important segments and write 3 goals per segment for the year. These yearly goals should be steps toward your long-term goals. My segments are Work, Fitness, Family, and Spiritual. Write these goals out on a note card and carry the card in your wallet. Each week use your yearly goals to make weekly goals. Create plans to meet these weekly goals. Next week review how well you implemented your plans and set new weekly goals.
2. Think big picture. People often get overwhelmed by all sorts of tasks, but we need to remember the big picture. Write out what outputs are expected with your job. Instead of focusing on a report as an output, think of purpose of the report. For example, your output would be keeping your manager informed instead of updating a weekly report. Now when you look at the task of updating the weekly report you see it as the process for keeping the manager informed. Cut out process waste that doesn’t add to the desired output. Maybe there are better process that could reduce your work and improve your output.
3. Say no. Once you understand the big picture, it becomes easier to organize priorities. There are a lot of wants and needs at every work place. Saying no to wants, frees you to accomplish what needs to be done. Your boss will notice you moving the company forward.
4. Team work. If your employer has done a good job hiring, your team should complement each other. That means some of your coworker have skills you don’t have. Work together. Teams that put all their strengths together have much greater success than all members working individually.
5. Be positive. This is a state of mind. We can learn to love our job, those we work with, and all other aspects of our life. I have met people on both spectrum of life. There are some that will never be happy or satisfied with where they are in life. There are others that learn to enjoy the journey. This is a choice and it makes all the difference.