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A Year of Possibilities

Happy New Year!

Preparing for a new year can often feel daunting, and will be overlooked by many if it seems to hard, only to find regret around Easter that this time wasn’t taken.

So, to help you prepare, I have put together a list of ten points to consider when entering into anything new, especially a new year of possibilities, to support you getting the most out of this year.

The following list will give you the beginnings of creating a strong foundation to leap off. This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings, “prior preparation prevents piss poor performance!” Take time to mull over each one.

  1. What is your carrot? What is the thing, your why, that will keep you moving forward and keep your focus?
  2. Get real about the pitfalls, and the worst-case scenario that can occur. It is likely you will be struggle free this year, yet there is also a chance that stuff will happen, you will be blindsided, and bowled over. When stuff happens, what is the plan? What is the best way to address it? What is going to work to keep everyone on the same team, solution and goal focused?
  3. Create a dialogue around what you say to other friends, family members, your children, and those you talk to about your goals, career and lifestyle. Be supportive and positive in your language and prepare the standard responses. This will help when people begin to share their well–intended, yet negative opinion of your choices.
  4. How are you going to manage your finances this year? Create a realistic and flexible budget, then stick to it.
  5. Identify the possible stressors within your family, the routines that are required, also how the responsibilities will be shared to meet the demands of how you would like this year to look.
  6. Listen to how the other people in your circle of influence are feeling, the hopes, positive feelings, concerns, worries, and motivations. Open the conversation to what ifs, those things that may never happen—what if someone becomes ill, what if you are losing sight of the carrot, what if stress gets the better of you, what if one of you is just over it? There are lots of what ifs, discussing them lightly with no expectation of them ever happening, is a good thing because this can alert you to possible stress triggers later on and you will be more open and prepared to deal with the issues together.
  7. Start now to find all the resources you can that have information on what you would like to achieve. Start by Googling, and the more you read, learn, feel supported, and develop an understanding of the jargon, the easier you will find it is to keep on track.
  8. Set up a plan of communication and connection to others. What will work for you, your friends and your family? It doesn’t have to be every day, but by having a sense of belonging and a supportive network around you will triple your chances of success. Don’t get too busy to check in with your mates and family.
  9. What is going to be your time management system, or flexible plan, or list process that keeps you on track with all you want to do, need to do, and includes rest and relaxation?  Have a rough idea prepared so you will enjoy more fun and relaxation, keep working towards your ‘why’, and reduce overwhelm and stress.
  10. How will you improve, grow and develop this year? Just working and watching TV isn’t going to hit the right note. Could you be studying, reading, personally or professionally developing, starting a side home business, learning a new type of dance, getting fit, getting involved in a sport or volunteer position, or making new friends? You may be limited by hours in the day or home responsibilities, however embarking on something new that fits in with your life will energise you and support new possibilities.

I hope these tips spark a brighter vision for you this year. I wish you a wonderful 2018, and if you would like any support – either questions, or would like a quick phone chat please email me.
Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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FIFO Families – Get Organised In The Overwhelm

I recently did a short talk at a FIFO family event in Perth, (hence why there are so many children running across the stage!)

In the video below I will share with you the systems and processes that have worked for my clients and our family over the years.

Keeping to a set routine when Separated by Work is challenging. Every family has different needs and every working away roster has unique demands. Yet having a plan and being organised will decrease the overwhelm, and you will be better able to cope with the day to day tasks and responsibilities.

Posted in: Mindfulness, Parenting, Resilience, Separated by Work

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The Connected Business Woman

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I am not an online marketing professional, nor am I a social media expert. Yet I have realised how important it is to be connected on many different platforms. In this blog I share my thoughts on keeping your sanity and credibility whilst building and maintaining your online presence.

There are numerous social media sites – all with different audiences and purposes. There are quite a few conferencing and webinar tools at your fingertips to choose from. Someone suggests that short videos are the next best was to connect. Then you must blog and make sure your website is representing your brand in a way that excites and invites people to do business with you. Not to mention at some point you also have to do the work that actually makes you money.

You could spend most of your working hours updating profiles, writing posts, hash tagging, commenting, liking and uploading. You could employ or contract someone to do it. But you need to ask yourself what will bring you the most money, build your online and business profile/credibility, and what tools are most effective for your business. Then add the question, “How do I balance it all so that I am not sitting on the couch at night with my family still doing ‘work’ tasks?”

I got stuck in this cycle of trying to cover all platforms – posting and blogging everywhere and all hours of the day. I spent hours attempting to make and upload that natural off the cuff three-minute video of me just saying hi to the watchers and sharing a thought that would change someone’s life! A blog would take at least two hours by the time I wrote it, edited it, uploaded it, found the right picture and then shared link. I would wake up in the morning, go for my run then spend 20 minutes checking social media before breakfast! By the end of each working day at least half of it was spent online jumping from one site to another. And if I went to a seminar that was teaching me something about an online platform you were lucky if you saw me for the next couple of days as I applied everything I had learnt with the promise of super exposure and business opportunities.

What changed? I took some time off and saw that my business and profile didn’t disappear just because I wasn’t all over it every day. I saw that there is true value in being connected, yet the value comes from a balanced, healthy and strategic approach. I thought about who was my online audience – and what they wanted to see so they could connect with my products, my professional services and me. I also looked, very closely, at which platforms were more likely to convert into sales, create brand awareness, and which were just ‘social’.

So I came up with my plan. I investigated what are the most engaging posts for different social media platforms and action that. The platforms that serve my business and book best are newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. I give no more than one hour per day up keeping my online presence. I make face to face contact and phone calls my priority. I have learnt to use Zoom to conference and webinar. I reuse and recycle a lot of my writing so that I can cover many options and platforms with little effort. I write for businesses that have huge followings online so that I increase my profile organically through that. I chat (face to face or on the phone) a lot to my friends who are online savvy or doing something that I find impressive, and discover what I could be doing differently, and how to do it without paying someone.

To be successful in the business world you have to be connecting with your audience on a regular basis. This has always been the case; it is just now we have many more ways online to increase our exposure for little or no cost. The trick is to manage your virtual world so that it is still making you money, building your profile and giving you real leads. You also have to manage your time and the energy your give to it so that it does not create a black hole of lost productivity.

In business know you and a bit of like you can come by online connecting – but trust you may need a bit more work and contact to make that sale.

I like to check in and ask myself often, “Is my online messages and profiles congruent to how I introduce myself to a room of people, have a trade table at an event, meet a prospective client for lunch or attend a business meeting?” I will always look for better ways of doing things – I think as the world gets more connected through a screen being better than your competition means keeping your message clear, your integrity in tact and balance it all out with time away from the devices and connecting face to face.

How can you make your online presence and activities more clear, meaningful and profitable, and less time wasting?

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Resilience

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The Physical Stuff – Creating the Foundations for Reducing Stress and Increasing Calm

The Physical Stuff - Creating the Foundations for Reducing Stress and Increasing Calm

Creating a strong foundation to resist stress will put you in a better position to have a great relationship with yourself and others, to be calmer and more relaxed and increase your ability to deal with the any experience life throws at you.

Good habits for eating, exercising and keeping a comfortable and clutter free environment (home/office) are crucial in supporting and sustaining great results. I research a lot in this area and talk to many people to get their views. I have learned it is never a one size fits all approach. I encourage you to do your own research to create a plan that works best for you and your family.

My top tips are:

Engage in physical exercise daily. As you work up a sweat endorphins are released, which create feelings of happiness. Working out can help manage physical and mental stress increasing concentrations of chemicals (hormones and neurotransmitters) that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed.

Maintain a healthy diet. You will have fewer mental and physical health-related problems and more energy if you eat well. Lacking proper nutrition can put strain on the body, which becomes mental stress and can contribute to illness.

Two things you can do now to eat to encourage excellent results are:

  • Get off junk food—it has no nutritional value. It may satisfy an energy slump or cover up a lonely moment, but it also decays teeth, lowers self image, and heart health declines. The sugar in junk food is doing a heap of bad things to the brain—impairing memory and learning skills, and contributing to anxiety and depression. Moderation is key.
  • Drink more water. This is the most effective habit anyone can choose to improve his or her inner health, energy, life balance, and skin health.

A nutritionist once explained it like this—“When dehydrated, your cells become more like sultanas than plump healthy grapes and consequently that’s how you think and feel. Blood flow to your brain is reduced, which limits the amount of oxygen reaching your brain cells and slows it down. Therefore, you feel tired and lack energy. When our cells are like shrivelled- up sultanas the process of nutrients flowing in and out of the cells is hugely decreased and this has ramifications throughout our entire body—our health, our moods, our thoughts, our appearance, our vitality are all below par.”

The vision of the shrivelled sultana was a definite motivator for me. A must-have is a refillable environmentally friendly water bottle. Drinking enough water each day is easier when it’s readily on hand.

De-clutter to minimize overwhelm. Studies into this topic report that clutter increases cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Disorganised people with cluttered lives often feel frustrated, anxious and out of control. They find it difficult to unwind and relax. In my experience de-cluttering has the ability to create energy, mental and physical space, and release negative emotions.

To begin to de-clutter and make life easier for you, consider that clutter can fall into two categories –

  1. Anything that you do not love, need or use.
  2. A disorganisation of things that you love, need, and use.

Pause for a moment to gaze around the area you’re sitting in. Note things that catch your eye that may bring to mind phrases like—

  • I need to pick that up and go through that pile.
  • I’ve never liked that ……
  • X could use that item; it is just taking up space for me.
  • That reminds me of x (person or situation), and
  • That’s a mess!

Statements like these alert you to clutter-spots.

Ask yourself three questions to keep you focused and making good decisions as you de-clutter –

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Is it useful?
  3. Is it in full working order?

If the answer is no to any of the above questions, consider getting rid of the object, either by giving it away or throwing it away. If you cannot bring yourself to do this, then pack it away neatly in the back of a cupboard. If you do not give it a second thought for six months then it is time for it to go.

And lastly – Get enough restorative sleep to enhance performance, as poor sleep patterns and stress go hand-in-hand.

Without taking time out to rest, recover and have adequate sleep judgment, mood, and the ability to learn and retain information are weakened. Your health, mentally and physically is impacted. People who have poor sleeping habits are less productive, anxious, less safe when driving and suffer more mood swings – compared to those that have good sleeping habits live longer and have stronger immune systems; and possibly those that live with them live longer and are less stressed too!

What can you change to create a strong foundation to resist stress, feel better, have more energy and enjoy a good nights sleep?

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Parenting, Resilience

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Fathers Day when you are Separated By Work

Fathers Day

All families that are separated by work have to be organised and prepare for special occasions in advance. Fathers Day 2016, in Australia, is Sunday 4th of September. It can be a minefield of loneliness, isolation and frustration – a time when the distance from family feels massive for those dads who are separated by work on the day that is chosen to recognise Dads.

We are a FIFO family and this year my husband will be home for Fathers Day – the first time in five years. We will treasure this time together, especially as he has missed all family birthdays this year and flew out at 6am on Easter morning.

Our family, I am proud to say, is mostly happy, functional and very connected. We are well practiced in being able to make events special, even when one of us is not be physically present. Here are our top five tips for Fathers Day when you are apart.

  1. Eliminate the pressure – there is no perfect way to celebrate Fathers Day. Did you know it isn’t even the same day around the world? So, instead of feeling down and miserable all day why not make the most of it in other ways. If a family member is feeling the pressure, listen to their concerns and help them see it in another way.
  2. Make a time to connect in ways you can – phone, Skype, text, send a video and send pictures. Be funny, be serious, and be thoughtful.
  3. Loud and Proud Gratitude – Whether you are the kids, dads or mums, each of you can take turns to share what you are grateful for. What makes Dad special, what makes your kids special to you, what is it that Mum does that makes Dad’s life easier?
  4. Praise and presents – Plan ahead and have notes hidden in luggage and around the house. Have packages of special things ready to be posted so they arrive for the day. Get everyone involved.
  5. Move Father’s Day – Which is the Sunday closest that you are all together? Why not make that a day filled with celebrating Dad?

Most parents I speak to aren’t so much affected by how they feel missing out on special occasions or days – they are more concerned, and plagued with elements of guilt, as they worry about how their children may feel. The school had a fathers day stall, other parents are planning a big day out and the media hype around Fathers Day is relentless. Here is a secret many parents eventually discover – kids can survive anything, and heal, if they have parents who listen and support them processing their emotions.

Children look to their parents to understand the world around them. Instead of making the separation on a specific date a negative one, make it mean something different – the surprise package preparation, making funny videos, planning your own personal Fathers Day when you are all together again. You will be teaching your child how to be resourceful in their thinking and actions when there are life obstacles in the way.

How can your family be different and create special celebrations and moments this year for your Fathers Day – or could it be Fathers Month?

Keep smiling and thriving, Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Parenting, Separated by Work

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Good business relationships means growth

good business relationships means growth & success

Most business owners have learnt that even with the best products and business practices, it is the professional relationships you develop that will grow your business and lead to your success.  In this post I will share some tips on how to identify and build strong relationships that in turn will increase your success.

It is vital to form supportive relationships as your businesses grows. The way you interact and relate to others will have a direct positive or negative effect when it comes to your results and building the know, like, trust factor. As your business grows and responsibilities increase, your relationships and contact with customers, suppliers, competitors, industry leaders, financiers and professional mentors|advisers must also grow.

So how can you gain positive and supportive relationships within your business and encourage others to know you, like you and trust you? Here are my top four tips that has helped my business to continue to grow and expand, change and reinvent, each year since it began nearly two decades ago.

  1. Encourage Honest Feedback
    A good relationship needs clear and open communication channels of how everyone is performing. Encourage constructive criticism and be brave enough to hear what your clients, collegues and team members suggest are ways your business can perform better.
  2. Listen More Than You Talk
    Always clearly convey the strengths, features and benefits of your business so that you can impress potential clients and collaborators, and ultimately get more business – yet don’t forget to be a good listener. What will set you apart from your competitors is that you take the time to listen to your clients, team and colleagues more than you talk; and take time to really understand where they are coming from. Most people naturally want to be heard and tell their story. Being known as a good listener is the kind of behavior that leads to referrals and long-term business success.
  3. Make A Routine
    Create a system to ensure that not too much time passes before you connect with your contacts, such as a formal database or spread sheet. With the explosion of social media tools it’s never been easier to keep in touch, so include this in your follow up strategy. Most of your contacts are people you don’t know well but who may become clients or collaborators in the future. It is worthwhile regularly connecting with them so that you keep top of their mind and you never know who they will bump into that needs your services even if they don’t.       If you’ve spoken briefly to someone at a conference or a networking event have a follow up routine in place.
  4. Be Trustworthy And Build Trusting Relationships
    So a person or group now know you, they like you and the last, and possibly most important thing to do, is to build trust. Relationships built on trust are the most personal, valuable and often the longest-lasting ones. Trust is built on a foundation of honesty, genuineness and a feeling of rapport and synergy. You may have frequently worked together or you have had many interactions with one another that has gone well. The most profitable business deals are the ones that are made through trusted, and often long term, relationships.

How can you build great business relationships? How can you be more consistent in showing up, being seen, and getting to know others on a deeper level? Networking, meeting for coffee, chatting on the phone and email contact all take time that is unbillable hours – yet after a while the return on your time investment will be well worth it.

Kirsty 🙂

 

Posted in: Business

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3 D’s – Do, Delegate, Dump

Do

I can get very busy distracting myself from the daily grind of life pressures. With no one here to see what I am doing, as my office is at home and my husband works away, I can get caught up in meaningless tasks that do not contribute to any level of achievement or feelings of satisfaction. I often remind myself that how I am using my time compared to how I could be using my time is completely different.

Social media is a classic example of time slipping away unchecked—where magically 10 minutes turns into 2 hours and during this time the tasks on the to do list did not magically get done.

To overcome the distractions I follow the 3 D’s. They are –

Do—The tasks you must do or want to do yourself.

Once you have identified these –

  • Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
  • Group similar tasks together, for example all phone calls, appointments, housework, play time, you time etc.
  • Make the best of your prime time—the time when you have the most energy during the day and the least interruptions.

Delegate—Get someone else to do some tasks.

I am living the FIFO (fly in fly out) life, if my husband was home I would ask him to do certain tasks, or they would be his job. He is not here some of the time so I will ask my daughter, her boyfriend and close friends to help. Tasks that can wait till my husband gets home go on his list that I have on the fridge awaiting his return.

To delegate chosen tasks is helping others as well as yourself. I encourage my family to think as part of a team, and when one team member can’t, the others step up. In the beginning I found it hard to let go of tasks, for many reasons including being judged as not coping and the fear of not being noticed as a super, important and busy person. I had to look at it another way—I had extra time for other things I wanted to do and I had shared an opportunity for someone to learn something new that they could be appreciated for it.

Dump—If it is of no value, get rid of it.

Be aware throughout the day of the time eaters. Decide if what you are doing is taking you closer to your goals. The time eaters are the activities that take you off track or are not contributing to feeling happy, healthy, and productive. Good examples are—

  • Social media pages and games,
  • Those wonderful warm, funny and fuzzy emails that are sent to you,
  • Too much TV,
  • Annoying and draining people, or worry. ?If it is not on the to-do list—worry is rarely on a to-do list— dump it. If family time or exercise time is lost due to being in front of a screen—turn it off.

Your turn – What can you be doing, delegating and dumping to be more productive?

Write down three things you can start to do differently from today and watch your stress reduce and results increase.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Resilience

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Get Organised – Plans to be on Purpose

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Everyone needs times dedicated to pausing and updating their life and family plan. There is truth in the saying, “For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.” Instead of being on fast-forward, rewind, or even continuous play—stop, plan, and get organised.

At this point, I have seen many run to the hills of disorganisation, the land of the known and familiar. Instead of planning and implementing, they procrastinate. I challenge you to eat the elephant beetle—which means conquering the hardest and least desirable task first—so you can forever overcome disharmony and overwhelm.

There are countless time management and organisational resources out there—books, blogs, experts, and online forms. Some will work and some won’t. To get you started here are some of my suggested organisation and routine activities. My biggest piece of advice though—as time never changes, yet what can change are the choices made in the time available, always practise choice management, rather than time management.

Have a weekly plan, which creates a flexible routine.

A routine provides the freedom to focus on what is being done in the moment, knowing that all the activities to be accomplished will be done efficiently and effectively—the right things, in the right order. Many stumble whilst doing the right things in the wrong order. Meaningful routines create a happier, calmer, and less stressful environment.

Without a plan or routine days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months it all becomes a blur – the purpose of it all can be drowned out by the constant demands. Many times, I have viewed my days as a stream of things to do and busy-ness.

Activity

Take a moment now and reflect on your past week. Each week should contain all or some of the following activities and tasks. Did yours?

  • You time—reading, relaxing, entertainment, rest, hobby, fun, gardening, meditating, journaling, and time to generate new ideas.
  • Body time—Exercise, Yoga, massage, sport.
  • Connecting with others—Family, friends, sport, volunteer or community involvement.
  • Parenting duties—School drop offs and pick-ups, sporting events, tutoring, general running around, homework, fun time together, connecting and being present with your child/ren.
  • Home duties—cleaning, maintaining, general upkeep of house, groceries, finances, ironing, cooking.
  • Study—Assignments, credentialing, recognition from a regulatory body, seminars, researching, continual learning.
  • Work—Employed position.
  • Work—Own business. Delivering the product/ service that is core to your role, admin, course/product development, finances, networking, and professional collaboration.

I would like to point out that you time is at the top of this list. You time is commonly the first thing to go or be down graded to an activity of least importance. If this is happening for you or a member of your family, take time to re-prioritise. Without looking after you first, any routine is difficult to maintain and run-down people get sick.

An example of my weekly planner (which is pictured below) is printed on a sheet of paper I have on my pin-board. I like choosing a different colour for each area, as indicated in the picture, as this has more impact visually for me. In each coloured section I also have written what particular activity it is that I plan to do in that time.

Time Choice Management Schedule

This is a valuable tool for me and has been used by many of my clients. You may like to make your own, change colours, times, or activities. What matters is that this gives you a chance to view your whole week, what you do and how you can do it better.

Have a list.

I love a good list. I have an overall to-do list, a daily to-do list, a grocery list, a work list, a home list, list for gifts, and the list goes on! From watching me make lists over the years my children now have the list-making bug. My youngest son has lists of movies he wants to see, a list for Santa (usually started in April), and a list of jobs to do. My daughter makes lists for presents (she is a gift- giver by nature), a shopping list, which she calls a budget, and a dream list.

A question that I ask myself at numerous times during the day is, “What is the best use of my time right now?” This question is an opportunity to look at my list and see what I could be doing in the time I have right now and the energy I have available to me. Without my lists, I can very easily be distracted and taken off task.

Lists and weekly planning are the most effective way to improve overall performance, both personally and professionally. Wasted time is irreplaceable.

Stick with it to create a habit.

Daily disciplines create the changes in our lives. It takes about 28 days to create new habits. At about week two resistance, distraction, and lack of focus raise their unhelpful heads. This is the testing time. This is the time to push that bit harder, knowing why it is important to be organised and on purpose. Seek and gain support and take one day at a time. You can do it!

K x

 

Posted in: Resilience

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3 D’s – Do, Delegate, Dump

I can get very busy distracting myself from the daily grind of daily life pressures and separation from my husband who is FIFO (fly in fly out worker). With no one here to see what I am doing I can get caught up in meaningless tasks that do not contribute to any level of achievement or feelings of satisfaction. I often remind myself that how I am using my time compared to how I could be using my time is completely different.

Facebook is a classic example of time slipping away unchecked – where magically 10 mins turns into 2 hours and during this time the tasks on the to do list did not magically get done. To overcome the distractions I follow the 3 D’s. They are –

Do – The tasks you must do or want to do yourself.
Once you have identified these then –
• Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
• Group ‘like’ tasks together, for example all phone calls, appointments, housework, play time, you time etc.
• Make the best of your prime time – the time when you have the most energy during the day and the least interruptions.

Delegate – Get someone else to do some tasks. I am living a FIFO life, if my husband was home I would ask him to do certain tasks, or they would be his job. He is not here some of the time so I will ask my daughter, her boyfriend and close friends to help. Tasks that can wait till my husband gets home go on his list.

Delegating is helping others as well as yourself. I encourage my family to think as part of a team, and when one team member can’t the others step up. In the beginning I found it hard to ‘let go’ of tasks, for many reasons including the fear of not being noticed as a ‘super, important and busy person’ and the fear of being judged as not coping. I had to look at it another way – I had extra time for other things I wanted to do and I had shared an opportunity for someone to learn something new and they could be appreciated for it.

Dump – If it is of no value get rid of it. Be aware throughout the day of the time ‘eaters’. Decide if what you are doing is taking you closer to your goals. The time ‘eaters’ are the activities that take you off track or are not contributing to feeling happy, healthy and productive. Good examples are –
• social media pages and games,
• those wonderful warm, funny and fuzzy emails that are sent to you,
• too much TV,
• annoying and draining people or worry.

If it is not on the to do list – worry is rarely on a too do list – dump it. If family time or exercise time is lost due to being in front of a screen – turn it off.

Till next time – Kirsty

Posted in: Resilience

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Balance: The Energy & Enthusiasm to Keep Stepping Up

Long work hours and highly stressful jobs not only hamper employees’ ability to harmonise work and family life but also are associated with health risks. Work life conflict has been associated with numerous physical and mental health implications and having negative implications on family life.

According to a 2007 study by Duxbury and Higgins, women are more likely than men to report high levels of role overload and caregiver strain. This is because women devote more hours per week than men on average, to non-work activities such as childcare, elderly care and are more likely to have primary responsibility for unpaid labour such as house work. Although women report higher levels of work-family conflict than do men, the numbers of work-life conflict reported by men is increasing.

Work/Life Balance is meeting everyone’s needs and wants, including your own, in a realistic way, while staying in alignment with what is most important to you. It is an intentional state of harmony, satisfaction and wholeness that exists within these life areas (categories) in a person’s life: Family, Partner, Work, Financial, Social, Health/self-care, Personal & Professional Development, Me Time, Volunteer/helping others, and Spiritual.

When I say that work-life balance is “an intentional state of harmony,” I mean that it does not happen naturally, or by default. If it did, we wouldn’t have millions of stressed-out people in this world. Pursuing work-life balance is important so that you can enjoy the peace and harmony that comes from living a balanced life, from focusing your time and energies on the things that are most important to you and not just the things that yell the loudest for your attention. When we re-orient our lives toward achieving balance and satisfaction, we enjoy more peace and less stress.

Are you satisfied with where you’re at in life right now? Do you feel like you’re giving the attention you want to give to the life areas that are most important to you?

The most valuable question you can ask –

Whilst reflecting, without judgement, ask yourself “did I do my best today and what can I do better tomorrow?” This is the true path of excellence.

I find that I achieve the most balance (and harmony) in my life when I do and reflect on these things:

  1. Make a conscious decision to prioritise your personal values and commitments (goals) within each life area (Family, Partner, Work, Financial, Social, Health/self-care, Personal & Professional Development, Me Time, Volunteer/helping others, and Spiritual).
  2. Define what is Important to You. You need to become an expert in your life by clarifying your actions and activities. This is not as difficult or complicated as it seems.
  3. Creating “Me Time”. Once you have started to create more space by letting go of activities or people that no longer serve you, it is time to start creating “me time”. Start with as little as 10 minutes or start with an hour. You can increase or decrease with what is comfortable for you.
  4. Set Your Boundaries. Once you have defined what is important to you and you are comfortable with what you have, it is time to move forward by setting some boundaries. Boundaries are imaginary lines that allow you to have control over your life and stop other’s actions and behaviours from interfering in your life.
  5. Have a list. I am a compulsive list maker. I have an overall to do list, a daily to do list, a grocery list, a who to ring list, a who to email list, a to do for work list, a to do for home and family list, list for gifts, to do lists for other members of the family, and the list goes on! Making lists provides you with the opportunity to ask one of my favourite questions at numerous times during the day; “What is the best use of my time right now?” When I have asked myself this question, it is an opportunity to look at my list and see what I could be doing in the time I have right now and the energy I have available to me. Once you have put a list together, prioritise tasks.
  6. Have a weekly plan which creates a flexible routine. When was the last time you sat down and wrote down everything you do in a week on a regular basis? Including school drop offs, work commitments, home chores, groceries, you time and the many other demands on your time.
  7. Identify sources of stress. Identifying the things that leave you feeling stressed out unnecessarily is the first step toward eliminating them.
  8. Eliminate unnecessary commitments. We all wear many different hats and have commitments in a variety of areas. But when you spread yourself too thin because you have taken on too many commitments, feeling stressed is the inevitable result.
  9. Create a great foundation for balance by beginning with eating for excellence. Food has a direct influence on your ability to cope with challenges. Good nutrition has both a calming and an energizing effect. Mental clarity and cognitive function are also nutrition related.

A.I.M. For Balance©

A = attitude; do you have an attitude of gratitude, are you hopeful, do you adopt a never give up and determined focus?

I= inspired energy; who are you around regularly, do they sustain or drain your energy, do you drink enough water, do you eat high energy foods and do you get enough rest and relaxation?

M= meaningful order; what are your key life result areas, what are you passionate about, what desires do you have, what routines, lists, time management techniques and plans will then work for you and your unique family?

Balance is the opposite of feeling overwhelmed and negatively stressed. It is feeling purposeful, being in the now, doing your best and following what you truly desire, maintaining a connection to what is important to you and knowing you can overcome obstacles placed in your way.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Parenting, Resilience

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