Let Your Work Life Flow
How are you feeling about your work life lately? Inspired? Motivated? Productive? Drained? Exhausted? Irritable? Have you given up on work-life balance? I understand that the term work-life balance can incite fiery reactions because many believe “there is no such thing as work-life balance.” But it all depends on how you choose to view work-life balance. I don’t look at this concept as having equal portions of time allotted to all areas of my life. I don’t even view it as having the amount family or recreational time that I truly desire. Work-life balance at this point is now work-life flow. Work-life flow means asking what do I need to do to feel that there is a comfortable rhythm and flow to my life that allows me to productively and peacefully navigate through this current season. There is no one size fits all to work-life flow. Each individual must decide what works for them to feel good about how they are managing life and what is getting accomplished.
The following questions and ideas will help raise your level of awareness, change, and action to support letting your work-life flow.
If you are stuck on not giving up certain activities, ask yourself why. If you constantly say, yes to every request, then find yourself overwhelmed, what’s behind your need to comply? If you often say yes to things you later regret, how are you deciding when to say yes? Is it based on your schedule, your values, or the goals you thoughtfully set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Are your activities remotely aligned with who you authentically are and your intentions in life?
Working hard to be productive, but feeling as though you are falling short – either in not getting it all done, or not getting it done with quality, is another stressor. Learn to control your schedule the best you can for what works for you. Flexibility to accommodate others is good and we all must decide when to make exceptions, but finding that balance and compromise so you can deliver your highest quality work is better. Know what time of day you are better at interacting with others and what time of day you more easily analyze, create, and produce and schedule your day accordingly.
Eliminate what doesn’t serve your professional goals or what is not aligned with the goals of the business. Question colleagues on why they need what they need and determine if there’s a better way of them getting it – or, if it’s necessary at all. Delegate where it makes sense.
Relationships can also create a state of stuckness and stress. Improve work relationships that are not optimal. If you are frustrated with certain colleagues, ask yourself why. Are your work styles different? Are your personalities clashing? Since you can only control you, not other people, what can you do differently? Are you irritated by your colleague’s lack of response to your phone calls? Maybe they prefer email or text messages. Maybe your ability to get what you need requires that you change your preferred mode of communication. Or you may need to ask how that person is doing. Difficult behavior may be a symptom of a challenging season, issues that are not shared with you. Regardless of the circumstance, the key point to remember is to do what you can to understand, make the adjustments that you can, and let the rest go.
Inner and Outer Care
Inner and outer care is how I’m referring to feeding your mind, body, and spirit. This holistic care is the foundation for how you will be able to handle all the above and let your life flow. The reflection on what to do and the adjustments you must make to nurture your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being is ongoing. There's more on this topic in Lisa's Epiphany January.
There’s no one size fits all prescription for anything you are trying to solve or achieve in life. I’m always about helping you figure out what works best for you. Figuring out what work-life flow means to you and how to achieve it requires awareness, change, and action.