Balancing Acts

Whew.  This year has been one of tremendous growth in a whole slew of categories but perhaps the overwhelming theme of my life this year has been seeking balance.  I’ve shared before that I have failed at the work/life balance to such an extreme that I was once sick nearly daily for a year before the doctors figured out I was internalizing all my stress!  If you know me in real life which I imagine is about half of my readers – this would probably surprise you.  I’m loud, friendly, sarcastic, and overall upbeat.  Even when I’m stressed I behave almost exactly the same.  However, when I get out of balance I apparently hide it well externally and tear myself up internally.

Consulting has been a huge win for me in the area of balance.  Though the last two years have lent themselves to some drastic balance improvements there were certainly more left to identify and achieve.  Through the past 8 weeks or so of meeting I have really honed in on my vision for my life.  The program requires that you write a vision, mission, and action statement for your life as well as the legacy you hope to leave when you’re gone.  Talk about some thought (and action) provoking words!

I thought it would be helpful to share a few balancing acts I’m working on…

The first and foremost changes I’m trying to make are related to my phone.  I’m sick and tired to death of bad phone manners and as I realize that I’m painfully aware that I frequently have them.  So here are my new rules (this is a process BUT I give you full permission to call me out):

– No phones on the table.  I have this annoying habit of having my cell phone out on the table when I’m with friends.  This is an awful habit, isn’t it?  Because while I don’t typically take a call – I look down every time my screen lights up and frequently return a few texts.  Ugh.  So no more.  Now, unless it’s a work day (when I don’t feel as much freedom to ignore it) – the phone stays in the purse. I want to give my full attention to the person I’m spending time with.  I’ll deal with everyone else after.

– Absolutely no phone calls while in the car with someone else.  This is my pet peeve.  If I am in the car with a friend and they spend that time talking to someone else on the phone while I awkwardly sit (or drive) beside them hearing half the conversation while thinking about turning my music on to drown them out.  Since I hate when this is done to me, I’m eliminating the option of doing it myself.  No phone calls in the car unless I’m alone.  Rule.

–  No volume at night.  Has anyone else experienced the crappy night sleep of having your phone in bed with you?  I mean, really, why have I done this ever?  But twice last week I woke up with my face on my phone where I fell asleep texting.  Absolutely nothing I was talking about required that I try to stay up to finish a text conversation.  So, the new rule is silence at night and phone in it’s place.  Which brings me to my next point…

– I don’t need my phone in my room.  I think I’m going to try something I read this week which is where you put your phone outside of your bedroom (even if it’s literally right outside the door and you still use it as an alarm) it reduces the temptation to use it after you should be starting to rest/fall asleep AND helps you be mindful and not immediately start checking e-mails and texts when you wake up.  Most articles you will read about balance and time management say do not start your day by checking your e-mail, messages, Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.  This is a time killer and is famous for making people late to work.  Resist.

This bring me to a new category in my journey to find balance. I am a yes person.  It is my nature to accept all invitations and challenges.  Truth me told, I can handle a lot.  I can bite off more than I can chew and somehow still get the job done right.  Usually.  The problem is: this takes a toll.  While it might not mean that I do a half-hearted job or forget something important – it’s exhausting in the longterm and really unnecessarily draining.  I don’t want to run on empty.  So, I’m trying to learn to filter opportunities and asks through my goals.  Not everything that needs doing needs done by me.  So, I’m relinquishing my desire to please everyone as well as the pride that makes me think if I don’t do it, it won’t get done and learning to say no from time to time.

Ok that’s enough new adventures to be held accountable to for this week.  Let’s see how I do…

 

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