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Work-Life Balance | Put Life First to Make Work Possible

Time ManagementThere are plenty of articles out there that explain how to achieve work-life balance. Many of them tell you to download an app to manage your time or work for a company that allows you to work remotely, and while advice like this might be helpful, it’s also missing the point.

Because most of the time technology won’t fix the problem. Technology is the problem.

We’re overwhelmed, discouraged and frazzled because we’re too connected to work, not because you don’t have the latest smart phone.

To continue this point, here are five pieces of advice that can simplify and therefore balance your life.

Prioritize your relationships as much as you do your career. 

There are too many occasions throughout our life that we value our job over our relationships. Yes, we all need to work to make a living, and many of us feel respected because of our career, but life should be about who we love and how well we love them. Not how we earn money.

Studies show that the happier we are from our relationships, the more happy and motivated we’ll be at work. This means, when you’re at home, be truly present. Don’t half listen or complain. Appreciate the people who’re around you. Taking a walk with your spouse can strengthen your relationship in a powerful way. Not only is the exercise good for you and your productivity level, but the habit of taking a daily walk with your mate allows you invest into each other.

Work less hours.

If you’re working over 50 to 60 hours a week, you need to figure out why. Are you taking on too many responsibilities? Are you managing your time properly at work? Learning to say no and blocking distractions with a closed door or a pair of headphones can do wonders for your productivity. The more you get done at work, the less you have to worry about work while you’re at home. It’s important to make every day geared towards having as much fun as you can. That often means that work shouldn’t be prioritized as much as it is.

Check out this chart that shows the level of productivity rise as the number of hours worked decrease. The more you work, the less you tend to get done.

Get your sleep.

This might seem obvious, but too often people are coming into the office with only a few hours of sleep to support their day. Also, the old school way of thinking that allows for one day of rest each week is so important for a balanced life. Even if you’re overwhelmed or “too busy” take the time to sleep soundly every day, do it anyways because doing so will improve your productivity, your mood and your overall health. Plus, the ability to dream every day improves creativity and allows your brain to rejuvenate.

Unplug.

At some point in the day, most likely when you get home, you should stop using your cell phone and your laptop and enjoy other things. Reading a book, cooking, exercising, watching your favorite sports program or TV show, and managing your household are all good ways to spend your evening away from your cell phone. It’s also extremely important to stop messing with your phone at least an hour before bed in order to get a better nights rest.

Keep your health in mind.

This means keeping the amount of drinking, eating, veging, smoking or whatever habit you may face in check. The healthier you are, the more productive and happy you will be. Make every day about adding those helpful habits that improve your life, and every day you will get a little bit better. We all know what needs to be changed in our life, but most of us are so overwhelmed that we can’t put our energy into change. That’s why we need to make time on a daily basis to invest in our own happiness, health and relationships. Because in the end, those are the things that matter.

 

Creating a Daily Vacation

mister-rogersIt’s January, and the holidays are officially over. For many, the next months will be dedicated to work without the hope of a vacation and may be the hardest part of the year to enjoy. To stay motivated, some may focus on when the next getaway is, but it’s more beneficial to develop a daily habit of renewal.

In the article, “Recovery, Work Engagement, and Proactive Behavior: A New Look at the Interface Between Nonwork and Work,” the study found that if you practice recovery rituals on a daily basis, your work engagement and productivity levels will increase. Therefore to maintain positive motivation both at work and home, we must create a mini vacation on a daily basis. Forming this habit is a simple exercise that requires three easy steps.

1.)    Evaluate

Recovery will be different for each person, but the first step is to recognize your current pattern when you leave work. Do you have a coming home ritual that allows you to unplug? Do you mentally leave work, or do you instead stay connected to technology and the stress of your job? Do you exercise or plop on the couch with your dinner and remote in hand? Can you talk to those who matter in your life,  or are you distracted and irritable?

2.)    Envision

After you’ve contemplated what your day looks like now, decide what needs to change. One important step is to “bookend” your day. Some call this the Mr. Rogers method because as we all remember, every time he entered his doorway, he put on his cardigan and slippers. Take this a step further, and instead of putting on your old man apparel, put on tennis shoes and go exercise. Yoga is also a great way to engage in recovery because it melds fitness with centering yourself in the present moment while it purges out your stress through breathing. Think of exercise as a stress filtering tool rather than a chore, and remember that it doesn’t have to be intense, it just has to be consistent.

3.)    Engage

After you’ve relieved your stress, then you can enjoy those around you who make your life what it is. Whether it’s your spouse, your child, your dog or your journal, truly participate. I often am greeted by daughters inviting me to dance when I enter the house. This ritual releases me from work and allows me to appreciate my family, my home and my life.

Also, eat your evening meal with intention. I know that every night can’t be a gourmet experience, but you can do better than fast food from a chain restaurant or your microwave every night. The experience of cooking is good for community building, health and happiness, and try sitting at the table rather than your couch. Doing so will support communication much more deeply, and connecting to your food will help you eat the proper amount and be satisfied.

Practicing the habit of gratitude will also increase your motivation. This is because being thankful for the bright spots in your day make it worthwhile. If you take time to reflect and appreciate, your gratitude will reframe your mindset into a positive outlook. Also, rather than worrying about work or dreading going in the next day, contemplate what you actually enjoy about your job. Choose something that you’re thankful for and say it audibly. Attitude is by far the most important factor in maintaining happiness.

In short, figure out what habits make you feel mentally at ease and positive. If you get home and do things that make you feel grateful for the life you’re living, you’ll more motivated and energized on a daily basis. These mini vacations are necessary to recharge your perspective and prepare you for work the next day.

So again, recognize your current status, decide what small habits you can change in your day to develop a pattern of recovery, and practice those changes. Doing so will change your mindset and give you a better sense of balance in both work and life.

 

 

 

Tips to Get the Best Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect you negatively

Lack of sleep can affect you negatively

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

In order to function properly, your body and mind needs adequate daily rest. You need to make sure that you get enough sleep by establishing decent sleep routines. 

It is not always easy to get enough sleep because our work, social and family lives place such a demand on our time. You must remember that if you do not get enough sleep, your mental and physical health with suffer and that will have repercussions for all areas of your life. Talk to a leadership speaker about how to achieve balance in your life.

Sleep is an important biological function that allows your body and mind to rest and refresh and prepare for the challenges that you may face in the new day. If you get caught in a bad sleep cycle, all aspects of your life will eventually begin to deteriorate.

Some helpful tips:

  • Turn off the bright lights in your home an hour before bed.
  • Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Have a routine set in place that tells your brain it’s time for sleep. Washing your face, stretching, or writing a journal entry may be things to incorporate.
  • Make sure that there are no lights in your room.
  • Turn on some white noise. I sleep with a box fan and it automatically tells my mind that its time to sleep.

You should try to get at least six to eight hours of sleep a night. It is impossible to get a perfect night’s sleep every night but you should try to get decent sleep as often as possible. If you are getting enough sleep you will have plenty of physical energy and your mind will always be sharp; that can only benefit you in your home and work life. A leadership speaker can help you reach the peace of mind that is a necessity for decent sleep.

To learn more on Andy’s programs.  

 

 

Change Your Habits. Change Your Life.

Habit ChecklistAndy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

Forming a good habit often seems like an impossible task. Lack of time, energy, resources or encouragement may often cause you to lack the needed energy to get started.

Here are five tips to create a new habit.

1. Start Small

Too many people fail to create long-lasting change because they try to do everything at once. You can’t run a marathon in a day, and you most likely won’t want to run an hour a day starting off. Start small. Set a reasonable goal of 20 minutes three times a week.

2. Plan

It’s always easy to find reasons not to go through with your intentions when it’s go time. Plan ahead so that you don’t have an excuse. Bring your workout closes with you and go directly after work. Buy healthy food with the intention of packing a lunch the night before. Don’t go out drinking if you’re trying to quit smoking.

3. Support

Making a change all on your own is hard. To ease the challenge, try instead to have a person with whom you can share your progress. Be honest and have them check on your progress. Also, try to surround yourself with positive people. If your support system is negative, there is a good chance you will be too.

4. Stay focused.

It’s easy to get distracted or discouraged when you don’t see signifcant results right away. So keep something near you to remind you of the benefits that fulfilling your goal will be. Make some inspiration art or simply change your phones wall paper as a reminder.

5. Forgive

When you mess up, and you most likely will, don’t despair. It’s normal to be human, and it’s human to keep trying. When you mess up, forgive, forget and forge on. Eventually, you’ll get somewhere.

To learn more on Andy’s programs

 

Want to Strengthen Relationships? Play.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance. One of the best ways to keep your relationships fresh and vivacious is by taking out time to ‘play’. Playing collectively with your friends, family or partner can bring you and those involved immense joy, give you all a great boost of energy and will help you to develop deeper, more intimate relationships.

Apart from that, play has the ability to heal emotional wounds and eradicate differences previously existent between people. It creates a feeling of security and develops our trust in others. Additionally, play teaches us a bit about teamwork as well, as when playing we learn to work together and cooperate with each other as a team.

Moreover, through play we are able to refine other skills such as verbalization, social skills and body language. Plus we learn to follow rules, as at the beginning of every game, teams usually set a set of rules that are agreed upon mutually. It’s not only children that should benefit from all the advantages that playing has to offer; rather adults need to incorporate play into their daily lives as well. Reason behind it is that, irrespective of what age group one belongs to, play has been shown to improve one’s mental, emotional and physical health.

To learn more on Andy’s programs

 
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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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