Guest Post by Dr. Lenore Doster
Guest Post by Dr. Lenore Doster
Recently, I painfully witnessed a strong, talented friend struggling at work and home like never before. That spurred me to revisit the key components of maintaining work/life balance and signs of derailment.
Ways we sabotage ourselves are often because we falter by becoming harried, disengaged from others, and/or stagnate.
To be effective at work and at home, grit pays off! Never quit. Continually work towards establishing and/or maintaining, a healthy mindset and healthy habits. Here are some essentials for having a good work/life game plan:
1. Perspective – be determined to maintain hopefulness and calmness
2. Connect – make connections to wise individuals who are willing to listen and guide
3. Prioritize – focus on the next one or two priorities
4. Grow – find the next growth opportunity (the simpler, the better)
Certainly, more and more seems to be expected of us to be effective at work, especially if we are to keep up with technology and social media. At the same time with keeping up in our industry, we are hoping to maintain positive connections with our loved ones. So, we must have a game plan that works for each of us. First, be determined to keep your wits about you, which seems harder and harder to do with compounding work and life demands. Be clear, grateful and eager about the next one or two things you will be doing at work and at home. Notice if you are despairing, overwhelmed, feeling helpless, feeling hopeless, and/or scatterbrained. Which brings us to number two: reach out, especially if you are overwrought or overburdened.
So, second, don’t isolate in your mind or in your life. Work towards having a good network, which is at least two individuals from your work industry and two individuals from your personal life you can call upon. Pick individuals who will get back to you quickly! Select individuals that value listening to what it is that you need to “check-in”, and whom will provide wise support and guidance. And, regarding your personal life, pick someone who is in a similar role as you. For example, if you are having a Dad concern with your daughter pick another Dad with a daughter, if you are a husband needing advice pick another “husband”, if you are a stepmom pick another stepmother, if you are a single mom pick another single mother, and so forth.
Third, know that today’s troubles are certainly enough for the day. So, zero in on the next one or two priorities that can be achieved over the next “chunk” of time in your day. These days, chunks of time can vary, but the next chunk of time is usually an hour give or take. Another option for “chunking” is to divide the day as morning, afternoon, early evening and late evening. This leads one to narrow and confidently carry out the priority for this morning, for the afternoon, and so forth. “Chunking” is one of my personal favorite stress relievers. Also, be mindful that if, for several days in a row, every one of your daily “chunks” is about work and there has been no time for self-care and engagement with others, that is not balanced and you are likely on a “slippery slope”.
Lastly, grow by being on the lookout for the next simple step you can take to renew yourself in your work life and home life. Many of us often know the next one or two things that could help us in our industry. But, sometimes we skip over the next simple thing that could make a difference, and we ruminate over that next big move that we believe might make a huge difference. My suggestion is to keep track of those next meaningful steps to make, and when you do make them, affirm yourself by acknowledging that you are going in the right direction! On the personal front, many of us do not consider a simple next step that could be taken with our partner, child, friend, etc. And, by simple, I mean uncomplicated (a text, a breakfast, a card, a verbal compliment, spending time with no distraction, etc.). Additionally, some of us don’t look for that next simple, uncomplicated creative outlet or hobby for us to maintain our sanity (i.e. creating our next blog, listening to a section of an audiobook while going on a walk, learning a new item to cook for the family, spending quality time with our pet, etc.). In summary, make your next growth steps simple and doable.
It certainly doesn’t take much to sabotage ourselves. So, my suggestion is to monitor yourself. When you sense yourself slipping and losing ground in your effectiveness at work and at home, get back on your game plan!
*Lenore is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Telemental Health Specialist. Lenore is dedicated to helping individuals in the Workplace improve their well-being and
productivity. She is in private practice (www.mentalrenewal.net) and has also served as an Associate Staff Psychologist with Doctor on Demand Professionals since December of 2014 providing virtual psychotherapy. Doctor on Demand is a Telehealth organization founded by Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw.
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