Strategies for Effectively Maintaining Balance

By Barb Ward

September in Colorado has always been a favorite time of mine. The sky is bright blue, there’s a crispness in the air, mums are in full bloom, pumpkin spice is again a thing (whether you love or hate it!) and the leaves are just thinking about turning. It’s easy to take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Ahh, this is the life!” and mean it.

Enjoy this moment because, in the blink of an eye, we head into the busiest time of year. You know the feeling: 

  • You’re trying to wrap up end-of-year accounts while looking at your calendar packed with strategy meetings for the new year. 
  • You’re booking airline tickets to visit family or making plans for your kids to come home from college. 
  • You’re frantically trying to fit in plans to see Santa or keep the yearly Nutcracker tradition. 
  • You’re trying to determine the best presents that will bring maximum joy while also remaining within your budget. 
  • And you’re trying to fit in all the personal and professional holiday party and activity commitments. 

Whatever the cause of added chaos in your life, the stresses and pressures are real. 

It’s no surprise that maintaining a balance between work priorities and personal priorities can become especially blurred during this time, and there are so many seeming “priorities” for both that it can be difficult to say no. And, if you are a leader, you just have that much more to deal with. However, it’s important for your health and well-being to take a step back and try to recapture the calm you felt so briefly in September.

If you start planning for the chaos now, you’ll thank yourself later because you’ll be ready. Here are steps you can take to help you effectively manage your schedule and your life during the upcoming busy time:

  1. Recognize that both “work” and “life” are important to you. You don’t have to choose between the two, but you do have to let go of societal expectations and self-induced guilt. Decide what is most important to you and focus on where your energy needs to be spent now.
  2. Set boundaries. Choose what is important for you during this season whether that is maintaining your daily workouts, scheduling lunch with a friend, or running errands on your own. Most importantly, don’t let others make you feel guilty for those choices.
  3. Learn when to say no. You can’t do everything. Say yes to what fuels you; choose what brings you personal joy, job satisfaction, and what fills your bucket without making it overflow. 
  4. Know when to unplug. In these days of working from home, it can be difficult to turn off our work selves and tune in to our personal lives. Making sure you unplug from work and show up fully present in your home life is of utmost importance to nurture your relationships and refuel your energy reserves.
  5. Leverage your time and energy. First, make sure you are spending your time on projects that truly have an impact. Next, identify areas where you can use a single effort and apply it to more than one purpose.
  6. Delegate known stressors to others when possible. If you’re adept at picking out the best white elephant gifts for the office, take this task on for your partner as well. If they are better at booking airline tickets, let them handle that task. Avoiding situations that cause you stress is key if it is possible to do so.
  7. Develop a new pattern of juggling tasks. When you add new tasks to your already full list, you must learn a new pattern to balance them, determine a new method for getting things done, or identify what can go to keep things in balance. 

We are an organizational effectiveness consulting company. We provide tools and resources to help identify and solve your most difficult organizational and leadership challenges. If you’d like a free consultation to talk about how professional coaching services, leadership development training, or strategy sessions can help you or your organization, we’d love to talk. Contact us for a no-obligation, free consultation by clicking this link: Innovative Connections or calling us at 970-279-3330.

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