Monday, July 6, 2020

Tips to Balance Work and Home Responsibilities

If there's one thing you've likely realized by now, it's that life is rarely one-dimensional! You probably have a hard time identifying a period in your past when life proceeded without interruptions.

But have you ever thought about this? Those "interruptions" belong there because life is meant to be multi-dimensional.

Your life is interesting and fulfilling because of variety. Variety in the professional and personal aspects of your life make every day worth living. Now all you really need to do is learn how to balance it all.

Train yourself to balance life's demands by implementing these effective habits:


1.      Prioritize. Although you may be a little hesitant to go through this step, it's vital.

·         Do you find yourself putting greater effort into your career? Perhaps that's where your passion lies right now. It's important to come to terms with that.

·         Have you experienced being at work and contemplating where to take your kids this weekend? Maybe that's truly your focus, and that's okay too!

·         The first step is determining what's more important to you. After you've done that, consider whether you can afford to be in that position. If there are factors pointing to unrealistic priorities, be honest with yourself. Put first things first!

2.      Create a distinction. Now that you've outlined your priorities, your next task is to ensure the responsibilities are properly distinguished. Are there certain responsibilities which really shouldn’t be on your radar right now?

·         Earning another degree can certainly add to your qualifications, but is the timing right? If your job is already fulfilling, how about putting off more schooling for now? Use your time wisely so you can balance professional and personal responsibilities.

·         It's great if your kids can participate in tons of extracurricular activities. But do you have the time to attend all the games and recitals? Meet them halfway by limiting the activities, or share the responsibilities with your spouse.

3.      Stick to a dedicated schedule. It's only fair to give each aspect of your life the time it deserves. Once you've identified the priorities, avoid allowing both areas of your life to intertwine.

·         If you've allocated three hours each evening to those special people in your life, ensure you stick to that. This will keep your relationships intact.

·         Sure, unexpected occurrences may pop up at work and throw your plans out of whack. But what's important is that you make the effort to stick to schedules as much as possible.

4.      Make it worth your while. When you've identified set windows of time for specific responsibilities, maintain your focus and follow through.

·         If it's time for work, make it all about work. Try to produce your best quality and get the best results. That way, you'll feel at ease when you're ready to move on to your personal time. You'll rest better knowing you've given your best at work.

The same thing goes for personal time. Turn off the television. Silence your cell phone. Shut down your computer. Allow yourself to take care of personal responsibilities without interruption.

When you practice these tips regularly, you'll find is that it gets a little easier each day to balance these two different areas of your life.

Soon, you’ll be able to handle any unexpected circumstance without getting flustered because you have a good handle on balancing your work and home lives.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

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Monday, June 29, 2020

How to Use Habits to Reach Your Goals

One of the keys to reaching a new goal is to have habits in place that support that goal. If your current habits are counter-productive, you'll need to change them or run the risk of coming up short.

How do habits help you reach your goals?

Suppose you have the goal of running a marathon: if you don’t already have the habit of running regularly, you're unlikely to be successful until you can adopt that habit. Running regularly can help you attain your goal in several ways, including getting you in great physical shape and strengthening your endurance.

Developing supportive habits can be easier than you think and far more powerful than you can imagine!

Identify the Habits You Need

Before you create new, positive habits, you’ll want to figure out which habits will help you attain your goals. For every goal, there are habits that can practically guarantee success. Reflect on your goals and what actions you can take to help bring them about.

Consider these attributes for the habits you want to implement:

1.      Look for daily habits. Habits you practice each day are much easier to put into place and keep than those that are less frequent.

2.      Keep it simple. The more complex the task, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you really do need to implement a complex habit, start with a simpler version and then add more complexity later.

3.      Be specific. It's not enough to just specify what you're going to do; include the how, when, and where as well. Time is always critical when creating a new habit. Be sure to specify a precise period of time in which you wish to implement the new actions.

·         So "I'm going to exercise 1 hour per day" is inadequate. "I'm going to swim from 6-7 am, Monday through Friday at the YMCA" is more like it. This has enough detail to be quite clear about what you want to accomplish and includes the how, when and where.

Prepare for Interference. 

There are usually obstacles to creating new habits and behavioral patterns. Try to figure out these possibilities ahead of time so you can eliminate them as soon as possible.

For example, if you've decided that you're going to eat a healthy breakfast every day, get rid of all the breakfast junk food in your pantry and freezer. That junk food is an obstacle to successfully implementing your habit.

The obstacle might be time interference. Maybe your partner doesn’t usually leave you alone for 30 minutes every night so you can meditate, write, read, or whatever it is you want to do towards your goal. Simply let them know ahead of time that you need be undisturbed during this time.

Look for More Supporting Habits.

When you determine supporting habits that will help you reach your goal, consider going even deeper into the details to find habits that will help you accomplish your other new habits.

For example, if one of your new habits is to make it to the gym every morning by 6:00 am, you can develop several supporting habits to help you establish this habit, such as:

·         Get out of bed by 5:15 am.

·         In order to get up at 5:15 am each day, you might need an additional habit of always being in bed by 10:00 pm.

·         Another supporting habit might be to pack your gym bag the night before.

These supporting habits are monumentally important. Take time to think about what additional habits you can develop to support your efforts.

Enjoy Automatic Success.

Once an action becomes a habit, you’ll do it automatically, without having to make the decision to do it each time. In other words, you’ll automatically move forward, day after day, toward achieving your goal until you reach it.

Just as counter-productive habits can keep you from success, supportive habits can practically guarantee your victory. So consider the habits that will best support your goals, put them into action on a daily basis, and enjoy your new success!  

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest
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Monday, June 22, 2020

What to Do When You Want Something You Don’t Need

Whether it’s an expensive watch, a third dog, or a bear-skin rug, there’s a good chance you don’t really need it. You might want it desperately, but you certainly don’t need it. That doesn’t mean you can’t have it, but there’s a good chance you’d be better off without it. How can you know for sure?

Try these techniques to be clear on your needs versus your wants:

  1. Wait. When you want something that you don’t really need, you’ll often find that the desire to own it will fade if you give it time. Whether it’s a puppy, a new car, or a banjo, you might find that you can live without it if you wait 30 days. See how you feel about it next month.

  2. Remind yourself of why you don’t need it. Be logical with yourself. Maybe you don’t need a new car because your current car works just fine. Or, you don’t need a puppy because you already have a dog, a bird, and a tank full of fish.

  3. List the disadvantages of acquiring it. What are the negatives of following through on your impulse?

     For example, a new car is expensive, requires more expensive insurance, and you’ll be worried about someone scratching it. You’re also not sure about how much your boss likes you. It would be challenging to be stuck with a car payment without a job.

     Talk yourself out of it.

  1. Avoid buying anything that doesn’t fit into your life. If you live in an apartment and enjoy your peace and quiet, a noisy parrot doesn’t really fit into your life. Buying snowshoes doesn’t make a lot of sense in Florida. You don’t need the latest and greatest running shoes if you don’t run.

  2. Buy one thing but get rid of two. If you’re going to buy something, at least make your life a little better by creating some extra space. For each thing you bring into your home, get rid of at least two. That way, you’re gaining ground.

  3. Find a more suitable substitute. Why do you want to buy that particular item in the first place? Perhaps you want to buy a grand piano because you love the sound of a piano. However, you might not have the space and finances for an 8-foot long, $100,000 piano.

     A small, less-expensive digital piano might be perfect for your situation.

     A cat might be just as good and require less time and attention than a dog.

     A Prius might make more sense than a Mercedes.

     A sports package on your cable box could be a wiser decision than season tickets.

     What benefits does your urge fulfill? Is there a better way to fulfill it?

  1. Just say “No”. Just be strong and tell yourself, “No.” For some people, that’s all it takes. You know you don’t need to eat that doughnut, so don’t. Some people are better at telling themselves “no” than others.

     Most of us are good, however, at telling ourselves that we’ll begin telling ourselves “no” tomorrow. Unfortunately, we continue telling ourselves that over and over.

  1. Consider getting it. If we only acquired the things we truly needed, we’d have little more than bread, water, and a toilet. Obviously, there’s much more to life than the bare minimum. We need more. Just be choosy in what you decide to bring into your life.

Be careful giving in to your wants. You only have so much time, money, and space. Maximize their utility. Take note when you really want something. You might be leading yourself astray.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest
*** check out the Products tab for self-paced workshops, planners and more....