10 January, 2023

Work-Life Balance: How to Get Balance in Your Work-Life | Video

If you are feeling a little out of balance because of some changes over the last year, or if you want to find a new balance in your life, now is the time to take action. Here are ten tips and techniques for finding a better balance.

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Here are 10 ways to adjust your Work-Life Balance

Choose your Focus

Each week, each day, each hour, make a conscious choice about what to do and what to not do. Most of your success will come as a result of choosing to say NO to things that will get in the way of the valuable accomplishments that can come when you have more time for the things to say YES to.

One Thing at a Time

This is not just an injunction to stop trying to multitask: it is as much about finding one thing to prioritize at a time and giving it the time it needs and deserves – which may be the whole year. Henry Kissinger’s advice in Andrew Zuckerman’s wonderful book, Wisdom:

“Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself.”

What will it be this year?  Personal development, a business goal, your personal life, one person, an exciting project…

Get more Humor

I doubt anyone watching this (myself included) could say they have enough laughter and joy in their life. Make more time for comedy, humor, and craic.  

Get Luckier

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

This has been ascribed to many famous people, including Sam Goldwyn and Thomas Jefferson.  There is no definitive source, so let’s instead find out how to make your own luck.  The best advice comes in Professor Richard Wiseman’s book, “The Luck Factor”.  Wiseman offers four “scientific principles” to enhance your luck:

  1. Know what you want and stay alert for opportunities
  2. Pay attention to your hunches
  3. Remain optimistic – optimism is one of the keys to a happy and healthy life in general
  4. Look at bad luck as a chance event, a chance to learn, and a chance to move on

Richard Wiseman’s book, ‘The Luck Factor’.

WISE Words to the People around You

How do you speak to people?  Make a choice to use more WISE words.  Offer: 

  • a Welcome (people are attracted to warmth), 
  • Integrity (people value honesty), 
  • Sympathy (people like you to care), and 
  • Enthusiasm (people are attracted to real passion). 

Choose your Battles

Focus on the battles that are really worth your while and let the others go.  And, on the theme of battles, pick your allies too: who can really help and support you? And with whom are you entirely happy to associate yourself and your reputation?

More Me-time

Devote some real quality time to yourself: a chance to read, to write, to reflect, to make something, to relax, to enjoy something special. And when you do, turn off your phone and your email.  And if you aren’t supposed to turn your phone off, strategically leaving it in the bottom of a drawer works just as well.

Rethink your Work

Most of my viewers do work that involves other people: colleagues, staff, clients, customers, suppliers, partners…

Almost certainly you will improve your effectiveness, your stress levels, and your results by making more of your work about communicating and less of it about doing.  

Take Care of Yourself

My book, How to Manage Stress, focuses on three levers for controlling your physical response to stress.  They all work both as remedies and preventatives:

Good Rest

Plenty of rest relaxation and sleep. Turn off Newsnight and go to bed early. Build a relaxing sleep ritual. Avoid tinkering around with one last (unimportant) email when you could be going to sleep.

Good Energy

Make time for exercise in your life. If this sounds like a public health message; there’s a good reason.

Good Fuel

Maybe another public health message here, but you do have choices: junk or quality; water or caffeine; fruit or sweets; rushed or relaxed?

Make it Work

New Year’s resolutions and Goal setting frequently fail.  Scientific research offers three powerful tips to help you succeed:

Be Realistic

Recognize how difficult it is and select one or two approaches at a time. Treat setbacks not as failures but as a chance to renew your commitment. Persevere and recognize each small success.

Create a Plan

A list, a schedule, a series of steps. Start small and make your plan realistic.

Find your own Motivation

Current thinking on self-motivation offers you four big motivators to make a change:  

  1. Being in control of yourself (autonomy),
  2. Mastering something worthwhile (mastery),
  3. Improving relationships (relatedness)
  4. Knowing why it matters (meaning) 

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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