Finding your life's balance: One-year review


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In her last regular feature Nina Grunfeld asks: did you focus on your wellbeing in 2017?

I hosted one of our 30-minute Life Clubs tasters recently. There were two people on the call – an HR executive and one of their business colleagues in charge of a team of 25. The manager had a huge ‘Lifebulb Moment’. At the end of the workshop (15 minutes on time management Life Clubs style) the manager’s learning was as follows… “I used to be more direct, but I’ve started just doing everyone else’s work. I’m going to start saying ‘no’ again. I know I’ll get more done.” What an amazing learning. The HR executive then asked me: “How exactly is what you do going to grow our business?”

If you aren’t aware of yourself and others you can have no idea how to work to your maximum. What time of day you function best, what environment you need in order to complete projects easily, who you can turn to for what advice, and so on. Growing your business starts with growing your people, and growing your people starts with growing yourself. Not only noticing if your phone has just 10% battery left but noticing that you do too.

Having had a year of our Balance Chart it seems a good idea for you to go round it for the final time. Only this time I’m going to ask you to think about two things: Firstly, how has it changed since you first completed it a year ago, and secondly, what’s stopping you make the changes you might want to?

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Imagine yourself scoring 10 in each area. How would you be feeling? What in your life would have changed? How would you have created that change?

Often nothing changes because we’re procrastinating. You may feel it’s fear that’s stopping you, but the fear is usually quite specific. You may be frightened of getting it ‘wrong’. How can you start clearing your desk when you don’t have an idea of where things will be going once you’ve moved them? That kind of fear is perfectionism and it can really stop you in your tracks. When painting Churchill used to spoil his canvases with a big splodge to remove that feeling of perfectionism. Once you’ve ruined your canvas does it matter if the next stroke isn’t perfect? See if you can’t spoil your canvas and just get on with it.

Another fear that stops us from doing anything is being overwhelmed. Take booking a flight. It’s daunting to have to wade through thousands of flights to find one that suits your plans. Best not to do anything rather than be confronted by a tsunami of choice. In this situation delegation is what’s required. You don’t have to give the whole task away, you just have to find someone who knows, someone you trust, and ask them what they’d do. That way you can start and throw that fear away.

The final thing that makes us procrastinate isn’t a fear at all. It’s rebellion. I remember hosting our workshop on procrastination to a roomful of HR people and one of them saying: “I haven’t put my books on shelves yet. I moved in ages ago and they’re still all on the floor around the room.” When I asked if he wanted shelves he said no, but he was still hanging on to the idea that books should be on shelves and procrastinating about getting on with it. If you don’t want to do something don’t.

I wish you the best of luck in getting your Balance Charts to 10s this year. In the meantime, I do hope we meet and please let me know how you get on by emailing Happy New Year!

Read previous Balance Chart features

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