Work Life Balance Lessons for 2014

January 6, 2014

Lessons Learned

As we start 2014, I’m sure like you, you have a number of new years resolutions that have made the list for the upcoming twelve months.  As with previous years, I wanted to share some of my biggest work life balance lessons of 2013.  Also share actions you can also take into 2014 to improve your work life balance and new years resolutions.

 

After having 2 weeks off over the holiday period, it has been a perfect time to reflect on the year that was.  It is this time, away from home and away from work that I can truly gain valuable insights into the year that was, what worked well and what I can change to gain a better balance and less stress.  I encourage you if you haven’t already thought about it consider the same questions so you can make the most out of the year ahead.

 

Here are some of the lessons I will take into 2014:

 

  1. Listen to your body – this year, for the first time in my life to have a lot more sleep.  After some set backs in the first half of 2013, I became incredibly exhausted, which meant sleep was definitely a higher need.  I started to make this a priority with a few key actions – buying a decent pillow (that made the world of difference to the quality of sleep I was getting), making sure I got enough rest during the week and adding an afternoon nap when needed on the weekends.  Previously I would push through on the weekend and make sure I didn’t get out of my sleeping routine.  However for the benefit of my family and friends, I needed to make sure I got enough rest.  A lack of sleep generally leaves me pretty cranky so it was a nice welcomed edition to my routine that I will continue in 2014 (much to the delight no doubt of those around me) J
  2. Less is more – After taking on a number of projects in 2013, I realized that I had really set myself up for not only a lot of work, crazy hours but also a constant feeling of overwhelm.  A big lesson I’m taking into 2014 is focus.  Focus on less and do it well.  This is an important shift for me away from focusing on a large quantity of activities and having the quality suffer whilst also feeling constantly behind.
  3. Look after yourself – there is only one of you.  Your health is the basis for all that you can and will be.  I took some more proactive steps this year to investigate health related issues that had been on my “I’ll get to it” list for many years.  Growing up in Queensland, Australia and with my complexion, it is important to get your moles checked regularly.  Thankfully I am all good, but there was a bit of a scare with an abnormal mole.  I share these personal details in the hope to encourage you to take action towards preventative health.  This should not only ease your mind but also avoid serious health issues.
  4. Turn your work email off on the weekend – one area that I know I need to get better at is turning off my email on the weekend.  To ensure that we all have a break, if you can and you don’t have the responsibility for being on call or anything like that, turn off your email over the weekend and don’t check it.  Spend this time away and have a break.
  5. Plan your time off in advance – over the last few years, I’ve had a few weeks off every year, which seems to coincide with what I planned at the start of the year.  Take the time now to plan your holidays for the upcoming twelve months now.  We all know what it’s like when the year gets going, work gets busy and all of a sudden you can’t get away to take a break.  Having time off is critical to your wellbeing and also your ability to be more productive.  If you can, put down some money now for your holiday to make sure that you have something at stake so that you will do everything you can to make it happen.  After all, you deserve a break!
  6. Do what you love to do – this was a big eye opener for me this past year.  I love doing a lot of different things, but also I was doing a lot of things that I perceived that I “should” be doing.  Life is too short.  Work out a way to do what you love, as they say, you won’t need to work a day in your life if you’re in line with what you love to do.
  7. Don’t wait for perfection – this is a HUGE lesson for me this year.  Sometimes 80% done is better than waiting for the impossible 100% to be done.  Not sure if you can relate, however I have started so many different projects and want them to be perfect before releasing them to the world.  I can tell you, I have had to let that go.  There is no such thing as perfect and something out in the world, is better than waiting weeks, months or even years to be a perceived “100%”.

 

I must admit there have been some hard lessons to learn in 2013.  I am truly grateful for them as they have allowed me to reconnect to what’s important, harness my focus and acknowledge the progress that I am making towards my goals.  You may wish to check out other work life balance tips from last year at http://www.balancingaustralia.com.au/2013_work-life_balance_tips/.

 

I wish you a balanced, healthy and successful 2014.  Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] with your work life balance lessons and what you will be doing differently in 2014 to create the balance that you deserve.

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