Posts Taged work-life-balance

The Language of Time

iStock_000069185021Kenneth Burke once said about humans that “Man is the symbol-using (symbol-making, symbol-misusing) animal.”  His statement is probably the most accurate when we talk about time and how we use it.  Here are three examples.

The opposite of life is not work.  It’s easy to get upset about a lack of work-life balance.  Unfortunately, the opposite of life is not work.  It’s death.  The opposite of work is non-work.  Really, isn’t the choice among work, recreation, spiritual, community, personal wellbeing, etc.?

Balance is not a static state.  We think about have work-life balance as if it were a set of weights and measures.  Take some time from this side of the scale and put it on the other and then you’ve got balance.  Unfortunately, time does not stand still.  After all, time keeps moving on.  The minute after you think you’ve achieved a state of balance, you lose it.

We don’t control time.  Time continues to do what it does despite our best efforts to manage it.  When we give up the futile effort to manage time and switch our focus to managing what we do with our time, then powerful shifts happen.

If we are really listening to Kenneth Burke, when we change our language we change our possibilities.  For example:

  • Pay attention to what you are doing. You can be so into the flow that time concerns go away.
  • Think about time as flowing. What does balance mean to you now?
  • Take a long-term perspective. How’s your balance over the course of a month?  A year?

Changing our language is not an easy task.  We’ve spent a lifetime creating these images and relationships in our heads.  How will you start to be less concerned with balance?



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Four Tiny Habits for Successful People

tiny habitsOne of the old clichés that we’ve all heard is that “The devil is in the details.”  That is really true when it comes to the habits of successful people.  You might think the differences between successful and unsuccessful people have to do with large chunks of their lives.  On the contrary, success is generated from little things that are built into habits.  Here are four of the important ones.

Successful people plan.  Successful people might not have a to-do list, but you can bet on them creating a top priorities list before they go to bed or very soon after they get up.  Setting goals and accomplishing tasks is a daily activity.  While they may have several items to “work on” they will have 2-3 top prorities to accomplish every day.

Successful people focus. They don’t multitask.  If anything, the opposite is true.  They compartmentalize.  Work is on one thing at a time.  There is a focus on the task-at-hand.

Success people read.  Reading is a habit that forces you to step away from doing and become mental (in a good way).  Reading gives you new ideas and connects old ones in new permutations.  Listen to someone you consider successful on YouTube or live.  You will hear several references to what they are reading or have recently read.

Successful people spend time away from work.  They unplug.  No one on their death bed says, “I wish I had spent that free weekend at the office.”  Successful people know that.  They spend time with loved ones in leisure activities.  When work is demanding, leisure may come in small bites, but it is there.

Think about two of the most successful people that you know well.  What are the little things that they do often?  Spend a little time making a list that can become delightful details for success.

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