The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the greatest challenges facing women today. After 14 years of working with thousands of women, I am continually amazed at how difficult the task of life balance continues to remain for so many.
Here are 3 simple disciplines every woman can adhere to in becoming more balanced and better adjusted to this new generation of women dominating the work-place.
Discipline 1: Just say "No"!
- The ability to say no to the "urgent" items that come up daily will give you freedom to say "yes" to the the things that matter most in life.
Discipline 2: Know When To Say "Yes"!
- Reserve your valuable "yeses" for the core values of life. By making your "yeses" line up with your core values, you will be living life on your terms, verses the terms of everyone else.
Discipline 3: Never let "Good" become robber of "Best"
- Never let good become a replacement for what we know to be the best for our lives and the lives of those around us.
These three disciplines may seem like an over-simplification to a major issue, however, the amazing truth is that our current day-to-day decisions determine our net result. So many women blame their spouses, jobs, relatives, and even finances for a life out of balance, lacking peace and often joy.
As I travel, I continue to see more and more women stepping up to lead great companies and yet they are doing so at the sacrifice of their families, marriages and even inner peace. As work-life challenges continue to mount, too many women keep sweeping their personal issues under the rug, thinking they will somehow disappear.
Lisa, a corporate executive for a multi-million dollar company, said, "I just don't know how to fix my life. I have climbed the corporate ladder and reached my dream of being number one at what I do. However, I have lost my family in the process. My kids have grown up under someone else's care. I have missed so much of their lives it hurts inside. My husband and I live in the same home and yet are emotionally oceans apart. My spiritual life is basically non-existent other than a yoga class now and then. Basically, I have power at work and yet I feel powerless in life and I don't know how to regain control again."
Lisa's story is familiar. Unfortunately, Lisa's final statement is probably what got her in the situation in the first place. Lisa is a control freak and finds her personal significance in feeling important, in control, and in charge. By giving her undivided attention to work, she was able to fill an inner need for recognition and affirmation, however she sacrificed leadership and influence at home. Once the price was high enough, due to the loss of her family, Lisa finally realized that things had to change.
Let's look at 3 Key Disciplines To Winning At Work And Life!
Discipline 1: Just Say "No"!
So many times, we let our lives swing out of control by adding too much to our plate that doesn't even rank in our list of top priorities. If that is you, your life may look more like a shot gun firing in all directions. To become rifle focussed, means that you have mastered the art of elimination. By constantly accepting to do items that pop up as "urgent" often means you are giving up the things in life that rank as most "important".
Often, at work, we are inundated with seemingly "urgent" to do items that steal our ability to remain balanced, focussed and on track for a peace-filled life. By constantly saying "yes" to the urgent, we are often saying "no" to our greatest joys in life. Urgent meetings, urgent budgets, urgent opportunities are just a few of the "urgent" monsters that creep in to kill, steal and destroy your family, your peace, and your joy.
A simple test to give each item that pops up to steal your focus is this:
~ Is this more important that what I currently had scheduled?
~ Will this bring me closer or further from a life of peace, joy and happiness?
~ Will the world or my company fall apart if I say "No"?
And even if you can positively answer those questions, ask yourself, "At the end of the day will I feel good about this decision as it ranks in priority of my family and core values?"
Discipline 2: Know When To Say, "Yes"!
If you have completed your "Good To Great" Goals course, then you should have already listed out your core values. By making your "yeses" line up with your core values, you will be living life on your terms, verses the terms of everyone else. Core values are the things in life you consider non-negotiables. These may include your faith, your marriage, your health, your family, your relationship. As you allow your core values to become a filter for all of your choices, you will see that much of what you do is negotiable, removable, and actually stealing time from the things that matter most. Give your "yes" power by learning to say "no" more often.
Discipline 3: Never let good become robber of what is best.
In his book, Good To Great, Jim Collins first sentence reads, "Good is the enemy of best". Often in life, we settle for mediocrity, status quo, and even "normal" by allowing our time to be allotted to things that fall outside of our core values. But to be a Great leader, we must never let good become a replacement for what we know to be the best for our lives and the lives of those around us.
Recently, I shared this principle with my children during our Good To Great devotions we do each morning. I explained how the Good To Great concept even applies to cleaning their room. I asked them both to clean their room. In five minutes they came down saying they were done. As I went up to inspect their rooms I asked, "Is your room good? Or is it GREAT?"
After further investigation under their beds and behind their dressers, we all agreed that their rooms could use a bit more greatness. I explained that "good" means that things look in order on the surface, but with further investigation, we discover that "under the rug" lies more disorganization. GREAT, however, is when we allow things to be excellent inside and out.
What a simple truth to all of life. Look at your life today and determine if you are using your time wisely. Are you living life on your terms, giving your greatest attention to the things that matter most? Are you living a life of greatness, or have you settled for allowing "good" to become the robber of "GREAT"?
By applying these three principles to every area of life, especially our 7 Pillars Of Balanced Success (Finances, Family, Health & Fitness, Career, Emotions, Spirituality, and Community Service), we can regain the peace and fulfillment that comes when we WIN at work and LIFE!