I went out to my vast network on Twitter, Facebook, my blog subscribers and LinkedIn to get ideas on living a more productive and balanced life..
Here are some of their answers. I think I like the last one the best.
· It’s not about balancing work and life. It’s about paying respect to the individual relationships we cultivate: the relationship with self, the one with work and (hopefully) with the person you get to put your cold feet up against at night.
· I turn my radio off and my cell phone off so I’m 100% present and in the moment with the kids for the 15-minute drive or walk to school.
· I not only get ‘me time’– I also work to get one-on-one time with each of the kids. Even an overnight trip somewhere with each of the kids.
· If you’ve got job flexibility, avoid rush hour traffic to and from work and travel off-peak hours. Use that saved time for time with the kids before they go to school or when they come home or for exercise.
· Whatever you choose to make a priority, you will make happen! You also lead by example as your kids will watch and learn. For example, choose stairs over escalators; choose walking over moving walkways like at the airport. When I take an elevator I play a game where I do a squat (only when no one else is in the elevator with me!) and have to stay in that position till I get to whatever floor I’ve pressed.
· Travel with a skipping rope and tubing so you can exercise in your hotel room. In 15 minutes, between those very light weight easy to pack items and push ups, ab crunches and dips you can get a very good workout without leaving your room. No need to travel with runners or worry about finding a gym or taking the time to go to they gym. Watch your CNN and exercise.
· First, I realize that balance is an illusion. Life is never in balance, so I work to manage the imbalances to ensure that first, critical issues are always taken care of (first things first) and then I work to optimize.
· I book vacations before we even know where we are going.
· Write out your priorities and think about which ones you are neglecting. Like recently my kids got very annoyed that I was constantly checking my BlackBerry so I looked at my list and reminded myself that they are top priority…so I decided that off work times and in their presence I would not look at emails.
· Start the year by booking your holidays/time-off in advance.
· I have a weekly half-day volunteer commitment. Forces me to have some mid-week time not working.
· At work, I pretend I have no personal life. At home, I pretend I’m jobless. *Grin* Doing both forces me to be 100% present on what ever I’m doing or supposed to be doing.
· Pretend that your iPhone only works when the sun is up and not at all on weekends. Kids and spouses need to believe they are most important things in your life.
· The iPhone is like a huge “presence” condom. It numbs the feeling.
· Do a Painted Picture for your company as well as your business. Focus on it like you do your business one too. Company’s come and go – family is forever, paint the family future together and enjoy the journey.
· I realized email & cell calls are never urgent. It dawned on me that nobody has ever called me to buy $1M of stuff… I only sell when I am doing the calling…so why am I thinking their emails or calls are so urgent?
· Ask women what they’re doing – and do that. Women tend to really get balance a lot more than men do. Learn from them. They get it. And they live it a lot better – or they sure try to.