A very Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2013 is both kind and advancing for you.
We’ve had a week off from our usual Thursday Thoughts! series and I’m wondering how many of you spent it either reflecting on 2012 or pondering about 2013 resolutions. So this week I aim to try and find out 🙂
“How can we achieve some much needed balance in our lives?”
When we lead busy lives, its all too easy to find ourselves “off balance” and not paying sufficient attention to very important areas of our lives. Whilst drive and ambition are indeed, necessary factors for successful careers, taking it too far can lead to frustration and intense stress. That’s when its important to go into “helicopter view”, assess whats out of balance, and bring things back into focus. This helps you, as well as everyone around you!
So this seems an appropriate time of year to do just that. Let’s formally review each areas of our lives in turn and assess what’s off balance. This will tell us what areas need more of our attention right now. Here’s a simple method to do this exercise:
1. write down the dimensions of your life that are important to you. For example: wife, mother, leader, family, friends, physical challenge, mental stimulation etc etc. These could well be different for everyone but you get the gist of it
2. This approach assumes you will be happy and fulfilled if you can find the right balance of attention for each of these dimensions. So consider each dimension in turn and assess the amount of attention you are currently devoting to each. On the scale of 0 (low) to 5 (high), score the amount of attention you are devoting to that area of your life.
3. If you like excel, produce a nice spider diagram by joining up the scores around a circle and look at the shape it produces. Does it look nice and rounded? Or do you have horrible spikes poking out of different dimensions?
4. It’s now time to consider your ideal level in each area. A balanced life does not mean getting 5 in all areas! At different times, some areas will need more attention than others and of course you will need to make choices and compromises as your time and energy is not unlimited!
5. Plot the “ideal” scores around your wheel too and look at the gaps. These gaps are the areas of your life which need your urgent attention. Also, remember that gaps go both ways! Inevitably, you are expending some energy and enthusiasm which should be directed elsewhere, depending upon what your goals are.
Once you’ve done all this, its time to plan the actions needed to work on regaining that all important balance.
This is a great method for improving balance and it helps with the visualisation technique we were previously practicing in our “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” series recently.
The challenge is now to transform this newfound knowledge and desire for a more balanced life into a positive programme of action throughout 2013. Good luck with it, and as ever, do let us know how you use and feel about this method.