Work-life Balance

Finding your work-life balance is the next logical step after defining your life roles and the goals associated with each of them.

So far, so good. You have several life roles that you have defined. Each role has a funnel with long-term, mid-term, short-term, and weekly goals. And for each role you have defined the mission statement and the personal vision statement. But how do you juggle with all these often-competing priorities? How do you achieve balance between them? How do you know at what point of the day on which role to stress? And in general, how do you divide your time?

This chapter is about balance. I believe that finding balance is the most important task and all your efforts so far have been leading to this. There are different descriptions for this. Some people call it “finding work-life balance” with the implication of quantitative division between work and life commitments. Other people call it “finding work-life harmony”, or qualitative division between work and life. In practice, all this means that you cannot afford to neglect any of your life roles in favor of the others. At least not for long.

However, you can still decide to neglect any of your life roles by dropping it from the list. The implications are immense and I urge you to really think about it, but this is what I did a few years ago (more about it later in this chapter).

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Life Roles: How to Find and Influence the Hats You Wear

We have eluded several times already about the roles each of us takes in their life. And we finally reach the part where we will dive deep into that. How many hats do you wear in your life? How many masks? Each of these is a role that you play. The more you try to multitask between the different roles, the more stress you generate in your life and the less satisfaction you get from what you do. And on the other hand, the more concentrated you can stay for a certain time period on one of your roles, pursuing one of your goals, the better results you get overall and the better life you have.

This article is about defining (or uncovering) the roles that you play, plan to play, and want to play in your life. About associating the goals (mostly long-term, but also mid-term) that you have already defined to your life roles. And ideally, about defining new goals that will improve your performance in one or more of your life roles.

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How to Survive the Back-to-back Meetings Week

A week full of back-to-back meetings can be tough to navigate. This article will give you 10 tips on how to do that and survive.

You have established your habits and your work routine, you feel productive, and you inch toward your goals day by day. You follow your daily routine, you wake up at the same time, do exercises, meditate, and then go to work. And then, that dreadful week comes when you have to start discussing next year’s roadmap in your company. You get visitors from all over the world. And you are facing a week full of back-to-back meetings.

This article will give you some insights into surviving these long days and keeping the impact on your daily responsibility (because there will be impact) at a minimal level. This is just a guideline, as always, feel free to keep things that work for you, and add others that I might have thought about.

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Yearly Review

Yearly review means taking a moment to tap yourself on the back for the achievements and success you had in the previous 365 days. This article gives you 8 steps to achieve this process.

Each year since 1997, Jeff Bezos publishes an annual letter to shareholders. There, he outlines the achievements of the year and sets the stage for the upcoming year. This is moment of celebration and a moment of focus. Each year since 2009, Bill and Melinda Gates publish their annual letter of their foundation. There, they outline their achievements as a family, as philanthropists, and as professionals. How do you celebrate your success over time? Are you ready to start an yearly review process?

The process of reviewing your year at a macro level comes on top of the First Things First process and the Monthly Reflection processes. As you work on and complete your goals you will change. Also, as you change some of the things that meant the world to you last year may no longer be relevant. This is why you take some time each year (it does not have to be Jan 1st, the actual timing is up to you) and evaluate everything you have done. Gratitude is a big part of this exercise. Yes, you have only yourself to thank for all the hard work that you’ve put and all the long hours. But can you honestly say that you did not have some luck here and some luck there? Can you diminish the help that you’ve got from other people, circumstances, and fate in general?

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Monthly Reflection

Monthly reflection means scheduling time every month to review your principles and map them to the achieved goals to make sure you are on the right path.

You’ve defined your short-term goals and you’ve started putting them on your calendar. You feel that you are progressing toward your goals. But how can you be sure? You need a mechanism to pause, get out of the trenches, and see the big picture. This is called a monthly reflection.

It is easy to get lost in being productive for the sake of being productive. Once you make productivity a personal habit and you start ticking the most important tasks (MITs) on your lists, then it becomes very fulfilling. You’ve also added a progress bar and you know how you are progressing toward your mid-term and long-term goals. But are they still the right goals? Do they still make sense? Doing a monthly reflection will help.

In this article I cover the process of monthly reflection, where you take a step back to see the big picture again. You take a look the the goal in the distance in front of you and you take a look at the trail that you have left behind you. Also, you consult your map (roadmap or plan) to make sure that you are on the right track and that the track is still right for you. The process takes only about an hour a month but the benefits are invaluable.

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