If you asked me to pick a phrase to describe my 2018, that would be “the year I was repeatedly wondering, day in day out, whether I should stop and get some rest, or give it another try”. Up until the end of the year, I always chose the latter. Between important projects, trivial tasks, critical presentations and much more I ended up being completely burned out. Even though, I had always been a fan of work life balance, 2018 was the year of no balance at all.
So, my major 2019 resolution was that I will establish such daily routines, that will bring me back to clarity, joyful achievement and balance. And I started off by establishing three specific daily habits:
SETTING MY INTENTIONS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
Either before the rest of my family wakes up, or after driving the kids to school, I sit in my home office, and over a cup of coffee, I try to visualise how the rest of the day will unfold. I take no notes, I don’t look at my agenda, I stay away from my inbox and social media. I have concluded that what comes to my mind during that time are the most important tasks, my most brilliant ideas, the things that inspire me and make me want to seize the day. These few minutes that I spend in the morning, simply letting my mind wonder, seem like a semi-meditation process that clear my mind, and create a path that, more often than not, I end up following during the day.
EVALUATING AND PLANNING
Half an hour before leaving work, I stop working and I start doing the following:
- Evaluating the progress, I have made on my most important projects, and allocating specific time in my agenda for the next days, to work on the next steps required to complete these projects.
- Reviewing my emails and updating my tasks’ lists with any new tasks. Allocating specific time in my agenda for the next few days, for those projects/tasks that are urgent and important.
- Considering any personal tasks/chores that I have to complete in the next few days, so that my personal goals are not left behind.
- Ensuring that I have something fun always planned and making arrangements so that the fun stuff are just as high a priority as all the rest.
Within this half hour, I have the next day, and a major part of the next few weeks planned, so that everything is being done efficiently, effectively and timely!
The third habit, is my favourite one. The habit of appreciating. The habit that I have repeatedly seen doing wonders on my happiness levels, and those of my clients as well. Without forcing anything, I let my mind wonder to the things that made me smile and filled me with gratitude during the day. From the most insignificant things, like the beautiful song you heard for the first time on the radio today, to those that fill you with such strong feelings, like when one of your teammates, tells you how much your words have helped him get through a very difficult period in his life.
These three habits, are helping me personally deal with the demanding days of this period of my life. They have brought a wonderful sense of clarity in my days, and I feel that they help me manage effectively the balance I strive to achieve between my work, my family and all the other things I enjoy doing. They have taken “giving it another try” to a whole new level filled with excitement and fulfilment.
Feel free to give them a try! I would love to hear your experience with using these habits.