Putting the “U” in Priorities

When everything seems like it is spinning out of control, it is generally because our work-life balance is off. Demands are ever-increasing and the boundaries between work and life continue to blur. Together these elements are bringing our workforce—that includes you—to the brink of burn out. According to a recent study for the Center for Work-Life Policy, 1.7 million people consider their jobs and their work hours excessive.

Without work-life balance everything suffers. Your quality of life is compromised. Since none of us live in a bubble, your loss of balance can negatively affect the lives of those around you from family to employees and even your customers. In order to do our jobs to our fullest, we must take care of our own well-being.

A good place to start might be by asking yourself the difficult question, “Where do I fall in my list of priorities?” The idea of taking care of yourself first may strike you as wrong in some way. Let’s try changing your perspective on it. Think of focusing on your own well-being as preparation far meeting the needs of others. Picture yourself genuinely having the energy to make a difference for those around you.

There is a reason that every time you get on a plane the flight attendant politely reminds you, in the event of an emergency, to put your oxygen mask on before assisting others. You have to be breathing properly in order to help the person next to you. It is impossible for you to give 100% to anything or anyone when you are running at 45% due to stress, sickness, overload, or any other reason.

Sometimes when I find life overwhelming, I visualize planting my feet firmly on the ground as a tornado swirls aimlessly and violently around me. It reminds me that I cannot control the tornado. The tornado represents to me the uncontrollable elements that can derail my focus. If I let myself get sucked into the uncontrollables I’ll find myself tossed like a rag doll. The only controllable for me is me. The stronger I am, and the more focused I can be—the more likely I am to achieve great things.

The ultimate solution, in my mind, is best said by Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, “Be the CEO of your own life.” Find your harmony in work-life balance. Make what you do count each and every day. Secure the energy to give your best, which at points may not mean giving your all, because that may not be what is best for you at that moment. Put yourself on your priority list, and you’ll see the benefits unfold before you.

Shiloh Kelly, Vice President of Marketing, Red Book Solution

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One response to “Putting the “U” in Priorities

  1. Pingback: What do you want to be when you grow up? | Better Managers Blog

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