66 Day Challenge: Stressed at Work, Absent at Home – and Failing at Both

Instead of eating dinner with your family, you find yourself hunched over your desk slurping soup once again. A project you had worked overtime on last week needs revisions before it passes the executive sniff test, but instead of focusing on work you keep thinking about how much you can cram into your weekend with the family. Somehow your energy is being drained, but you’re not being any more productive at work, and the home to-do list isn’t getting any shorter. But, how could that be when you’re putting in so many hours at the office and staying up late to take care of everything else?

Simple, you’re trying to balance everything.

Living a balanced life is just not possible. The only way it would be was if everything held equal importance all the time. Since that’s not the case, it’s time to start counterbalancing.

The Counterbalancing Concept

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Balanced isn’t a state of being, it’s an act that has to be constantly carried out to create the perception of balance. It’s just as exhausting and unachievable as it sounds. So, if living a balanced life isn’t possible, what is? It’s called counterbalance.

Counterbalancing is based on putting attention where it belongs – your priorities. When you put time and attention towards these priorities, naturally it’s going to take focus away from other things. This will put things out of balance, which is okay if done so for the right amount of time.

You can’t always walk the straight line. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to give priorities the attention they need. Counterbalancing is about understanding when to be in the middle and when to go to the extremes.

Two Kinds of Counterbalancing

Counterbalancing comes in more than one form. To be successful you have to practice two kinds of counterbalance:

1. Counterbalancing between work and life.
2. Counterbalancing within work and within life separately.

It’s not enough to simply shift between work and life. Counterbalancing will also occur within each of those realms simultaneously. Furthermore, the counterbalancing needed for work is dramatically different than that needed for life.

At work focusing on the ONE Thing that’s going to help you achieve success will throw you out of balance much of the time. That’s okay, it’s what’s needed. All other work matters will be addressed infrequently and will get far less attention. At work you’ll be at the extreme end for longer periods.

In life there are three things that need constant counterbalance: family and friends, your body and spirit, and personal needs. When one of these is ignored they can all suffer. Each one requires your attention to a certain degree and none should be sacrificed for work.

When you let go of the idea of balancing – giving everything equal attention and trying to get everything done – that’s when you’ll start seeing success at both work and at home. The trick is setting priorities and letting those take the front seat even if that means putting other things in the backseat, trunk or leaving them on the side of the road.

Original Source: http://the1thing.wpengine.com/66-day-challenge/66-day-challenge-stressed-at-work-absent-at-home-and-failing-at-both

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