Archives for April 2022

Do you have work/life balance?

Are you the workaholic each of us knows? You know the one. Checking email from the moment they wake up, when they are at lunch with you (rude, by the way), and checking it right before they go to sleep. Every social opportunity is really a networking opportunity with people they probably would not socialize with. All conversations point towards and relate to business, money, etc. You are not sure what their interests are other than work and making money. Or is this you?

It is no secret that hard work is required for success, and there are times you must work harder than others and longer hours. Getting ahead does not come easy. But, as important as it is to give your all for your career or business, there has to be down time to. No, I don’t mean sleep.

What do you do for fun? What do you do for stress release? If you have to even think about the answer to either of these questions you need to rethink your priorities. Working hard until you die will only result in one result. Everyone knows someone who was a workaholic because they were going to retire young and didn’t make to retirement. While fun is important, stress relief is a required part of all of our lives.

If you question what I just said, talk to your doctor, your partner, your shrink, or whoever you confide in. Stress relief doesn’t need to be training for a marathon or triathlon, but you need to put physical activity in your routine. Your body and brain will thank you for it as you age.

As for fun, it really is a requirement too. It could be sewing or playing an instrument, travelling, participating in a book club, etc. or a combination of many things. But you need to find things you enjoy unrelated to your work. If not, you will have no balance and the odds of burnout or something worse increase exponentially.

Plus, the more things you do outside of work, the more you have to speak about the next time you are networking.

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Expectations are important whether it’s your expectations of yourself or setting expectations for others. In both cases it’s good to be realistic. If your expectations aren’t, it is a negative because you set the expectation too low as if you didn’t have faith in yourself in a given situation or set the expectation too high and don’t come close to touching it.

In setting expectations for yourself, you need to think them through. It may be the expectations you have regarding a co-worker, family member, or friend. Or maybe about a new job or opportunity. The hard part is thinking through if you have enough information to have realistic expectations. If not, can you get the information you need to do so? Information is power and an important part of being able to set your expectations.

When you’re setting expectations for others it may be even more important to make sure you have the information you need to set realistic expectations. In my role as an attorney, my clients are looking to me to walk them through the process of whatever legal situation they find themselves in and to advise them on the possible and likely outcomes. If I can’t do so, I’m not doing my job. 

Of course I can’t know whether a transaction will close or the outcome of a lawsuit, but I have enough experience to guide clients through each step and either set expectations step by step or regarding the ultimate outcome. Sometimes it’s not very specific because I don’t have the information I need to do so. If that’s the case, I let my client know and then, if I acquire new information, I revisit the issue of expectations based on what I’ve learned. 

Many times expectations are a moving target. Knowing this can help you set them for yourself or others. So when setting expectations, be realistic and adjust as new information is learned, while always being honest with yourself or whoever’s expectations you’re setting.

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Intensity v. consistency

When you are striving to reach a goal, do you get there by the intensity you bring to it or by consistency in following the steps you have sketched out? I think it’s a combination of the two. You can employ both to pursue your goals and dreams.

Intensity can move you forward like a big push someone gives you when are on a swing. It’s focus and energy. It may allow you to complete a time sensitive project, move a long term project forward a few steps, or get over a hump that had you stopped in place. It accelerates your progress whether in getting to or crossing the finish line.

Consistency is when you have discipline to regularly work on a project or goal. Discipline is helpful in keeping you on track. It’s easy to not get back to work when it’s a nice day outside or a friend calls you do do something fun. But if you do what you planned it’s investing in yourself. 

When you work consistently and at times with intensity, you will see a return on your investment. Working with intensity all the time isn’t possible. It’s like inspiration in that you don’t always know when a burst will come. When it does, go with it. And even if it doesn’t, keep working on your goals regularly and you will have a much better chance to the reach them.

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What inspires you?

We all take inspiration from different people, actions, inaction, etc. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and sometimes from surprising places. When it does you need to be ready to notice and process what it means to you. 

For instance, I find inspiration for various blog posts I’ve written from many different sources, many unexpected. The sources include a random comment on a podcast, something one of my children says, and once, from a comment made by an announcer about a snowboarder who had won a gold medal in the Olympics. You never know when it will hit you or where it will come from, but you know it once it does. 

Earlier this year I read about an 8 year old who has unexpectedly inspired other children. Dillon Helbig, who is from Boise, Idaho, is a second grader who wrote a book and then hid it on a library shelf. This action resulted in there being a waiting list to check out his hand written book and other children wanting to write stories and books too. The whole story is great (and easy to find on the Internet).  And now other children want to write. How cool!

Where will your next inspiration come from? There is no way to know. All you have to do is be open to it. Looking for it can work for some, but many times it comes out of left field and is a surprise. Next time you’re inspired will you act, or let the opportunity pass you by?

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