Posts Tagged “work life fit”

Midyear Check In: Simple Calendar Strategy for Work+Life Fit in 2015

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(This article originally appeared in Time.com in January, 2015.  But as we approach the middle of the year, I thought it would be a good opportunity to review and regroup)

A combined priority list helps reestablish solid boundaries around what you need and want to get done

For many of us, another new year means another new calendar; however, if you’re like a majority of all U.S. full-time workers, you’ll start several new calendars or have no calendar at all. This could be one reason why your work-life balance New Year’s resolution usually fails.

As part of our most recent survey of full-time U.S. workers conducted by global research firm ORC International, we found that more than half (53%) of all respondents said they either keep separate calendars/priority lists for work and personal events/tasks (36%) or don’t use any calendar or priority list at all (17%). Forty-seven percent of respondents said they keep one, combined calendar/priority list that tracks all their work and personal events/tasks in a single view.

That simple single calendar approach may be one of the keys to work and life success. For more than a decade we’ve studied the secrets of a group we call the work+life fit “naturals,” those unique individuals who seem to intuitively understand how to fit work and life together in a way that allows them to be their best on and off the job. Almost all of them keep one combined calendar/priority list that clearly shows what they are trying to accomplish, daily and weekly, both at work and in their personal life.

By displaying both their work and personal to-dos together, the naturals shift from “reactive overwhelm” to “deliberate intention.” As the line between our jobs and our personal lives continues to blur, a combined calendar and priority list helps the naturals reestablish solid boundaries around what they need and want to get done. It also forces them to prioritize and to think about the best way to accomplish the activity or task entered.

For example, when a natural receives a request from a colleague to start a meeting at 1 p.m., but had planned to take a 30-minute lunch walk at the same time, the combined calendar forces a pause and a moment of conscious choice. The natural can either accept the meeting and walk earlier or choose not to walk at all. Or he or she can ask if the meeting could start 30 minutes later.

Setting up a combined calendar/priority list is simple. Platforms like Gmail, iCalendar, and Outlook allow you to view your work and personal calendars together, and adjust privacy settings to limit which entries can be seen by whom.

Some naturals note entries as specific as “call mother to check in,” “order groceries,” or “review 401K,” while others simply block out periods of time knowing clearly what they want to accomplish without writing it down. The point is the boundary has been established with deliberate intention, which increases the likelihood that what matters will actually happen.

When it comes to calendars and priority lists, and finally breaking the cycle of “balance” resolution failure, apply that old saying “less is more.” Just one calendar may be the key to increased professional success and personal well-being in 2015.

What about you?  Do you keep one combined calendar/priority list, two separate (one for work and one for the other parts of your life), or none at all?

I invite you to continue the conversation on Twitter @caliyost or on Facebook.   

 

Yes, Small Biz Owners CAN Work and Have a Life Too! Tips and Challenges

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If I am completely honest, one of the primary motivations for writing TWEAK IT, was to learn how to make what mattered to me happen every day, on and off the job.

I am an entrepreneur/small business owner.  While there are many wonderful benefits to my chosen professional path, there are a few downsides.

For me, and for many small business owners I meet, one of the biggest challenges IS managing our work+life fit. 

Perhaps we have a greater degree of flexibility and control, but we often have more limited resources–time, people and money.  Therefore, it is very easy to fall into the traps like:

“I’ll just send one more email, and then have dinner with my family.” But then dinner’s over, or

“I can go to the gym tomorrow because I need to finish this proposal.”  Then you realize you haven’t moved your body in three weeks.

After researching and writing TWEAK IT and then following the simple weekly work+life fit practice myself for that last few years, I believe small business owners can work AND have a life.

We just have to be a bit more intentional about it. 

So I was thrilled when VISA Small Business approached me to be the featured expert on their Facebook page last month!

I offered entrepreneurs/small business owners seven of my best work+life fit tips and challenges.

VISA transformed them into such beautiful graphics, I had to share.

What other tips and challenges would you offer?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #4:

 

Celebrate Success! (Quick Tip #6)–Join Me: “TWEAK IT” Webinar TODAY

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Welcome to Day #6 of TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series! 

 

For six days, I have shared  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating TODAY, Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #6: Don’t Expect Perfection.  Celebrate Success! 

Today, I explain:

  • Why you need to make 70% you bar of success
  • Why it’s important to celebrate what you DO get done, because it’s often more than you give yourself credit for, and
  • Why one of the biggest mistakes we make is to expect perfection.

 

TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series Recap:

To make what matters to you happen every day…just “tweak it!”

Choose Specific Weekly “Tweaks” to Be Your Best, On and Off the Job (Quick Tip #5)

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Welcome to Day #5 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series! 

For six days, I will share  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #5: Choose Specific Weekly “Tweaks” To Be Your Best, On and Off the Job

Today, I explain:

  • How choosing specific “tweaks” related to work, your career and your personal life build a foundation of well-being and order
  • Why that foundation helps you be your best, on and off the job, and
  • Why those “tweaks” will be a combination of ongoing, “standard” actions and priorities that happen week after week, and “unique” tweaks that will always change.

Tomorrow’s Tip:  Don’t Expect Perfection, and Celebrate Success.

Harness the Power of Small Everyday Actions (Quick Tip #4)

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Welcome to Day #4 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series!

For six days, I will share  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #4: Recognize and Harness the Power of Small Everyday Actions

Today, I explain:

  • How we tend to overlook the way the smallest actions contribute our sense of well-being, order and performance
  • Why these meaningful, small actions are barely noticeable to anyone but us, and
  • Why we need to harness them all into a weekly practice that allows us to celebrate their collective power.

Tomorrow’s Tip:  Choose to specific “tweaks” each week to build a foundation of well-being, order and performance.

LIVE 5/8 in NYC FREE Event and Book! It’s Not About “Balance”–Your Work-Life Can Be “Flexible”

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I am very excited to offer this special opportunity courtesy of Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces.

Join me LIVE for a FREE Event and Book  in New York City on Wednesday, May 8, 6:30pm – 8:00pm.  

I will help celebrate the grand opening of the Regus’ first-ever, ground level Business Lounge, 747 Third Avenue in New York City, which is conveniently located in Midtown at 46th and Third.

I will share my newest thinking about work+life flexibility–where we are, where it’s going, what people and businesses need to do better and smarter for flexible work success.

AND, if you are one of the first 50 attendees, you will receive a complimentary signed copy of my new book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day!  

This event could not happen at a better time.

The incredible news firestorm around Yahoo’s and Best Buy’s decision to end their work-from-home policies got the whole country thinking about the notion of being able to work more flexibly.  From the C-suite to front line managers in charge of a stressed and exhausted workforce, the conversation around the “new way to work” has never been more top of mind.

There are even bottom line issues for companies to consider – “if I create more opportunities for people to work from anywhere, can I trim by real estate costs?” not to mention employee retention and improved morale.

Why is Regus sponsoring this event?  Regus has also been a champion of working flexibly since the late 1980s, and has locations in 600 cities in nearly 100 countries.   And they believe the new Business Lounge will be life-changing for any New Yorker looking for a professional alternative to coffee shops and make-shift offices for less than the cost of a daily latte.

I agree!  Check it out, get a book, and say “hi.”  Hope to see you, your friends, your colleagues there.

My “Tweak of the Week” for April 15th. Share Yours!

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How are you going to tweak the way work fits into your life this week and make what matters happen over the next seven days?

Check out this brief two-minute video where I share my “tweaks of the week” for the week of April 15th.

I want to hear from you!

We tried the LIVE Facebook hangout on Monday’s at lunch time, but I got feedback that’s not a good time because people don’t feel comfortable logging into Facebook at work (makes sense).

So, let’s try again…

Join me SUNDAY EVENING April 21st from 8:00-8:30 pm est LIVE on our Facebook page, to:

  • Celebrate what you did accomplish this week
  • Share one or two small actions with big impact you are going to make part of your work+life fit next week
  • Ask questions and get encouragement to stay on track!

Share your tweaks for this week any time on Twitter.  Use hashtag #mytweaks and cc. me @caliyost.  I will give you  a personal shout-out!

Remember, without clocks and walls to tell us where work ends and the other parts of life begin, if you want to make what matters to you happen every day…just TWEAK IT!

 

My standards tweaks for the week of April 15:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My unique tweaks for the week of April 15:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Personal Finance Part of Your Busy, Everyday Work+Life Fit

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Next Monday is Tax Day. And, for many, it’s the annual reminder that, “I really need to pay more attention to my money.” 

But good intentions get lost in the everyday busyness of work and life unless we make personal financial management an ongoing, deliberate part of our weekly TWEAK IT practice.

Thankfully, TWEAK IT Personal Finance Expert, Manisha Thakor, can get us started!

Manisha Thakor is the founder of MoneyZen Wealth Management LLC and the author of a number of terrific personal finance books.

Her accessible and understandable approach to money is, “If we simplify our finances, we simplify our life.”

Recently, I spoke to Manisha about the steps we can take to manage our personal finances better and smarter.  Here are highlights of our brief, but very insightful conversation:

  • After candidly sharing a couple of personal financial challenges that I face, Manisha explains how to get around these common roadblocks.
  • In addition to the terrific personal finance “tweaks” she offers in the book and on the www.tweakittogether.com site, Manisha shares an important, powerful small step we can all take this week to improve our personal financial well-being.
  • Finally, as a busy entrepreneur, Manisha talks about the one small step she makes part of her weekly routine that has improved her sense of well-being and order.

I hope you learn as much from our conversation as I did.

To find out more about Manisha Thakor and her Money Zen personal financial management philosophy, check out www.moneyzen.com.

 

Remember, if you want to make what matters to you happen every day, just TWEAK IT!

 

 

Work+Life Fit Named “Best of the Net” By Working Mother!

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Thank you Working Mother!  We are honored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Is It “Flex+Strategy Group” AND “Work+Life Fit Inc.” ?

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(This article appeared in our weekly email newsletter. Click here to get your copy delivered to your mailbox.) 

We all have those moments when we realize that something so obvious to us is unclear to others.  It happened to me the other day when the organizer of an event at which I am speaking said, “Why is your company called the Flex+Strategy Group / Work+Life Fit, Inc.?”

I love it when people ask this question, because it gives me an opportunity to explain the intentional symbolism behind the name. So in case you are also curious, here’s what I said:

Flex+Strategy / Work+Life Fit is the partnership that organizations and individuals need to create for flexible work to succeed.  You can’t have one without the other.

It’s “Flex+Strategy” for business because flexibility in how, where and when work is done needs to be executed as part of organization’s overall plan to achieve its goals.

Unfortunately, a majority of leaders and employees don’t see work flexibility as a core strategy to get the job done and manage their lives. In most cases, it’s still perceived to be an optional, nice-to-have, perk or benefit. (2011 Work+Life FIt Reality Check). The goal of “Flex+Strategy” is to position work flexibility where it rightfully belongs so that both the business and people can benefit.

People can’t manage their work and life, day-to-day and at major transitions, if they don’t have flexibility in how, when and/or where they do their job, which brings us to “Work+Life Fit” for individuals.

If we stopped at “Flex+Strategy,” it would reinforce the outdated bias that organizations and managers need to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to making work flexibility a success.  That’s not accurate, but again that’s what most of us think. According to the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check, 73% of respondents answered “true” to the statement, “work life flexibility is only possible if my employer and/or boss provide it.”

The reality is that your employer or boss can’t “give” you flexibility.  They can support it as a core strategy (see above). But then it is up to each of us to capture what is available and use it to manage the unique fit between our responsibilities on and off the job, every day and at major life transitions.

In other words, your employer and boss can support working from home periodically, but they can’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “You know what. You need to get that leaky pipe in the basement fixed.  Why don’t you work from home tomorrow and meet the plumber,” or “You must be thinking about retirement soon.  Why don’t you put together a proposal to continue working as a consultant for the group?”

Initiating a plan that makes sense and then understanding how to coordinate, collaborate, and communicate responsibly to get the job gets done is up to us. This is a modern skill set we all need, but most of us don’t have. The good news is we can learn.

Organizations must directly link work flexibility and business strategy, and everyone needs to learn how to partner with their manager, customers, colleagues and family members for flexible work success, on and off the job. That’s why we are the “Flex+Strategy Group / Work+Life Fit, Inc.”

And with that the event organizer replied, “Got it.”

Do you have a question you want to ask or a comment you want to share? Connect with us in the way that is most comfortable for you:

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