Let’s talk about wholistic productivity… What does it mean, and how can we take steps to cultivate it so that we’re living a life that we’re proud of?
This is just one of the topics we’re touching on in Episode 119 of the podcast this week… and to me, it’s an important one because as the world that we live in continues to get busier and busier, so many of us run the risk of losing sight of what’s truly important at the end of the day, which is finding that sweet spot of harmony between our work and personal lives.
If you’ve been following along since Productivity Paradox first launched (ten seasons ago!) then you may have heard me say this a time or two before: balance is bogus!
Far too often we try to balance our time equally between what we have going on at the office and what we have going on at home, and we wind up feeling burnt out and exhausted as a result…
So today, I want to put the idea of “balance” away for good and focus on what I think is most important instead: finding harmony between the different areas of our lives… because in order to be truly content and find the happiness that each and every one of us deserves, we need to stop trying to walk the tightrope that separates all of the different aspects of our lives and start seeking harmony in those areas of separation instead.
But first, let’s take a look at what I mean when I say wholistic… You might notice a ‘w’ at the beginning of the word, and that’s definitely not a spelling mistake!
To me, wholistic living (which lends itself to wholistic productivity) means that you’re making it a point to take care of yourself as a whole. That is, your whole self as it relates to all areas of your life. It’s about striving to overcome the misconception that many of us have surrounding happiness, that working longer and harder hours for monetary gain is all that we need to cultivate joy, so that we can learn to take care of ourselves completely instead.
Part of how we can accomplish this is by focusing on ways that we can find harmony between the different parts of our lives that often have us moving in a thousand different directions at once… In other words, harmony is all about integrating your personal life (and the things you love!) into your busy working life.
And if you find yourself struggling with how to go about this, then I’ve got some helpful tips to help you achieve the work-life harmony you need.
Let’s jump in!
One of the biggest ways you can find the harmony that you need to achieve work-life balance is to practice being present at all times.
Wherever you are, be there!
If you’re in the office working on crossing off items on your priority list, then make it a point to put as much of your energy and focus into those tasks… but once your working day is done, don’t let your work consume you at home. As soon as you make the transition from work mode to personal mode, it’s important that you keep your mind in the present moment as much as possible, as well.
If you’re spending time with your kids after work, put your phone away so that you’re less likely to run into work-related distractions. Those emails you didn’t get to answer when you were still sitting at your desk? Leave them for another day. I promise, whether you’re taking some time to help your kiddos with their homework, having dinner with your significant other at your favorite restaurant, or cuddling up on the couch to relax and watch a movie… those emails will still be waiting for you when you get back into the office.
So whatever you’re doing, be mindful of the situation at hand and be present. The more present you are each day, the easier it will be to find the harmony, joy and contentment that you’re searching for!
Instead of trying to balance your time, focus on being more creative with your time instead.
If you have a project at work that you’ve struck a lot of momentum on or even a personal project that requires your solo energy, don’t sacrifice the time you have to spend with others in your personal life to tend to that project. Remember, it’s all about harmonizing here!
One of the easiest ways that you can sneak in some extra time for projects, especially if you have kids at home, is to seek out those pockets of time when your kids are engaged in something else… like sleeping, for example!
A writer friend of mine recently told me that one of the easiest ways she was able to find time to spend writing her latest novel was when her kids, ages four and six, were all tucked in and off to bed in the evenings. By getting creative with her time, she was able to find the harmony she needed between her work and personal life… and that made all the difference in how she approached finishing her novel!
In our busy world, far too often we place those who are constantly on-the-go and working longer and longer hours on a pedestal… because the more you work, the more productive you are, and the more success you experience, right?
Even though I will admit that being determined and working hard is admirable, it becomes way too easy to neglect the other areas of life that are as equally important as the work that we do!
No matter what, those of us in the working world who wish to achieve the work-life harmony that we’re talking all about on Episode 119 this week need to start with making conscious choices…
Reflect carefully on the work that you want to do and the time you’re willing to spend working. If your career only succeeds at the expense of your health, happiness, and personal life (which includes the relationship you have with your family and friends)… is it really worth it?
If you’re an entrepreneur, then you understand how insanely busy life can be!
To help overcome some of the on-the-go mentality that often comes with building a career, whether in the business world or elsewhere, then it’s important that you strive for work-life harmony by creating margins in your day-to-day schedule.
Take a look at your priority list at work and at home, and build in free time, family and friend time, and personal time into the margins of your daily life.
The more rounded you are, the more happiness you can cultivate in and outside of the office!
One of my favorite ways to sneak in some extra time with my kids, especially when they have time off from school over holiday vacations or during their summer break, is to bring them with me to the studio during the slower seasons of the year.
Having them help me put boxes together in preparation for spring and fall product launches, brainstorm ideas for our monthly calendar downloads, or come up with fun color schemes for the insides of our IWP planners is often a great way for us to connect, and it serves as a way to get them engaged in what I do when I’m not at home!
The more I’m able to include them, the easier it is to find the harmony that I find is imperative to my overall well-being. Not only that, but they love coming to work with me… and I love that I get to spend some extra time with them!
What helps you find the work-life harmony that you need? Share your experiences, what’s worked for you and what hasn’t, in the comments below… And be sure to tune in to Episode 119 of the podcast to learn all about how working long hours impacts your productivity and your happiness overall.