We are multi-dimensional creatures with multiple needs, that evolve in the face of multi-layered pressures in our work life. We wade through the undergrowth of matrix decision-making; we shelter from regular crises that drench us; if we’re quick-witted, we make use of the clearings and dry spells to actually get work done. How much of our work life is spent wading and sheltering vs planning and implementing?
Though much of our progress towards balance and success in our work life is interdependent of environmental, political, societal, and commercial factors, we still have some wiggle room to influence our own triumphs.
4Ps to balance work life
Being fast has its merits. No-one likes a slow coach. There’s an expectation we move, think, act quickly to keep up with the demands of real time endeavour. Pace however is much hardier and more intelligent, as a quality. The speed or rate at which something happens or develops. Pace is about understanding when to go fast, when to slow down, when to cruise, or even stop. Mastering a suitable pace in your work life means burn out is avoided, and races are won with breath to spare.
There’s plenty of science to back up the potent effect positivity has on us. A positive attitude, to even the toughest scenarios in our work life, goes a long way to resolve issues more effectively (and enjoyably). If unclouded by blame, cynicism, or frustration, we have clearer minds to act constructively. We can focus on overcoming the challenge to hand rather than on how the difficulties have ruined our day. Easy to complain. Better for everyone to stay positive.
We usually like to have something to show for our effort. A result of some sort. Money, recognition, acceptance, content, output, a product, service, programme, experience. The list is limitless. The size and quality of our effort’s reward depends on our productivity. Like Pace, there’s an expectation we push for maximum productivity, on all fronts, always. Time wasters, procrastinators and dreamers step aside! Productivity if obsessive however can lead to stress, The perfect saboteur of our productive efforts. Productivity’s best chance at achieving something significant is when we push distractions and obsessions away. This frees up our focus, to achieve the achievable, and then some.
A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. That’s what pleasure is. It may apply as we celebrate the completion of a complex project – even if the process getting there was all but pleasurable. It may also be an unlikely small victory on a large scale task that makes us smile inside. Or punch the air behind closed doors. A lunchtime picnic, or pint after work, with colleagues; a leisurely tea break with banter, and good biscuits, or a solitary stroll in the park to gather thoughts are small pleasures perhaps. Easily kicked to the curb when the heat is turned up in our work life. Pleasure reminds us we’re human, not work machines. When sought as part of a daily regimen in our work life, pleasure keeps us happy. Happy keeps us well.
4Ps to balance work life
PACE – POSITIVITY – PRODUCTIVITY – PLEASURE
© Amanda Yensa Manor 2015