1. Be where you are.
It seems, in the not-so-distant past, people had conversations while dining out. Not anymore! At my last count, I observed well over 70% of those I could see, while visually scanning the restaurant, were disengaged entirely from all conversation with their dining partner. How sad is that? Heads down and fingers crunching the screen of their phones, losing time, personal interactions, and just being in the moment – all lost. What could be so crucial on their phones, it would preclude the idea of a conversation, live and in person? If the distraction is all about work, plan better while at work. While there were exceptions to this observation, when over half of the people are participating, it points to an event, not a trend. I recommend you plan to be in the moment, whenever and wherever you are. Simply be there.
2. Focus your time and attention on things in your circle of influence.
Granted, there are expectations in most work situations, which your employer determines. Changing these situations can have significant life consequences, which require much bigger decisions. So plan to be successful with your current and present situation. Focus on what you do and choices that align with your goals. Have a relaxing meal with friends or family to help balance a stressful workday. I rarely look at my phone during a meal unless I plan for a “working” meal ahead of time. “Emergency” calls generally aren’t a true emergency, but rather a simple lack of planning on someone’s part – not mine. And remember, someone else’s lack of planning does not create an emergency for you…usually! Yes, there are exceptions to every rule; just try not always to be the exception.
3. Determine what is important to you.
I often discuss challenges or opportunities with Janna, my wife and sounding board. When two minds focus on a plan for success, it becomes exponentially easier to define and then, of course, accomplish. Often, a simple discussion leads to an epiphany, thereby revealing the issue’s importance or lack of importance. Ultimately, I recommend quieting the mind and going with your inner feelings. Remember, you and you alone are responsible for your thoughts and actions. Upset? You chose to feel that way. Happy? Again, a choice you make. Go with your feelings, rather than your thinking, as to the importance of the challenge…opportunity!
4. Get your body moving.
My dear friend, Ed Foreman, recommends jumping out of bed in the morning to set your personal stage for success. I admit I’m not a “jumper,” but his thinking is 100% on target. By convincing myself today is a “Terrific!” day with affirmations and positive thinking, I truly get my body moving positively as soon as I get out of bed.
5. Stop doing things you don’t like to do.
In my talks, I often give an example about eating food that isn’t very good. Most would simply succumb to the inadequacies of the restaurant and service, but not me. Without creating a scene, I simply ask the server to take it back and either bring me something different or just take it off the bill. Don’t eat bad food! Likewise, don’t do things that make you unhappy! And, if you don’t like the way people are treating you, thus causing you to feel unhappy, change the way you respond. Change the people, the situation, or both.
6. Remember to take it easy.
Give yourself a break here. Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to balance your life. Simply start by spending an hour a week on your hobby, planning a weekend getaway with your spouse, or learning something new. Even when feeling overwhelmed by your job or commitments, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. Do something that makes you happy every single day. It will be much easier to determine what you want out of life when you get into this habit!
7. Stop saying you “don’t have time”!
Unless you are about to take your last breath, you have time. You choose how you spend every minute of every day. Besides being a phrase with very bad energy – what you think about you bring about after all – saying that you “don’t have time” is not a winning statement. “I have time!” is so much better!