A purpose of this blog is to consider the realities of living today's complex life at home and on the job and making it all work out. So then, how exciting a couple of Saturdays ago to find at our local library, Off Balance by Matthew Kelly?! Its subtitle is "getting beyond the work-life balance myth to personal and professional satisfaction."
As it turns out, my thoughts are not too different than Kelly's writings, although he does it better. My idea is that continuous improvement in one or more of our roles and responsibilities (whatever appears most important at the time) helps us in all areas of our life. By contrast, Off Balance explains how satisfaction is not found in making sure you have "balance," such as keeping to 40 hour work weeks in order to spend quality time with your family and hobbies. Instead, satisfaction is found in evaluating where you are right now in terms of satisfaction, then engaging in a prioritizing and implementing plan to increase your satisfaction. By prioritizing what's most important and eliminating what's not, increased personal and professional satisfaction is attainable.
I have taken the evaluation questionnaires found in the book, and also online at the consulting firm behind the book, www.floydconsulting.com. The exercise goes beyond the score and helps identify opportunities to increase specific areas. For example, I found that I may increase my satisfaction if I:
- Hold on loosely to weekend camping trips. Don't worry about weather. If a trip is cancelled, there are plenty of enjoyable alternatives at home.
- Set aside time developing my interests in creative writing.
- Take initiative to resolve communication and professional relationship issues at the office within my sphere of influence.
The next step is to set priorities. What are the most important things in my life? Work? Family? Faith? How do they relate to one another? That's the project I'm working on now and will report on next week.
What can you and I do to increase the level of personal and professional satisfaction over the next 90 days?