Do you find it difficult to maintain your well-being in a fast-paced work environment? You’re not alone. This post is inspired by conversations with professionals at this year’s Digital Analytics Hub Conference, where we identified common challenges to achieving optimal well-being and best practices in breaking through obstacles to achieve the lifestyle you desire.
Start Here: Choose The Lifestyle You Want
When you have a clear vision of what you want for your life, it’s easier to set boundaries that help you bring that vision to reality.
My personal favorite technique to set such visions is to start by analyzing how you spend your time. Begin with essentials such as sleep, work, and care, for both yourself and others.
Are you able to carve out enough time for the things you need to thrive? Are you maximizing the time you spend with the people who matter most? What brings you the greatest joy? What would you change? How can you build those insights into a schedule that enables you to have more of what you love in your life?
Those who have a clear vision of the lifestyle they want find it much easier to say “no” to requests that don’t fit their vision, and “yes” to everything that helps their dreams become real.
Next: Prioritize What Matters Most
Evaluate how you want to be spending your time and where you want to be focusing your attention.
What do you need to survive and thrive in your life?
- Ample sleep
- Financial well-being to take care of basic needs of food, shelter and a safe environment
- Financial education and resources to establish an emergency fund and set yourself up for a comfortable retirement
- Time to enjoy the people who matter most
- Time to do things that are fun and improve your overall well-being, such as physical fitness and travel
- Time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate
- Access to health benefits including healthcare, dental, vision, mental wellness resources
What do you need to bring your most focused energy to your work each day?
- Fair compensation
- Resources to do your work
- Safe work environment
- Clear and consistent goals
- Work with the right level of challenge
- Recognition for achievement
- Work is meaningful and rewarding
- Clear path for advancement
- Your voice is heard
- Your opinion is valued
Then: Bring Your Vision To Life
Set your plan in motion with the practices that professionals are successfully using to bring their best to their work and their entire life:
- Recognize that achieving your optimal well-being is up to you.
- Acknowledge that you have a choice in how you spend your time.
- If you’re not getting what you need from your employer to live your best life, start the conversation and ask for what you need, focusing exclusively on the elements that are within their control such as:
- Flexibility of schedule
- Setting clearly defined working hours
- Recognition for your achievements
- Healthcare, dental, and vision insurance benefits
- Work location
- Maximize your time when working out by using the activity to
- Recharge: select an activity that allows you to completely disconnect, giving you a respite from the stresses of daily life to become re-energized. For example, in activities like tennis or volleyball, you’re often focused on the social or competitive aspects of the activity, which helps you clear your mind of stress.
- Spark Breakthrough Ideas: select an activity that enables you to think through challenges and identify resolutions. For example, when you’re running, walking or hiking, it’s common for your mind to assess various scenarios, resolutions and potential outcomes before a winning idea shines through.
- Ask for help from friends and colleagues.
- It may be helpful for you to align with someone in a similar situation who can become your “accountability buddy” where you share your goals privately and check-in with a frequent cadence to hold each other accountable toward the achievement of your goals.
- Build a “tribe” of support around you. You can cultivate relationships with allies and advocates at work and beyond through networking groups and mentorships as examples. If you have children, it’s helpful to set up carpools and reciprocal child-care, like a babysitting co-op, where you rotate who cares for a group of kids on their days off from school. The kids are having fun because they’re spending time with their friends while you attain the support you need.
Finally: Blast Through Any Obstacles
A common, yet often overlooked challenge is the pressure we put on ourselves. As you explore opportunities to improve your well-being, consider if you may be able to improve the way you:
- Think about yourself
- Talk about yourself
- Advocate for yourself
Consider these ideas to alleviate self-induced pressure:
The Way You Think About Yourself
- You may feel guilty when you take time for yourself or shame when you’re not seen as perfect, either in the work you do or as a parent or in some other aspect of your life. It’s ok. Nobody is perfect. Think about the people in your life. Do you expect any of them to be perfect? They do not expect perfection from you either. Remember, there is power in imperfection and vulnerability. For inspiration, you might want to read Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection.
- If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, where you may host feelings of inadequacy in spite of success, it’s helpful to list your accomplishments. You may be pleasantly surprised at the result.
The Way You Talk About Yourself
- Extraordinary power comes from your thoughts. Keep them positive and uplifting. As Napoleon Hill wrote, “When you close the door of your mind to negative thoughts, the door of opportunity opens to you.”
- The way you talk about yourself reflects your level of confidence. Having confidence in yourself breeds confidence in the way others see you. Let your best self shine through in your words and those words will lead to action, not only your actions, but the actions of others, that will open the doors of opportunity you’ve been hoping for.
The Way You Advocate For Yourself
- People who would love to help you may not know how. Ask for what you need so that you can get what you deserve.
- For example, are you accessible and responding to work requests 24/7? Email and other requests on your time can be all-consuming. Choose what is truly worthy of your time and attention. Harvard Business Review’s, 6 Ways To Set Boundaries Around Email includes valuable tips to help you maximize your use of email.
- One way to help advocate for yourself is to think of the example you’re setting. How do you want to be remembered by the people in your community, your colleagues or your children? By imagining yourself in the way you want to be remembered, you’re often better able to advocate for the things you need to bring that vision of yourself to life.
Maintaining your well-being in a fast-paced environment is a process that begins by choosing the lifestyle you want, then prioritizing activities to ensure you’re getting everything you need to achieve that life. It’s not easy to set boundaries, but you must. Time is your most valuable asset. How are you protecting each precious moment to ensure that you are investing your time in the things that matter most and will bring you closer to your vision of your best life? As my Dad always says, “An ounce of gold cannot buy a minute of time.” Relentless prioritization is an essential ingredient to success, helping you focus your valuable time on what truly matters most. You have but one life. Isn’t it about time you started making the most of it?
Is there anything you would add to this discussion? Send your thoughts and comments to us at email@example.com. We would love to hear your ideas!
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