what matters most?

 Bob Shenefelt

Bob Shenefelt

Four steps to balancing work and home life

We live in crazy times, constantly bombarded with information, distractions and opportunities. How can you get through all of your “to-do’s” and “wish I didn’t have to’s” without being completely stressed out?  Here are a few easy steps that you can use to help focus on what matters most and achieve balance in your work and home life.

1. Create a ritual. Set aside a window of time each day for reflection. For me, it’s 30 minutes early in the morning before my family wakes. Others like to reflect in the evening so they are ready for the next day. The amount of time isn’t as important as the regular commitment to “check in” with yourself.

2. Build structure. Consider three questions when you reflect, and take notes! You’ll need them for the next step.

•  What matters most to me right now? Family, friends, health, landing a successful business deal? There are no right or wrong answers. This exercise helps you to focus where you will put your energy and effort.
•  What are my three most important action items for the day? Identify concrete actions you can complete today that will make a positive impact on what matters most to you. For example, if friendship matters most, commit to calling a friend you haven’t seen in a while and set a date to meet up. A realistic goal is to identify three to five action items per day.
•  If it were up to me, what one thing would be true? Your answer may be funny, sarcastic or straightforward. For example, if you have a lot of meetings scheduled in different parts of town, your answer might be, “Teleporting would be a real thing.” This question helps frame your mindset: Are you feeling hopeful, frustrated, determined? Knowing where you are emotionally helps you identify potential opportunities and roadblocks to getting to what matters most.

3. Share your thoughts. Any worthy goal written down and shared is likely to happen, so share your thoughts with a trusted group of friends, colleagues or family members. I like to call this trusted group my “tribe.” I use the iMatter 331 app to share with my tribe, but you may find that sharing in an email works for you. Sharing may feel awkward at first, but you’ll be surprised at the feedback you get: support, follow-up or recommendations for ways to tackle a problem you hadn’t thought about. Sharing also helps you to follow through on your action items.

4. Be exponentially productive. Sure, there are 50 things on your to-do list, but when you focus on a few daily action items that truly matter most to you, you’ll feel more accomplished. All the other items can then be quickly knocked out or delegated, leaving more time for the things you truly enjoy.  

Bob Shenefelt is a visionary entrepreneur and founder of iMatter, iMatter for Kids and RCS. Bob’s passion is to grow entrepreneurs, kids and communities. He is an author, speaker and success coach. imatter.com