Struggling with the juggling act between professional and personal goals? Whether you find it difficult to tune out the daily noise so you can focus on what you need to do, or unable to take care of yourself because you’re engrossed in the rat race, striking a comfortable balance is not easy. Plus, sometimes the sheer size of your goals, simply scares the hell out of you! Many of us go through exactly this; trying to keep things balanced between the goals we want to achieve personally and our professional goals.
So how does one work through this to make sure that you’re achieving your goals in all areas of your life? Let’s go through the possibilities:
1. Write. It. Down.
We’re in a time where most people don’t do just one thing, so how does one keep track of all they want to do? It’s as easy as beginning with a list. Note everything you’re busy with and all you want for the future. This can range from any professional goals you have – getting a promotion or working on a large, meaningful project – to personal, financial and lifestyle goals. Move these from that part of your mind that makes them seem unattainable to something tangible – paper. The act of simply putting thoughts to paper allows you to see them, note which are the priorities and then acknowledge them as doable.
2. Look into the specifics of each goal.
Do you know why so many time-management experts will tell you to turn big goals into smaller ones? Because it works. It may sound corny it really does make them a little easier to swallow. Think it through – what’s the big idea and what individual steps do you need to take to get there? Looking to save a large amount of money? Aim to save a smaller amount each month, week or even day and see how much easier it becomes to get there. Every goal can be broken down into something you can tackle each day.
3. Create positive habits.
Yup, this is that kind of list. All the positive belief in yourself and acknowledging the ambitions can’t replace putting in the actual work. If you’re aware of the fact that you’re a procrastinator, put a plan in place to combat that. Distracted easily? Work on cutting out the noise practically. What is it that’s going to help you when you feel stressed, when you feel overwhelmed? Who is supporting you on your journey and how will you make sure you ask them for help when you need it? How are you going to be the best communicator you can be on the path to where you want to go? Be honest when creating the habits you need to aid yourself to get to where you need – only you’ll know what you need.
4. Are you flexible?
While many people thrive working in structured ways, be aware of whether this works for you or not. Allow yourself a break from the rigid nature that can at times overwhelm you when you’re trying to find structure. Recognise the space, time and understanding you need from yourself when you encounter a hurdle, a plan doesn’t go the way you had hoped or even when you may disappoint yourself.
You may not get everything you want to when you want it but do welcome happiness into your life when things do go right. Celebrating even the tiniest of victories can open up the space you may need in your life for more good news to join. Turn the old saying, ‘misery loves company’ to ‘victory begets positivity’.
So, what do you want for the future, what are your goals? Share in the comments below
Men get paid more than women. Whether it’s top Hollywood actresses earning less than their male counterparts, or the recent BBC gender pay gap scandal, this is the message that’s being told every day in the media. But as hard as it may be to hear, it’s important to understand the role that we, as women, play in this bias. Could we be partly to blame?
We have somehow been groomed by society to feel lucky when we’re offered a job, to believe that our great results come only because of a team effort, and to instinctively shy away from the conversations that could get us more money. But now it’s time for us to do our part in changing this. It’s time to ask for a raise!
This situation can be a difficult one to navigate for many people, especially when you feel you aren’t yet equipped; but that’s no reason not to learn and then do it. It’s important to arm yourself first: research, strategize and take action. To help you on your way, we’ve put together these five key steps to take when readying yourself for that all important salary conversation.
1. Do your research
There are many elements involved in how you’re measured at work. Do you understand what is really expected of you, how you can create the most value for your company, and what your growth path is within your workplace? Put in the time to do your research properly and speak to your HR manager if you need to – once you know what’s expected of you and how you can progress it becomes easier for you to track. Compare how you’re getting paid to industry standards and use that as a benchmark for your negotiations. This helps you start the conversation with clear objectives in mind.
2. Be specific and clear in why you deserve it Make a list of what you’ve achieved in the time you’ve been doing your job. Don’t shy away from showing tangible results, how you’ve contributed to the bottom line of the business, as well as how you’ve met and surpassed the expectations that have been set for you. Make sure that you’re focused on what you have to offer that’s unique and specific to you. But remember to avoid comparison with other employees - no one gets a raise from badmouthing or devaluing the work that others do.
3. Choose the right moment
As with most things, there is a time and a place for salary conversations. Speaking to your manager about a raise when they’ve just laid off people isn’t one of those. Neither is after losing a client, or a manager leaving, or even when your work has been mediocre. Choose a time when you’ve done consistently well at work, when you’ve shown not only your worth to your team but also your drive to work to reach new heights. While waiting for the right time is important, do not wait until review time or for someone else to note the work you’re doing. Be your own cheerleader and let your confidence in your work shine through.
4. Can you compromise?
Be ready to be told no, but have other options. Your company may not be in a financial position to offer you the monetary compensation you feel you deserve, but should this happen, what else can they offer? Perhaps you need flexible hours, reimbursements for your work commute or even support to study and get training. A compromise can almost be made, so make sure you have a backup plan in place before having the conversation.
5. Be patient Negotiations take time. Be prepared to wait for a decision to made after having the conversation. You may also have to have a series of conversations, before a final verdict is decided. Be patient and know that it will be worth it in the end!
As they often say, practise makes perfect. Why not, have the salary conversation with a friend or family member first. Their critique and feedback on your approach or content may help you get to a place where you negotiate to win that raise every time.
In today’s busy world, I think it’s safe to say that we could all do with a little more time. But as there are only 24 hours in a day, how exactly do you do that? One simple way to free up extra time so that you can spend it on what really matters, is it to stop procrastinating and start making decisions. Effective decision-making is also crucial if you’re looking to up your game so that you can be at your very best.
To be an effective decision maker, you need to do two things; make the best decisions and make them quickly. So, how do you make the best decisions? It’s quite simple really; first you need to get to the heart of the decision and then you need to put more options on the table.
Here’s an example of a typical decision that working mothers are often faced with; shall I start working part-time, so that I have more time to spend with my kids? In this example, the heart of the decision is having more time with your kids and the first option is working part time. But there are other options too. A second option could be to have flexible working hours. This could mean that you head home and spend some time with your kids before they go to bed, but then put in a couple of extra work hours later. Then let’s find a third option! You could hire a house PA to help with some of the household chores and grocery shopping, so that the time that you do have at home can really be spent with your kids. So, as you can see, you now have three options that address the heart of the decision. The next step is to relate these options to your big picture, so that you’re able to make the best decision. Remember, your big picture should include everything you want to have as part of your perfect life.
So, why is making quick decisions so important? The answer is simple; if you can’t make quick decisions, this can easily become the bottleneck of your life. The fact is, that your decisions are not getting better because you think about them for a week. In fact, it’s actually quite the opposite. All that is really happening is that your decision making is taking your time away from more valuable things in your life.
Now that you know what you need to do to make decisions effectively, start practising and you’ll soon notice how you can free up time for the things that really matter.
What do you do to make better decisions? We would love to know. Share your tips in our Facebook Group, TAC She Sisterhood, and there you can also receive lots of valuable tips and tools to help you thrive in your life and career. Come over and say Hi!
Bye for now.
In todays busy world we often get stuck in a linear way of thinking, which does not help either effective problem solving or innovation. To bring out our most creative thinking research shows there are four simple things we need to do:
So, there is not much stopping us from effectively accessing our best creative thinking. Time to start now.
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HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.