Sometimes work life and home life don’t run smoothly together. Maybe it’s not possible to make healthy changes at work. Think of a nurse on a 12 hour nightshift with no planned time to eat or rest or a seasonal worker on a zero hours’ contract with little notice for each day’s work. An attempt to make change across all aspects of work and home life may be too complicated.
It might be better in this case to tackle change at home first before bringing it into the workplace. This will give you time to make changes more habitual rather than struggling through when your defenses are low.
To break your goal into life segments, look at ways you can plan your lifestyle to minimise disruptions brought about by irregular work or life balance. Think of creating strong routines at home where good quality food is made and frozen in advance or laundry is completed as early as possible so you are prepared for last minute changes to schedules. Instead of tackling undesirable eating or exercise habits first, bolster your reserves by improving your home organisation skills. The idea is to stockpile the time and energy you will need for the next stage of your change. When you know that you can come home and relax you will feel more able to bring change into a busy work environment. Weekly meal planners, internet shopping, batch cooking and delay timers on home appliances can all help achieve this.
In his book, 'The 7 habits of highly effective people', Stephen Covey describes the importance of time management. Using a simple matrix (see above), he recommends prioritising tasks in the Important/Not urgent category to free up time to deal with crises or deadlines. While you may feel overwhelmed at first, becoming accustomed to this kind of organisation could mean the difference between delicious homemade lasagne and cold fish'n'chips after work.
Is this your go to method for breaking down your goals? If you still haven't found yours, don't worry. Next week, we'll look at how you can turn it into a game.