I recall a class I had on business writing that said the first two paragraphs of an article should be about the problem—then pose the solution to the reader (assuming they made it that far.) Who has time for that? Instead, let’s assume we all know what the problem is—we don’t feel like there is enough time in the day to do all we want (and have) to do.
We’d like to be better bosses, co-workers, parents, friends, husbands / wives, volunteers—and the list goes on and on—but due to our hectic schedules that never seem to let up, we do what we can. This leaves us feeling a little guilty about not being able to do it all at an All Star level. Wait, that was two paragraphs about the problem. Dang it.
Okay, on to the solution. The term “new normal” implies that things are not going to go back to the way they were. It was Henry Ford who first suggested reducing the work week to 40 hours. Today, most people must work more than that just to survive (plus we must add in the commute time.) It also seems we are always “on the clock” because we are connected to work through technology.
Many of us could be more in the moment if we would be willing to not look check e-mail and social media every five seconds out of fear we may missing out on something—which is ironic because we may be missing out on things that are happening right there in front of us while we are buried in our phones.
The key to finding balance is to be fully engaged in what we are doing. When we are at work, that is our priority and we focus on doing the best we can. We’re “all in.” When we are with our family and friends, we are “all there,” and give our kids, spouses, or pets our undivided attention.
We can’t control a lot of things, but we can control our choices about what we will focus on and for how long. It used to be that we would say it’s not about the quantity of time we spend with people, it’s about the quality of that time. That hasn’t changed.