It is not very often that we get the chance to stop and assess. We might do it after a major project at work or it might just be after a big night out and the morning after hangover is making you reassess your decisions. We might do these sporadically but we should do this for our lives even more often.
It might seem like we do not need to do this. Our lives are running smoothly and have been going so for a while. But we get settled in our routine and forget that we have had to rearrange certain aspects of our lives and our lifestyles to accommodate some other features.
At the end of every month, we should stop and assess. How is work going? Are we being utilised to our greatest potential? Are there any areas where we can add value to the business? Or more importantly, are there any areas where we are being over-worked and we need to cut back on our commitment.
Workplace creep is a term used to describe the slowly moving scales we use at work. If we finish work at five, but slowly we start stopping five minutes later, then after a week, it goes to minutes later. Then before long, we are routinely working an extra hour and even longer. The creep has made this seem normal, but this is impacting on our normal lives.
Work and life balance is a phrase that is often used and very often ignored. We work hard and then manage to find the time to have a life. We enjoy the weekends and we try to capitalise on our evenings. But we should never live to work. Work should be supporting our lives and allowing us to do other things outside of work.
Work to live, not live to work.
Having a regular assessment of our life is a great opportunity to set ourselves achievable goals and targets for the months ahead. Where do we want to be by the end of the next month? What do we need to do within the next year to achieve that promotion and what can we do right now to change our path.
This might be the time you realise that you need to walk into the boss’ office and have a difficult chat about your workload. It might also be the time you can discuss training and potential course you can go on which will benefit the company and yourself.
Most importantly, this is an assessment of how happy you are feeling at work. Without thinking about it, we can become stuck in a rut and it is suddenly ten years later. A quick assessment every month, enables us to spot this rut and to plan a route out of it.
It might seem like a waste of time to spend half an hour every month looking at ourselves but we have to be selfish with our time and do everything in our power to benefit us.