Do you pride your time management ability on being a multitasker?
When it comes to time management, I’ve learned that while multitasking might bring you brief success, it won’t lead to a life of significance.
Because enjoying the benefits of significant living come not from doing, but from being – not from slicing and dicing our days, as so many of us do, but from organizing our time more holistically.
It requires finding our flow and harmonizing with the continual melodies playing in the lives around us.
Law 8 of my book, The Art of Significance, guides you through the four steps you’ll take to find your harmony.
Let’s talk about the notion of “balance”…
Most of us do seek a balance between work life and our family life. As a Motivational Speaker, I’m on the road quite a bit…it can be a challenge.
But few people achieve that balance because it suggests an either/or proposition that is both unreasonable and unacceptable.
Multitasking sounds impressive, but, in reality, it supports the misguided notion that we can balance our lives. Those who boast that they excel at multitasking are bragging that they are average at many things.
Nobody is getting the best of them – not at home, not at work, not in the community.
Juggling is an improvement over multitasking.
No matter how many balls a juggler has in the air, he can only control the ball in his hand. Once he lets go of it, he has relinquished control over that one until he catches the next to control it.
Consider the four major balls we are tasked with keeping in the air…
1. The Self Ball
The self-ball is a $100 bill. It may get crumpled, dropped, stepped on, but its value hasn’t changed. It’s still worth $100.
So it is with yourself. You will meet with failure – it’s inevitable. But failure is an event, not a person. There is a difference between the person and the performance.
2. The Family Ball
This one is made of glass.
We drop it, and it breaks and shatters into many pieces that can rarely be repaired. We must keep it in the air at all times and at all costs.
3. The Job Ball
The Job Ball is made of rubber. If we drop it, it will always bounce back— sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but it will bounce back.
The job ball reminds us that there is always a way. We just need to find it.
4. The Belief Ball
Made of gold, heavy and brilliant, this ball shines a light on all the others.
When we drop it, it leaves a dent, but it stays right where we left it, allowing us to pick it up and juggle it again and again, whenever we decide to.
The miracle of the belief ball is that if we dent it, as we pick it up and start using it again, somehow the movement smooths out the dent. The blemish vanishes, leaving no sign we ever dropped it.
Harmony – the higher way
In multitasking and juggling, we’re at least conceiving some portion of our time as meaningful. Juggling, in particular, leads us to understand that time can hold meaning since it forces us to focus on only one thing each moment.
But that kind of time management can become tiring, right?
Harmony is a better, higher way, and to explain it, I must take you into the world of music.
Consider that the musical scale only has 12 notes, and yet every composer, every singer/songwriter, has found a unique combination of those 12 notes. They are arranged with a melody – the storyline – and harmony – the chords that accentuate the storyline.
These compositions mysteriously move our mood toward the triumphant, the melancholy, and the joyous, inviting us at all times to feel.
I believe music is life personified. So, during my addresses as a motivational speaker, I ask my audiences:
How wonderful would your life be if each of you, regardless of your profession, saw yourself as a musical composer, and no matter how many hit songs you had written, you greeted every new day as an opportunity to take the same twelve basic notes and write another hit song?
What if, instead of forcing busyness and creating a cacophony, you were deliberate about how you arrange those 12 notes – making room for each one of them and creating a chorus?
What matters most is not what we do, but with whom we do it; not how we do it, but why we do it; not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us.
The concept of harmony is about living each moment in life to the fullest as if it were our last. Harmony far transcends the common metaphors of work-life balance and juggling most of us use to describe how we spend our days.
Four Suggested Action Steps to Experiencing Harmony
Here are four actions you can take on your journey towards harmony.
1. Find role models
Think of a successful person you know enough about.
List ten qualities, attributes, and traits that you think make this person successful.
Now think of a person who is living a life of significance. Make a second list of the ten qualities he or she possesses that make him or her significant.
Are there any duplicate qualities? What are they? Ask yourself if you have any of them. Could you acquire and develop them?
2. Pick one quality
Choose one of the qualities that appeared on both lists and commit to amalgamating it into your everyday thoughts and behaviors for an entire day.
Consciously use it to find more purpose in your job, more passion in your marriage, more imagination in raising your kids, and more creativity in serving your neighbors so that everybody helps everybody live significantly.
The next day, choose another quality from your list and focus on making it part of the growing and developing process.
Go through your list and repeat, if necessary, for thirty days in a row.
3. Conduct an analysis
Analyze the two selected and admired individuals identified in Action Step 1 and try to figure out what matters most to them.
Make your own list of what matters most to you. Significant individuals always list any number of these:
- financial security
- personal health/fitness
- inner peace
What’s on your list?
4. Create reminders
Because harmony is a state of mind that we must constantly renew, small everyday reminders will help. Purchase a pack of 3×5 cards and make signs with sayings that will remind you of your journey. I have suggestions in my book; you’ll find them on page 158.
Hang them up in different visible locations around your home to remind you that living your purpose every moment – in other words, creating and experiencing harmony – is a choice that only you can make and maintain.
Would you like to learn more? Contact me for my executive coaching services.
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