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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« 9 Guaranteed Solutions for Restoring Your Life Balance | The Surprising Power of Gratitude On Your Stress »

How to Set the Stage for Better Life Balance

Have you been feeling like something’s been missing? You’re working. You’re working a lot. Maybe you’re working all the time. Your balance is off. I admit that there are periods when work takes the largest portion of my days and nights. While it feels necessary to work so much, lately my balance hasn’t been good.

In an attempt to change the cycle, I decided to give myself a break during the Thanksgiving holiday. I turned my energy towards preparing for Thanksgiving and having the family together. I suspended doing and thinking about work over a five-day period and it was wonderful.

I loved being with my family, especially since it’s harder these days to get everyone together. We cooked, ate, hugged, laughed, talked, and played games. After everyone left, I had a few days just with my husband to hang out, go to the movies and relax.

It was just what I needed, a family-filled break.

How do you navigate life balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (15)

Balance, inherently, is something you need to keep adjusting to achieve. Just watch someone on a tightrope... they have to keep moving to keep the balance. So it isn't a "one time" goal, but rather a journey. At some moments, I may feel like I am falling, but a little shift in position, and I recover. I guess mostly it is being alert and intentional while focusing far down the road.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

That is lovely Linda. We are planning something similar over Christmas, we are doing a Harry Potter Movie Day, pj's all day, a variety of popcorn and nothing but movies and togetherness.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

@Seana- What a beautiful analogy using the tightrope as the life balance piece. You're so right, and the reminder is much appreciated that balance isn't a one time goal, but a constantly shifting journey. You brought up the idea of awareness, which is so important. At times we just go without taking that pause to evaluate the state of things.

@Jill- That's sounds wonderful! Our family calls those "Blob Days," when we stay in our pajamas all day, watch movies and hang out together. They are rare, but so much fun. They are no work days, so all guilt is suspended around "not doing." I'm excited for your Harry Potter Movie Day!

December 1, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

For us this Christmas will be an unplugged one. For 4 days we'll rest in a house close to town in the country. Having nothing but relaxation, fun with our dogs, good home meals and wine. We'll try to stay away from phones, computers, just the sound of nature and good music too. It's imperative at some point let the work aside and take time for rest and heal.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

@Nacho- Your unplugged break sounds wonderful! I love how both you and Jill have purposely set aside time to "rest and heal." Sometimes I think about how different life has become with our 24/7 access to the digital world. There are advantages such as we can have conversations like this one, but the disadvantages are how much harder we have to work at unplugging. But that unplugging is essential for our well-being. Enjoy your vacation time.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I am glad for you that you rebalanced. And, it is clear you know your best strategy: family time, in person, connecting, sharing and laughing. Knowing what works is the key.

My rebalancing? More work breaks to get outside. Turning off devices and unhitching from their constant presence; they make my brain feel always "on." Planning ideas for my non-working time so I have easy ways to pull myself away out of work. Expecting the ebb and flow of feeling in balance or off kilter.

And finally, forgiving myself when I realize I am about to flame out... and then I do pull myself out of it and rebalance. Self compassion, as Brene Brown writes.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersue west

With new health challenges, I find I MUST take one day a week end to do nothing and getting extra rest I need. Sometimes it's both days! Besides rest, balanced eating is essential for me, now more than ever. I've never enjoyed cooking, so this is an extra challenge. I'm a slow learner, but I'm getting there.One. Step. At. A. Time.

December 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Terkanian

@Sue- Oh, yes! Family time is always a great equalizer for me. It's wonderful that you too know what you need to feel restored- getting outside, minimizing technology, and practicing self-compassion. I love how you well you know yourself and understand what you need.

@Susan- I admire your ability to listen to and respect what your body needs…especially with your new health challenges. Not everyone would be able to do that. You're working towards the best possible outcome. Of course your sense of humor is coming through here, which I'm sure also is helping you to navigate the changes you're experiencing.

December 2, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

It's always a good thing when we organizers model what we share with our clients. I too took the opportunity to unplug and share the joy of family last weekend. It's all about the laughter of our family that makes the difference. We started a new family tradition with games at each family event. It has been wonderful!

So glad to see all the smiling Samuel faces!

December 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- What a wonderful family tradition that you started. I LOVE playing games with our family too. The laughing and interaction is so much fun. We started two new traditions several years ago for Thanksgiving. The first one is that after the meal (but before dessert) we take a family walk through the woods. The second is that after dessert we play some games. It's a joy-filled time…and as you said…lots of "smiling Samuels' faces." Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season!

December 3, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

That sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving. Good for you for taking the time for you and your family. We all need a break at times to rejuvenate. I plan on doing just that during Christmas. I am really looking forward to spending time with my family as I do not see them as much as I would like.

December 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKathy McEwan

It's easy for work to take over when you run a home-based business, because you're always at work, and there's always work to be done. The best way for me to avoid falling into this trap is to fill my schedule with interesting non-work activities like reading, cooking and photography.

December 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Kathy- You're so right that we "all need a break at times to rejuvenate." It's essential. I'm glad that you have the very thing coming up in the next few weeks. Enjoy your time with the family. It's precious.

@Janet- Finding that balance is a constantly shifting proposition. Depending on which and how many "buckets" we give our attention too, makes the navigating trickier at certain times. For me it's not just my organizing business, but also running a non-profit and some family issues that need extra attention. My energies are being given to three big buckets. I do better with two big ones and a few small ones. So I'm figuring it out as I go the best I can. I like your idea of committing to the "non-work" activities first to help counteract that tendency to work, work, work! Brilliant!

December 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, I have to tell you that this series has generated thoughts and discussions off your blog as well, so much so that I'm going to have to write my own post on the topic - watch for it in the new year!

December 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Wow! That's wonderful to know. I can't wait to hear/read more. Please make sure I get the "memo" when your post goes live. I'd love to participate in the continuing discussion wherever that conversation takes us. Enjoy YOUR time off as you take your break between 2015 and 2016. Happy, joy-filled holidays!

December 24, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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