In Sickness And In Health


Over the past week, various members of our family have done battle with stomach bugs, strep and the aftereffects of vaccines. We’re all swiftly centering ourselves once more as the back half of the week approaches, but it has been a lesson in balance.

Or, perhaps, counterbalance. In their book, “The ONE Thing,” authors Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan talk about life’s seasons and the need to be realistic each day. Rather than worrying about trying to strike an exact even balance between work and life, they say, focus on achieving counterbalance.

Some days will be more about family and getting through the messes life creates. That’s OK. Other days will be more about work and powering through deadlines. That’s OK, too.

During weeks such as these, I find it helpful to set timers and rewards. If I can tell myself, “In just 4 hours, I can move onto the next task,” my mind calms and I can focus on whatever needs to be done. I can further punctuate those time increments with rewards — whether it’s a 10-minute tire swing break with my 3-year-old, a 30-second perusal of Twitter or a momentary email catchup session.

This approach helps me ensure I make progress every day as a parent and as a professional, even if I’m working from home or in other unusual circumstances. Every day will be different and yield different outcomes.

But if you can reach the end and mentally tick through accomplishments — related to work, family, spirituality and other areas of personal development — you will go a long way toward a fulfilling life.