Manage Yourself

The Harvard Business Review has a monthly column entitled, Managing Yourself. Recent topics include “Becoming a First Rate Noticer,” “Navigating the Cultural Minefield,” “Women Find Your Voice” and the September 2014 article, “Work and Home and Community and Self.” The intriguing synopsis of this last article reads, “Balance is bunk. To reduce stress and increase your sense of fulfillment, you need to skillfully integrate the four domains of your life.”

Along these lines, here are five sets of questions to ask yourself the new time you take a good long look at your work and life. It is possible if you don’t ask these questions, no one will.

  1. What two things do I absolutely have to do well to succeed in my work? Am I spending the appropriate amount of time in these crucial areas of need or am I majoring in minors? A preaching minister who does not spend quality time on sermons is foolish. A salesman who prefers writing reports to making sales calls will be looking for another line of work.

  2. How is my anger? No excuses. Is my temper getting me in trouble? What am I going to do about it? The higher one rises up the ladder, the easier it is to excuse misbehavior and coarse treatment of others.

  3. What three things am I shamefully procrastinating on? Do I really need to do them? If so, when? (I have a mole wreaking havoc in my front yard right now. I am not sure why I continue to sit by and watch the mounds expand.)

  4. Am I taking care of my health? When was my last check up? How is my diet? Am I exercising as I should? Are my addictions under control?

  5. Do the ones I love know that I love them? How am I communicating this love? How am I showing that love? (Po Bronson in one of his books reminds us all that money spent on vacation and babysitters is significantly less than the cost of a divorce.)