Lifestyle self-audit part 3



Relationship with your significant other.

We all want to be loved but sometimes we mess up our relationships with the people we love the most. We get our priorities out of alignment. We take each other for granted and wake up to a different reality than the one we thought we were living.

How’s your relationship going with your significant other?

  • Are you spending quality time together?
  • Are you fighting or arguing?
  • Are you on good speaking terms or giving each other the silent treatment?
  • Are you being abused physically, emotionally or mentally? Are you the one doing the abusing?
  • If you’re away from home a lot, how are you keeping the flame alive?
  • Do you know what’s going on in your partner’s life?

They might be tough questions but it’s tough trying to be productive at work when you’re living with relationship stress.

What overall rating would you give the relationship with your current significant other:

  • Good
  • Bad, or
  • Indifferent?

Only you know the answer to that question but you need to be honest with yourself. It’s easy to delude yourself that things are better than they are.

If you identify issues, remember that there is plenty of professional help available if you want it. If it’s really bad, maybe you need to consider whether you want to stay in the relationship.

Relationships with your children.

  • How much time are you spending with your children?
  • Do you know what’s going on in their lives?

This is not an area you can afford to let slide. Don’t kid yourself that you’re doing it all for them if they never see you. They won’t thank you. They want your presence more than anything else you can provide.

Analysing your data.

Are there things you could work on with your partner to improve your relationship? Are there behaviours you need to change? Do you need to ask for help or can work it out with your partner? What about with your children?

Living AloneNo significant other.

If your relationship stress comes from not having a significant other in your life, take a look at your time log.

  • What’s your current focus?
  • Is there room in your life for a partner at the moment?
  • Do you want to make room?
  • What stories are you telling yourself about relationships?

Analysing your data.

If you’re blocking what you tell yourself you want, by not being available for a relationship to develop, consider making time in your life for a partner.

If you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough or that you’ll never find someone to love you, it might be time to change your story.

If you want to do something about attracting someone into your life, I suggest you start by reading Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Family responsibilities.

Do you have any specific family responsibilities that impact on your workplace productivity?

For example:

  • If you have young children, do you look after them when they’re sick or on school holidays?
  • Do you have a partner with a chronic illness or other health issues?
  • Do you have a role in caring for elderly parents?

Analysing your data.

The point in identifying your responsibilities is to consider whether you have a plan in place to deal with things like medical emergencies or carer responsibilities, or not. For example; do you share the responsibilities with your partner? Or your siblings? Have you looked at working from home as a viable option when you can’t make it into to work?

Now that you’ve completed a Lifestyle Self-Audit, it’s time to consider an action plan to address the issues you identified.

This is a draft of material that will eventually appear in Everyday Productivity, the next title in my Everyday Business Skills books.  Please feel free to offer feedback in the comments.

Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

What are we teaching our kids?


Recently, I attended a discussion evening on the millennium development goal: ‘Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.’

You can read the official report card on progress towards achieving that goal on UNESCO’s site.

We had an interesting evening. We looked at some of the statistics shown on UNESCO’s page and discussed the link between a lack of schooling for mothers and infant mortality. You can read that report in the World Health Organisation’s fact sheet.

We were a group of parents, educators and business people in a comfortable western setting, in a country where we take access to education for granted.

We acknowledged that schooling is what gives children the basic toolset of reading, writing and arithmetic (that our politicians are so fond of insisting that we get back to in our schools) that give children access to society’s accumulated knowledge.

We asked ourselves some interesting questions that don’t appear to be on the millennium development agenda.

We wondered whether access to the basic toolset was enough. In fact, we wondered whether children in schools in developed countries, like our own, were being given a full course of primary schooling.

How much time are we wasting on teaching kids to perform in the standard tests that our politician insists we must administer?

How much teaching of independent thinking is going on in our schools?

How much encouragement of creativity and innovation?

How much of what we do in schools is about teaching children to cooperate with authority, to conform to the rules and to repeat the ‘correct’ answers?

How much is about teaching collaborative work practices?

How much of it is about teaching that there is only one winner? One top of the class?

Can it be a full course of primary schooling if it does not encompass social, emotional and spiritual learning?

How many schools teach the children in their care about self awareness and awareness of place?

It’s one thing to provide children with a basic education so that they can read and write and add up – but is that all we want them to be able to do? To know?

I think today’s children, tomorrows citizens and leaders, need more than that. We’ve seen what inadequate education can do – we’re living with the results of school and university systems that seem to be dumbing everything down to the basics required to get a job. We’ve given up on educating the whole person and settled for serving the needs of the economy.

In fact, if we’re honest, it looks like we’ve actually given up on teaching some of our kids the basics. Ask yourself, how can someone who spends twelve years in the school system still be illiterate after all that emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic? And these days, there are a lot more ways of being illiterate.

The consensus of our discussion group was that we need to do better, we need to refresh the curriculum and spend some real money on education, if we are to make any real progress towards the intentions behind the millennium development goals.

There in no point in having all that expensive high tech defence equipment if no-body knows how to use it. Yes, there are somethings where you really do need to read the instructions before you start pushing the buttons to see what happens.

To finish, I’d like to share something uplifting I stumbled across during the week: Kindles in Ghana.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic as a comment.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter