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.

The importance of play

Play (verb): to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

This is one of the meanings of play you’ll find in a dictionary.

In the vernacular, we might say play is ‘fooling around’ or ‘doing things for no good reason’ or ‘figuring out how something works without reading the instruction manual’.

For me, play is a sign that we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. It’s a great way to learn new ways of doing things without any performance anxiety pressures.

Of course, you can also play with something or someone to add another dimension.

Only problem these days, now that we’re all grown up and adult, is we think play is childish. If people see you playing with stuff instead of doing something constructive – you’re wasting time!

I don’t know about you but I’ve learnt heaps of stuff by playing around with the software applications on my computer at work, when I was supposed to be doing something else, only to find a better way of doing what I was supposed to be doing as a paid adult.

Another form of play I indulge in while at work is doodling. Isn’t it funny how people get upset when you doodle during their meetings, when they’re talking. Just as well they can’t see down the phone line during those conference calls we’re all doing instead of travelling.

The next time someone has a go at you for doodling, suggest they do some research. They could start with the  Doodle article on Wikipedia.

Next time you’re feeling a little stressed give yourself permission to play – you won’t regret it. If anybody objects, do what you did when you were a kid – tell them to mind their own business!


Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Helping police officers keep their perspective

policemanRecently, I was conversing with the mother of a police officer. We were discussing how real-life policemen were different to the ones you read about in books, when she told me she had attended a presentation on measures being taken to help police officers keep a healthy perspective on life.

One of the dangers of working in an environment where you see the dark side of life, and witness all the depraved behaviours humanity is capable of first hand, is that you start to think everybody is like that.

I told her I was consciously writing my Inspector West character as an ordinary guy, with the intention of illustrating that policemen lead the same kind of lives as everybody else, and have to deal with the same relationship issues we all face. We agreed that, as in many professions, there are some aspects of policing that only insiders appreciate, and the narrowing of focus to seeing only the negative was probably one of those.

It reminded me of conversations I’d had with my wife when she was the behaviour management deputy-principal of a school. She was facing a similar perspective challenge because her day was filled with managing those students, who for one reason or another, were having a bad day. When you do that every day you start to think that all the kids are like that, when, in reality, they are only a small percentage of the total student population.

Police officers face a similar challenge but in much more demanding circumstances, where the potential consequences can be personally debilitating.

So it was good to hear that Police Departments around the world are addressing the issue, in an attempt to help their officers maintain a healthy perspective on life and be able to cope with the stress that come with their job. It can’t be easy. It’s often not easy for their families either.

Here are a few links to articles on the topic:

Thanks for dropping by, Peter