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How to Live Intentionally at Work & Home

Phaedra Rogers

Print and digital writer

For all the publicity given to living mindfully, very few of us can boast that we fully understand what that entails. If you’re someone with the attention span of a Goldendoodle puppy (like me), the thought of slowing down and assessing your life doesn’t seem reasonable. Personally, the idea of mindfulness only revs up my knee-jerk response to keep up my frenetic pace.

However, sooner or later, we all burn out. It’s not our fault; we’re busy people living busy lives, which, paradoxically, didn’t simplify due to working remotely instead of commuting. Regardless if you have a bustling family or you share an apartment with a fiddle fig tree, you’re likely feeling the effects of this insanely harried world we occupy.

But, instead of defaulting to your usual pace, consider slowing down to savor living with intention. What does that mean, exactly? It means knowing who you want to show up as in your personal and professional life. It means opening up your mind and having a thoughtful look around to see what should stay and what should go.

The Center for Creative Leadership shares three suggestions on living with intention, both personally and professionally.

1. Clarity Is Key

Living with intention first requires that we understand ourselves and what we value most.

Our internal guidance system will alert us if we’re out of alignment with our core values. However, it won’t know when we’ve crossed the boundaries if we’ve never set them. This is because our values are varied and deeply personal, and those values determine who we are at our core.

Take some time to reflect on your goals and how they align with your values. Some examples include honesty, justice, efficiency, faith, happiness, etc. Write your list of core values and keep them handy as a constant reminder. You can also share your values with trusted coworkers, friends, and family members to keep you accountable.

2. Choose Wisely

You’re an active player in your life, so instead of letting life “happen” to you, you can intentionally choose how to spend your time and energy. As a result, you have control of your present and, to some extent, your future. At any given moment, you’re shaping your career and personal life with the choices you make.

Let’s say that eating healthier is a personal improvement you’re ready to tackle. You can choose to intentionally spend time on Sunday prepping your meals for the week.

If time management is a professional goal, then take time at the end of your workday to write your list of priorities for the following day.

3. Optimize Your Relationships

Healthy, productive, and honest relationships are critical at home and work. And, just like our goals, they don’t magically appear out of thin air. Meaningful relationships take nurturing, and nurturing takes commitment.

It means picking up the phone and making that call to a treasured friend, scheduling that one-on-one meeting with a work colleague, planning that special night out with your spouse.

Your personal and professional partnerships can flourish by understanding yourself first. No one knows you better than you. So, if COVID-19 left you feeling depleted at home, then ask people you live with (spouse, roommate, children) to pitch in more often.

Balancing motherhood and career responsibilities is tricky during the best of times; it becomes profoundly more complicated with kids and other people underfoot at home if you’re working remotely.

Remember, we’re constantly presented with choices that will either move us closer or further away from our goals. Ultimately, living intentionally won’t necessarily slow our pace to a crawl, but it’ll help us pace ourselves. It means we’re spending our time doing what aligns with our core values instead of chasing our tails like a Goldendoodle puppy.

This article is written by Phaedra Rogers with inputs from The Center for Creative Leadership and published originally on Uplevyl.

Phaedra is an in-house favorite Uplevyl contributor, who writes on Personal Growth, Adulting, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and more. A print and digital writer living in Austin, TX, Phaedra’s stories and content have been featured in various publications.