When Life Gets Busy, Focus on a Few Key Habits

 

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Jackie Coleman and John Coleman for Harvard Business Review and the HBR Blog Network. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, obtain subscription information, and receive HBR email alerts, please click here.

Credit: Nicholas Rigg/Getty Images

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Eight months ago, we welcomed our third child. In the past, we’ve written about how to navigate careers, stress, and even “annual planning.” You’d think we’d be prepared for wonderful but disruptive life events like these, but as Mike Tyson famously quipped, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

The past year has been a time of radical prioritization for us. We’re constantly optimizing — identifying our most essential priorities and activities while reluctantly and painfully cutting things that are important but not urgent.

Maybe you’re facing a life event that forces this type of radical prioritization. Whether it’s changing jobs, taking care of a sick parent, relocating, or facing a diagnosis, disruptions in life can make it hard to maintain moment-by-moment focus and well-being, much less think months or years in the future. Long-term goals remain important. But in the fog of life’s most intense moments, long-term focus can be hard.

Daily or weekly habits aligned with your long-term goals can keep you on track even when it’s hard to think ahead, and they can add stability in an otherwise unsteady time. Each of us have regular practices we try to maintain to give our lives structure, to remain mentally and physically healthy, and to assure we’re approaching life consciously. These habits, important at any time, are essential in our busiest and most chaotic periods. So what do these habits look like?

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

Jackie Coleman is a former marriage counselor and most recently worked on education programs for the state of Georgia.

 

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