The Four Bs of Balance

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 | 0 comments

When my pals and I were in our twenties, I don’t remember worrying much about finding balance in our lives. We worked hard, played hard, stayed up late and damn the consequences. But now as a mid-career professionals, many of us with children, I find we are all talking about it, and I also hear it from my clients. We know that imbalance is inherently unstable and unsustainable, but it can be hard to envision a different way. So what is balance, and how can we achieve it? Stand on one foot and you’ll see that balance is not static. You wobble and waver. Even if you manage to stand...

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Bedtime Chicken

Posted by on Sep 19, 2010 | 0 comments

Lately, my husband and I have been playing a game of chicken. It goes like this: Both of us say that we want to go to bed earlier, but then as evening progresses, we each keep on working and wait for the other to blink first. Finally when it is well past our target time, one of us turns off the computer and heads upstairs and the other follows. Result? If anything, our bedtime has actually gotten later over the past month, even though we have started getting up earlier (FIVE AM!) to go to the gym. So what gives? Part of the explanation is epitomized by Jerry Seinfeld”s Night Guy/Day...

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Take a Day Off From Tech

Posted by on Aug 30, 2010 | 0 comments

I hereby declare my first No-Tech Sunday a success! After hemming and hawing, resisting and justifying … I did it. Saturday night I sent my last email and made a Facebook post (about going offline, of course!), and turned off the laptop. So that I wouldn’t forget, I stuck a Post-It on the lid announcing “NO TECH SUNDAY :)” And that was it until Monday morning.  Yes, I felt the urge to check, but I held firm.* On my quest to re-condition my responses  (see previous post), I achieved the following positive reinforcement of my behavior: Nipped several escalating conflicts in the bud...

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What’s Behind the Compulsion to Check Email

Posted by on Aug 27, 2010 | 2 comments

Do you feel annoyed and burdened by email and yet feel a perverse desire to check it throughout the day, even when you don’t really need to? As if maybe something really interesting or important is waiting in the Inbox? (This hope is usually disappointed, of course.) In an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air Tuesday, New York Times technology reporter Matt Richtel explained why we persist in this behavior. It’s called intermittent reinforcement. Although most of the time our email is not exciting, every once in a while we find something rewarding – an email from a friend, a...

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Mommy Needs a Time Out

Posted by on Jul 2, 2010 | 0 comments

I am test-driving Jane Nelsen’s  “Positive Discipline.” As I read the book, I am trying the techniques, and I will share my experience with you. Here’s the scene: I have just busted my daughter for some infraction, and she is defensive and angry. I begin to explain the limit I am setting — let’s be honest, I am lecturing — and she is not listening (the hands covering her ears are a giveaway).  “You need to listen to me,” I say, trying to contain my frustration and anger, but I might as well be an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon:...

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Teach Your Children Well — Another Reason Not to Multi-task

Posted by on Apr 21, 2010 | 0 comments

  Along with the mounting research that says that multi-tasking is ineffectual, let me add one more reason not to do it: your kids. If you want to teach them good manners and focus, you’d do well to practice a little mono-tasking. Maybe it’s just me, but I often have a hard time getting my kids to pay attention to what I am saying. At school, teachers instruct children to give “attentive listening,” while at home I find myself saying, “look at me when I talk to you” with ever more frustration. I was really getting annoyed with with my kids, and then I...

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