Comfortable Chaos: Make Effective Choices in your Career & Family Life by Carolyn HarveyComfortable Chaos: Make Effective Choices in your Career & Family Life by Carolyn Harvey

Comfortable Chaos: Make Effective Choices in your Career & Family Life

byCarolyn Harvey, Beth Herrild

Perfect | March 1, 2005

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Comfortable Chaos is the first book that accepts the pace of modern living and helps readers come to their own life balance. This book recognizes that life today will never be free of stress and that everyone has his or her own level of tolerance for chaos.
Carolyn Harvey and Beth Herrild are corporate veterans, mothers, and speakers at the very popular Comfortable Chaos seminars they run together. Formerly neighbors, they both live in Washington. They combine their knowledge of “life in the corporate trenches” with their own experiences balancing work and family, along with stories from ...
Title:Comfortable Chaos: Make Effective Choices in your Career & Family LifeFormat:PerfectDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6.05 × 0.65 inPublished:March 1, 2005Publisher:Self-Counsel PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1551806045

ISBN - 13:9781551806044

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: CHATTING ACROSSTHE DRIVEWAY xviiPART I: SHIFTING TO COMFORTABLE CHAOS 11 COMFORTABLE CHAOS: IT’S SO MUCH MORETHAN “JUST SAYING NO” 3The Pursuit of “Balance” 3Life As a White-Water Raft Trip 6The First I — Individual 7The Second I — Imperfect 8The Third I — Inter-Related 82 YOUR COEFFICIENT FOR CHAOS 11Determining How You Are Spending Your Time 12Aligning Your Time with Your Treasures 15Your Coefficient for Chaos 18The high CFCstyle 21The mid-range CFCstyle 21The low CFCstyle 23Is Your Chaos Working for You or Against You? 24Tipping Out of the Raft 25Recognizing the Warning Signs before Capsizing 263 TAKING CHARGE IN A HIGH-SPEED “SUCKYOU DRY” WORLD 29Controlling the Corporate Beast 31Worrying about the Beast, Not the Economy 32Seven Keys to Controlling the Beast 33Give up Perfectionism 34Remember Your Priorities 35Know Your Worth 36Operate in Your “Want and Can” Area 37Learn How to Let Some Balls Drop 42Eliminate it 42iiiContentsRedefine done 43Delegate it 43Create (and Keep) Your Boundaries 44Get out of the passive/victim mentality 46Diffuse the emotion 46Follow the pain to the problem 46Decide on a “trial boundary” 47Create a boundary support system 47Implement the “trial boundary” and thenevaluate it in 30 days 47Know How to Get Results 484 THE VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE 49Self-Care Isn’t Selfish 50Why Self-Care Needs a Place on Your To-Do List 52You will get more done 52You will be around longer for your family 53You will be modeling life-enhancing behaviorfor your children 53Using Transitions to Create Pools of Calm Water 56Handling Anticipated Transitions 56Envision the other side 57Be conscious of the “one more thing syndrome” 58Design the improved transition 59Handling Unanticipated Transitions 60Comfortable Chaos: A Noble and Pioneering Effort 63Not All Pioneers Travel the Same Road 655 RECLAIMING, OR CHANGING,YOUR CHOICE 67Determining What’s Working and What Isn’t 68The Envy Decoder 69Which Direction Are You Moving In? 72Where to Next? 73iv Comfortable ChaosPART II: THRIVING ON FULL-TIME WORKWHILE STILL HAVING A LIFE 756 FULFILLED BY FULL TIME: HOW TO MAKEIT MANAGEABLE AND PROTECTYOUR PRIORITIES 77Take a Dual-Centric Approach 78Change Your Assignment 80Change Your Alignment 84Change Your Abutment 86Moving Your CFC Along the Continuum 88Maintain Your Boundaries 89Ten Tips for Getting It All Done 90Decide on your top priority projects 90Use the 80/20 rule and plan 90Use the “project of the week” concept 91Get over the guilt of e-mail 91Develop the need for speed 93Avoid any meeting that doesn’t help youwith one of your critical projects 93Learn the tools that are pertinent for your job 94Be highly organized and work “lean” 95Think before you say “yes” 95Surround yourself with capable andpositive people 967 FLEXTIME, COMPRESSED WORKWEEKS,AND TELECOMMUTING: THREE WONDERFULWAYS TO DISTRIBUTE FULL-TIME WORK 97Flextime: Working When It Works for You 99How much of my time is spent in crossfunctionalcollaboration? 100How will I accommodate communication amongmy direct reporting relationships? 100Can I honestly sustain the schedule I amproposing? 101Contents vCompressed Workweeks: How to Not ShoveTen Pounds in a Five-Pound Sack 101Do I have the physical and mental staminafor a longer day? 103Does my job realistically lend itself to my absenceone day per week or every other week? 103How will the work be covered on the days I amnot in the office? 104How will I communicate my schedule to othersin order to reduce any possible resentment? 104Telecommuting: Getting Beyond the Image ofWorking in Your Pajamas 105How will my manager and I measuremy deliverables? 106How, and how often, will I communicate? 107What equipment is needed and who willpurchase it? 107Does my work have confidentiality orsecurity issues? 108Am I clear on professional standards fortelephone and e-mail etiquette? 108What will I do to keep feeling like“part of the team”? 108Will I feel isolated if I am working at homeby myself? 108Am I the type of person who procrastinates? 108Do I have a workable child-care plan? 109Telecommuting Light 109The Common Elements of Three Wonderful Ways toDistribute Full-Time Work 110Your Schedule As Part of the Bigger Picture 1118 WORKING INDEPENDENTLY:HOW FREELANCING OR CONSULTINGCOULD BE RIGHT FOR YOU 113Work Schedules and Boundaries 115vi Comfortable ChaosWhere Is Your Chair? Working from Home, theClient’s Office, or the Coffee Shop 117Assessing If This Lifestyle Is a Good Fit for You 118Are you willing to find work by networking,marketing, and selling? 118Are you able to establish boundaries that fit yourworking style and support your goals? 120Are you able to accurately assess potential clientsand avoid potential problem clients? 121Are you able to build positive relationships anddevelop client-specific networks? 122Can you work independently and manage to adeadline? 124Can you give up the traditional rewards ofworking in a corporate setting? 124Can you cope financially and emotionallyduring the times you don’t have work? 125Staffing Agencies: Friend or Foe? 126How staffing agencies bill 127Co-employment and length of assignment 128Choosing a staffing agency 129The three phases of an assignment 131A New Model: Using a Mixture of DifferentEmployment Arrangements 133Getting Started As an Independent Worker 135Independent Workers: The Future ofWhite-Collar Work? 137PART III: LOVING LIFE AT HOME FULLTIME OR PART TIME 1399 STAYING HOME FULL TIME: EMBRACINGTHE NEBULOUS NATURE OF IT ALL 141Staying at Home Is Highly Individual 143Staying at Home Is Definitely Imperfect 144Staying at Home Is Intensely Inter-Related 144Contents viiHandling the Nebulous Nature of the Job 145Design and create your own structure 146Surrender to the fact that the work is neverdone and set boundaries 147Recognize and embrace your many dailytransitions in new ways 147Creating a Sense of Accomplishment andPositive Feedback 148Start viewing your home as your workplace 149Put small, trivial-seeming tasks on your to-dolist and check them off 149Delegate even though you don’t have employees 150Give yourself a performance evaluation 150Dealing with the 24/7 Experience 151Look at what you’re trying to control and why 151Plan when to sit down and when to get out 152Create that Friday feeling 153Overcoming the Isolation 153Hang out with “your people” 153Make yourself do something stimulating orout of the box 154Adjusting to the Lack of Pay and the Drop in Status 154Work on your sense of intrinsic value andcreate your own rewards 155Manage the money 155Do some advocating 156Allowing Time for the Transition 15610 PART TIME: NOT JUST FOR RETAIL ANYMORE 157Meet some Part-Timers 158Nice Work If You Can Get It 159Use your current employer 160Create your own part-time work 161Job hunt for part-time work 162Do You Have the Right Personality forPart-Time Work? 163viii Comfortable ChaosSelecting the Right Ingredients for Success 165Selecting the right type of assignment 166Selecting the right type of boss 168Selecting the right work environment 169Successfully Managing Relationships 170Productivity Power: You May Actually Get MoreDone in Less Time 172Managing Your Time Off: How to Avoid“Full Time Creep” 173“She Just Works Part Time” and OtherPotential Perceptions 175You still have a career and a real job 177Flexibility about the exact schedule 177The reality of occasional work on your days off 178The financial balance of power 178Managing expectations about yourstay-at-home days 17811 JOB SHARING: THE POWER OF APARTNERSHIP HAS ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES 181The Unique Benefits of Job Sharing 182The Downside of Job Sharing 183Is Job Sharing Right for You? 184Schedules and Structure 185Could Your Job Be Shared? 187Can the work be divided or can an effectiveplan for managing the work be created? 187Does the job have complex communicationrequirements? 187Does the job require heavy travel? 188If the job includes supervising people,can you develop a realistic plan for sharingmanagement responsibilities? 188Are there quantifiable benefits tosell to management? 189Assessing Your Company’s Culture 190Assessing Your Manager 191Contents ixFinding and Selecting the Right Partner 191Which Job to Share? 195The Importance of Being Seamless 196Getting Started 198PART IV: READY TO MAKE A MAJOR CHANGE?À LA CARTE HELP PROVIDED 19912 THE ALL-IMPORTANT AFFORDABILITYQUESTION: CAN YOUR FINANCESSUPPORT YOUR DREAMS? 201Gathering Your Financial Facts: The CriticalFirst Step 202Track your spending 203Document your net worth 205Assessing the Short- and Long-Term Impacts ofChange 205Meet current expenses 205Meet future expenses 207Medical and dental insurance 207Life insurance and other company-providedbenefits 208Pension plans 208401K plans 209Stock options and bonuses 209Social security 209Creating a Financial Plan 210Casting Your Votes Differently 210Spending Plans: One Piece of the Financial Plan 213Getting Professional Help 213Financial planner 213Investment manager 214Stockbrokers 214Personal bookkeepers 215It’s Worth the Effort 215x Comfortable Chaos13 CREATIVE CHILD-CARE SOLUTIONS: HOWTO CREATE THE SUPPORT YOU NEED 217Five Keys to Finding Creative Child Care 218Networking, networking, networking 218Get creative about your advertising sources 219Don’t be afraid to combine options 220Know yourself and your children, and trustyour instincts 221Always be thinking about your next phase 222Eleven Creative Child-Care Solutions 223Daycare centers (full time) 224Daycare centers (part time) 224In-home daycare providers (full time) 225In-home daycare providers (part time) 225Nannies (full time) 226Nannies (part time) 227Nanny share 227Relatives or family friends 228Other parents 229Babysitting co-ops 229Coworkers with opposite schedules 229Why Finding Great Child Care Is Only the Beginning 23014 STRATEGIES FOR RE-ENTRY: HOW TORETURN TO THE WORKFORCEAFTER A BREAK 233Strategies for Returning to the Paid Workforce 236Find the right volunteer position 236Network with both new and former contacts 237Find a full-time professional who is interestedin job sharing 239Take a class in your field or do something elseto keep current 239Read industry and general business/economicpublications 240Participate in professional associations 240Contents xiEvaluate your former industry and consider anew industry if the pace of change requiresup-to-the-minute skills 240Consider going back full time even if yourpreference is part time 241View your transition as a time to reinventyourself by finding your passion andidentifying your skills 242Combining Strategies 243Résumé and Interview Tips 243Make sure your prior work experience isstrategically placed on your résumé and isspecific and quantifiable 244Don’t try to hide your time out of the paidworkforce 244During the interview be the consummateprofessional 247Avoid talking about your children unlessspecifically asked 247Demonstrate your up-to-date knowledge ofthe industry 24715 CREATING AN ALTERNATIVE WORKSCHEDULE: HOW TO THINK LIKE ANEMPLOYER AND PITCH YOUR PROPOSALLIKE A PRO 249Ten Elements of a Comprehensive Proposal 251Introductory statement and needs analysis 251Job title 252Schedule specifics 252Benefits to the company 253Benefits for the employees in the job share 254Cost benefit analysis 255Successful precedents 259Strategy for managing/allocating responsibilities 259Detailed communication plan 261Potential issues and solutions 262xii Comfortable ChaosGetting the Right Equation 263Preparing for Possible Objections 265Making the Presentation 265PART V: LIVING IN COMFORTABLE CHAOS 26716 YOUR EVER-CHANGING JOURNEY 269EXERCISES1 Where Does My Time Go? 142 My Current Priorities 173 Determining Your Coefficient for Chaos 194 Determining Your “Want and Can” Area 425 My Self-Care Habit 556 Handling Your Worst Transition 617 Determining What’s Working and What Isn’t 698 Decoding Your Envy 719 Determining Your Direction 7310 Tracking Your Spending 20411 Documenting Your Net Worth 206FIGURES1 Determining Your “Want and Can” Area 382 What Mike Wants to Control 393 What Paula Can Control 41CHECKLIST1 Evaluating a Staffing Company 133SAMPLE1 Skill-Based Résumé 245 - 20110713