Comfortable Chaos

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Overview

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.
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Overview

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551806044
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Harvey and Beth Herrild are corporate veterans, mothers, and speakers at the very popular Comfortable Chaos seminars they run together. They combine their knowledge of "life in the corporate trenches" with their own experiences balancing work and family, along with stories from the hundreds of people they have help at their Comfortable Chaos seminars.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: CHATTING ACROSS
THE DRIVEWAY xvii
PART I: SHIFTING TO COMFORTABLE CHAOS 1
1 COMFORTABLE CHAOS: IT’S SO MUCH MORE
THAN “JUST SAYING NO” 3
The Pursuit of “Balance” 3
Life As a White-Water Raft Trip 6
The First I — Individual 7
The Second I — Imperfect 8
The Third I — Inter-Related 8
2 YOUR COEFFICIENT FOR CHAOS 11
Determining How You Are Spending Your Time 12
Aligning Your Time with Your Treasures 15
Your Coefficient for Chaos 18
The high CFCstyle 21
The mid-range CFCstyle 21
The low CFCstyle 23
Is Your Chaos Working for You or Against You? 24
Tipping Out of the Raft 25
Recognizing the Warning Signs before Capsizing 26
3 TAKING CHARGE IN A HIGH-SPEED “SUCK
YOU DRY” WORLD 29
Controlling the Corporate Beast 31
Worrying about the Beast, Not the Economy 32
Seven Keys to Controlling the Beast 33
Give up Perfectionism 34
Remember Your Priorities 35
Know Your Worth 36
Operate in Your “Want and Can” Area 37
Learn How to Let Some Balls Drop 42
Eliminate it 42
iii
Contents
Redefine done 43
Delegate it 43
Create (and Keep) Your Boundaries 44
Get out of the passive/victim mentality 46
Diffuse the emotion 46
Follow the pain to the problem 46
Decide on a “trial boundary” 47
Create a boundary support system 47
Implement the “trial boundary” and then evaluate it in 30 days 47
Know How to Get Results 48
4 THE VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE 49
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish 50
Why Self-Care Needs a Place on Your To-Do List 52
You will get more done 52
You will be around longer for your family 53
You will be modeling life-enhancing behavior for your children 53
Using Transitions to Create Pools of Calm Water 56
Handling Anticipated Transitions 56
Envision the other side 57
Be conscious of the “one more thing syndrome” 58
Design the improved transition 59
Handling Unanticipated Transitions 60
Comfortable Chaos: A Noble and Pioneering Effort 63
Not All Pioneers Travel the Same Road 65
5 RECLAIMING, OR CHANGING,
YOUR CHOICE 67
Determining What’s Working and What Isn’t 68
The Envy Decoder 69
Which Direction Are You Moving In? 72
Where to Next? 73
iv Comfortable Chaos
PART II: THRIVING ON FULL-TIME WORK
WHILE STILL HAVING A LIFE 75
6 FULFILLED BY FULL TIME: HOW TO MAKE
IT MANAGEABLE AND PROTECT
YOUR PRIORITIES 77
Take a Dual-Centric Approach 78
Change Your Assignment 80
Change Your Alignment 84
Change Your Abutment 86
Moving Your CFC Along the Continuum 88
Maintain Your Boundaries 89
Ten Tips for Getting It All Done 90
Decide on your top priority projects 90
Use the 80/20 rule and plan 90
Use the “project of the week” concept 91
Get over the guilt of e-mail 91
Develop the need for speed 93
Avoid any meeting that doesn’t help you with one of your critical projects 93
Learn the tools that are pertinent for your job 94
Be highly organized and work “lean” 95
Think before you say “yes” 95
Surround yourself with capable and positive people 96
7 FLEXTIME, COMPRESSED WORKWEEKS,
AND TELECOMMUTING: THREE WONDERFUL
WAYS TO DISTRIBUTE FULL-TIME WORK 97
Flextime: Working When It Works for You 99
How much of my time is spent in crossfunctional collaboration? 100
How will I accommodate communication among my direct reporting relationships? 100
Can I honestly sustain the schedule I am proposing? 101
Contents v
Compressed Workweeks: How to Not Shove
Ten Pounds in a Five-Pound Sack 101
Do I have the physical and mental stamina for a longer day? 103
Does my job realistically lend itself to my absence one day per week or every other week? 103
How will the work be covered on the days I am not in the office? 104
How will I communicate my schedule to others in order to reduce any possible resentment? 104
Telecommuting: Getting Beyond the Image of
Working in Your Pajamas 105
How will my manager and I measure my deliverables? 106
How, and how often, will I communicate? 107
What equipment is needed and who will purchase it? 107
Does my work have confidentiality or security issues? 108
Am I clear on professional standards for telephone and e-mail etiquette? 108
What will I do to keep feeling like
“part of the team”? 108
Will I feel isolated if I am working at home by myself? 108
Am I the type of person who procrastinates? 108
Do I have a workable child-care plan? 109
Telecommuting Light 109
The Common Elements of Three Wonderful Ways to
Distribute Full-Time Work 110
Your Schedule As Part of the Bigger Picture 111
8 WORKING INDEPENDENTLY:
HOW FREELANCING OR CONSULTING
COULD BE RIGHT FOR YOU 113
Work Schedules and Boundaries 115
vi Comfortable Chaos
Where Is Your Chair? Working from Home, the
Client’s Office, or the Coffee Shop 117
Assessing If This Lifestyle Is a Good Fit for You 118
Are you willing to find work by networking,
marketing, and selling? 118
Are you able to establish boundaries that fit your working style and support your goals? 120
Are you able to accurately assess potential clients and avoid potential problem clients? 121
Are you able to build positive relationships and develop client-specific networks? 122
Can you work independently and manage to a deadline? 124
Can you give up the traditional rewards of working in a corporate setting? 124
Can you cope financially and emotionally during the times you don’t have work? 125
Staffing Agencies: Friend or Foe? 126
How staffing agencies bill 127
Co-employment and length of assignment 128
Choosing a staffing agency 129
The three phases of an assignment 131
A New Model: Using a Mixture of Different
Employment Arrangements 133
Getting Started As an Independent Worker 135
Independent Workers: The Future of
White-Collar Work? 137
PART III: LOVING LIFE AT HOME FULL
TIME OR PART TIME 139
9 STAYING HOME FULL TIME: EMBRACING
THE NEBULOUS NATURE OF IT ALL 141
Staying at Home Is Highly Individual 143
Staying at Home Is Definitely Imperfect 144
Staying at Home Is Intensely Inter-Related 144
Contents vii
Handling the Nebulous Nature of the Job 145
Design and create your own structure 146
Surrender to the fact that the work is never done and set boundaries 147
Recognize and embrace your many daily transitions in new ways 147
Creating a Sense of Accomplishment and
Positive Feedback 148
Start viewing your home as your workplace 149
Put small, trivial-seeming tasks on your to-do list and check them off 149
Delegate even though you don’t have employees 150
Give yourself a performance evaluation 150
Dealing with the 24/7 Experience 151
Look at what you’re trying to control and why 151
Plan when to sit down and when to get out 152
Create that Friday feeling 153
Overcoming the Isolation 153
Hang out with “your people” 153
Make yourself do something stimulating or out of the box 154
Adjusting to the Lack of Pay and the Drop in Status 154
Work on your sense of intrinsic value and create your own rewards 155
Manage the money 155
Do some advocating 156
Allowing Time for the Transition 156
10 PART TIME: NOT JUST FOR RETAIL ANYMORE 157
Meet some Part-Timers 158
Nice Work If You Can Get It 159
Use your current employer 160
Create your own part-time work 161
Job hunt for part-time work 162
Do You Have the Right Personality for
Part-Time Work? 163
viii Comfortable Chaos
Selecting the Right Ingredients for Success 165
Selecting the right type of assignment 166
Selecting the right type of boss 168
Selecting the right work environment 169
Successfully Managing Relationships 170
Productivity Power: You May Actually Get More
Done in Less Time 172
Managing Your Time Off: How to Avoid
“Full Time Creep” 173
“She Just Works Part Time” and Other
Potential Perceptions 175
You still have a career and a real job 177
Flexibility about the exact schedule 177
The reality of occasional work on your days off 178
The financial balance of power 178
Managing expectations about your stay-at-home days 178
11 JOB SHARING: THE POWER OF A
PARTNERSHIP HAS ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES 181
The Unique Benefits of Job Sharing 182
The Downside of Job Sharing 183
Is Job Sharing Right for You? 184
Schedules and Structure 185
Could Your Job Be Shared? 187
Can the work be divided or can an effective plan for managing the work be created? 187
Does the job have complex communication requirements? 187
Does the job require heavy travel? 188
If the job includes supervising people,
can you develop a realistic plan for sharing management responsibilities? 188
Are there quantifiable benefits to sell to management? 189
Assessing Your Company’s Culture 190
Assessing Your Manager 191
Contents ix
Finding and Selecting the Right Partner 191
Which Job to Share? 195
The Importance of Being Seamless 196
Getting Started 198
PART IV: READY TO MAKE A MAJOR CHANGE?
À LA CARTE HELP PROVIDED 199
12 THE ALL-IMPORTANT AFFORDABILITY
QUESTION: CAN YOUR FINANCES
SUPPORT YOUR DREAMS? 201
Gathering Your Financial Facts: The Critical
First Step 202
Track your spending 203
Document your net worth 205
Assessing the Short- and Long-Term Impacts of
Change 205
Meet current expenses 205
Meet future expenses 207
Medical and dental insurance 207
Life insurance and other company-provided benefits 208
Pension plans 208
401K plans 209
Stock options and bonuses 209
Social security 209
Creating a Financial Plan 210
Casting Your Votes Differently 210
Spending Plans: One Piece of the Financial Plan 213
Getting Professional Help 213
Financial planner 213
Investment manager 214
Stockbrokers 214
Personal bookkeepers 215
It’s Worth the Effort 215
x Comfortable Chaos
13 CREATIVE CHILD-CARE SOLUTIONS: HOW
TO CREATE THE SUPPORT YOU NEED 217
Five Keys to Finding Creative Child Care 218
Networking, networking, networking 218
Get creative about your advertising sources 219
Don’t be afraid to combine options 220
Know yourself and your children, and trust your instincts 221
Always be thinking about your next phase 222
Eleven Creative Child-Care Solutions 223
Daycare centers (full time) 224
Daycare centers (part time) 224
In-home daycare providers (full time) 225
In-home daycare providers (part time) 225
Nannies (full time) 226
Nannies (part time) 227
Nanny share 227
Relatives or family friends 228
Other parents 229
Babysitting co-ops 229
Coworkers with opposite schedules 229
Why Finding Great Child Care Is Only the Beginning 230
14 STRATEGIES FOR RE-ENTRY: HOW TO
RETURN TO THE WORKFORCE
AFTER A BREAK 233
Strategies for Returning to the Paid Workforce 236
Find the right volunteer position 236
Network with both new and former contacts 237
Find a full-time professional who is interested in job sharing 239
Take a class in your field or do something else to keep current 239
Read industry and general business/economic publications 240
Participate in professional associations 240
Contents xi
Evaluate your former industry and consider a new industry if the pace of change requires up-to-the-minute skills 240
Consider going back full time even if your preference is part time 241
View your transition as a time to reinvent yourself by finding your passion and identifying your skills 242
Combining Strategies 243
Résumé and Interview Tips 243
Make sure your prior work experience is strategically placed on your résumé and is specific and quantifiable 244
Don’t try to hide your time out of the paid workforce 244
During the interview be the consummate professional 247
Avoid talking about your children unless specifically asked 247
Demonstrate your up-to-date knowledge of the industry 247
15 CREATING AN ALTERNATIVE WORK
SCHEDULE: HOW TO THINK LIKE AN
EMPLOYER AND PITCH YOUR PROPOSAL
LIKE A PRO 249
Ten Elements of a Comprehensive Proposal 251
Introductory statement and needs analysis 251
Job title 252
Schedule specifics 252
Benefits to the company 253
Benefits for the employees in the job share 254
Cost benefit analysis 255
Successful precedents 259
Strategy for managing/allocating responsibilities 259
Detailed communication plan 261
Potential issues and solutions 262
xii Comfortable Chaos
Getting the Right Equation 263
Preparing for Possible Objections 265
Making the Presentation 265
PART V: LIVING IN COMFORTABLE CHAOS 267
16 YOUR EVER-CHANGING JOURNEY 269
EXERCISES
1 Where Does My Time Go? 14
2 My Current Priorities 17
3 Determining Your Coefficient for Chaos 19
4 Determining Your “Want and Can” Area 42
5 My Self-Care Habit 55
6 Handling Your Worst Transition 61
7 Determining What’s Working and What Isn’t 69
8 Decoding Your Envy 71
9 Determining Your Direction 73
10 Tracking Your Spending 204
11 Documenting Your Net Worth 206
FIGURES
1 Determining Your “Want and Can” Area 38
2 What Mike Wants to Control 39
3 What Paula Can Control 41
CHECKLIST
1 Evaluating a Staffing Company 133
SAMPLE
1 Skill-Based Résumé 245
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