It’s that old balance thing again. Get your priorities sorted out according to what is truly important: people first and then things, people first and then things. It is good for the soul to feed it what it wants, or it will always be hungry no matter what else you give it. Work with your personal energy cycles to be the most productive. For some, this means intermittently switching off between personal and professional tasks throughout the day and inserting personal energy breaks in-between stretches of intense concentration.
For others, it could mean working a night shift if they are night owls and sleeping during the day. For another group it might mean both spouses working part time so they can split the child care and still have time for work, family, and couple time. The advent of flex schedules and compressed workweeks are a great invention to help workers equalize their time by working four days and having three days off. It sure seems more equal than the old five on and two off.
It takes constant attention to how you are balancing your personal or family time with your professional or school time. Whatever your balancing act entails, it takes vigilance and attention to ensure you are in sync and in balance for optimum energy and peak performance.
When we are out of balance and have unequal amounts of time spread between the different areas in our lives, we feel overwhelmed, under great stress, out of focus, out of sorts, and irritated with others. We tend to lose our sense of humor and our sense of control over our time and our lives. When we feel out of control, we feel stress and fear and frazzled. Recognize the signals of being unbalanced and make a plan to equalize your life in the future.
Take note of what circumstances brought you to this unequal place and create steps to get yourself out of there. Sometimes we cannot attain the proper balance over one day; we need to take a look at the week, or even the month. Sometimes circumstances warrant that we need to plow through a project or moment in time with intense focus and only after that time can we opt for better balance. Plan some down time as your reward for getting through this period so you have time to recoup your energies.
Become aware of your natural biorhythms for optimal performance and equalize your time between personal and professional responsibilities. Balance keeps things in perspective and helps you do most things in moderation to keep your energy in check. It’s a constant, conscientious effort to keep all the areas of your life in balance. Awareness is the first step to creating boundaries for your time and energy.
Pre-set your boundaries and know your limits. When demands stretch you towards your ends, you know when to pull back to maintain your balance, your sanity and your energy. Let others know of your boundaries and when they have crossed the line in order to keep your stress levels and your energy in check. n a USA Today survey, 75% of CEOs and 88% of middle managers listed balancing work and family as a major concern. How’s your balance? What are you doing to create more balance in your life? Do you know the signs your body tells you when you are unbalanced?
An organization can only be as good as the people who run it. We do business with PEOPLE in an organization, not the organization itself. If the people behind the organization aren’t feeling well, treated well, doing well or being well, then the business isn’t doing well either.
If you’re part of a larger organization, the team members must bring their best self to the job. One person can drain the energy of the work group and clients alike. People like doing business with people who like doing business. If you don’t bring your best self to the marketplace, it’s a downward spiral.
Taking care of our personal well-being is essential to organization well-being, whether it’s a solo-preneur operation or a multi-national organization. We can’t focus on work if we feel lousy, have anxiety about our mortgage, worried about our kid’s safety or our family’s health. We need to get our priorities in order and take care of ourselves first, watch out for our well-being so we have the energy to look out for other’s or our organization’s well-being.
Here are some qualities of well-being. How do you measure up?
1. Is your life purposeful with direction? Do you have a bigger vision and purpose and is it fulfilling to you? Are you in alignment with it? Does your work foster your purpose?
2. Have you experienced life transitions and have you handled them with aplomb, in your unique or creative way. You can solve problems and have others for support in times of need and transition. You can weather the storms of life, or at least know how to dance in the rain.
3. You feel optimism for your life and believe the universe conspires in your favor. You feel more optimistic than pessimistic and experience gratitude over disappointment.
4. You have a Life List (similar to a Bucket List, but couched in more positive terms) and you have attained many things that are on your goals list. You feel accomplished in different areas of your life and are a life-long learner. You list may grow larger are you grow older and learn there is so much more to learn about the world. You have a sense of discovery, adventure, curiosity and joy about life.
5. You are coachable, remaining open to learning more about yourself and the whys and hows of your decisions. You are interested in not only personal development but enrichment and have a willingness to share your lessons with others to enrich their lives. You share yourself with the world through your abilities, gifts and talents.
6. You have love in your life from friends, partner, pets, family, clients and colleagues. You have mutual respect, support, admiration, loyalty, friendship and companionship.
7. You have laughter in your life and seek the humor in situations. You choose to laugh through things now rather than wait until time passes to see the humor. You bring laughter to others.
8. You are resilient to stress, criticism, bad behavior and the little annoyances in life. You have learned how to masterfully handle life’s irritations and know how to diffuse stress in your own way.
9. You are physically and mentally healthy, taking time to practice self-care, eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. You choose health and incorporate daily rituals and practices to keep your spirit, mind and body strong and flexible.
10. You keep things in perspective, have an open mind, and keep fear at bay. You dwell in the realm of possibility and positivity. You think the best of yourself, others and situations. You let things flow and believe in the rhythm nature. You believe in the power of the Universe, Source and Spirit to work things out how they are supposed to be. You believe the Universe has more control than you and you let go and let it flow.
Keep in mind these key areas to creating your well-being so you can go out and do well in the world. Keep your balance so you may bring your best self to your work and to the world.
As a former Recreation Professional (yes we got paid to play); we knew that it wasn’t just about the leisure activity we provided that provided the benefits to our participants, it was their mindset when they were participating.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure ‘former’ is appropriate, maybe ‘recovering’ would be a better term. I will always have a recreation and leisure outlook on life and will always embrace the importance of play, fun, re-creating, re-charging and renewing my mind, body and spirit.
I digress…. You see, we can be gardening, playing in the garden or working in the garden. It can be the same activity, but our mindset while we are doing it can be very different and thus create very different outcomes. Is cooking a joy and a creative experience to show love or is it a chore you must do to get fed? What is your mindset towards your activities?
What once was a joy can become a burden simply because of your mindset. Sort of like what attracted you to a person, may become annoying? Sound familiar? Minding our mindset when we are involved in the moment, in an activity can influence our material outcomes and our emotional/stress management outcomes as well.
Are you in the flow and in the moment? Are you fully aware and experiencing what you’re doing in that moment, or are you distracted, pre-occupied, thinking in the future or worrying about the past, or just not into it? Being in the flow, where the challenge meets our skills and time disappears is renewing, refreshing and fun.
If you’re doing an activity and finding yourself in a negative mindset, then you’re likely not reaping the benefits of your actions. If you’re just going through the motions, you may need to find another motion that’s more fulfilling or building more resilience to stress, rather than producing stress.
Minding our mindsets can help us fully engage in our lives, fully express and experience our activities and fully be in the moment without regard to the outside influences. Being conscious of our mindset throughout our day, whether work or play (or is it all play?) can help us reap greater rewards for a richer life.