Balanced life, balanced leader. In last week’s post, we discussed our focus at work and how to help deal with the overwhelm, by aiming for one achievement in the day (to get us started). This week, we take that concept beyond work and into our day to day lives.
The balance beyond work.
Work can consume us at times – whether we love it or hate it, the fact is, work can get very busy. It can at times attract a lot of our waking hours (and for some, it also creeps into sleep time). This is not always a bad thing- work provides purpose, money, social connection, and fulfilment. One thing to remember though is – if we focus only on work, our brains are not stretched or refreshed. How can we expect to be innovative, productive and positive if our brains are not recharged? How can we expect to solve problems and overcome challenges if we are tired or burnt-out? How can we as managers engage positively to motivate our teams if we are concerned about our own work piling up? How can we be motivated and interested in work if there is no time for anything else in our lives?
While a focus on work and our achievements is positive, it’s also important to know that having interests or activities outside of work actually helps broaden our neural pathways, recharge our mind and body and ultimately helps us be more productive and innovative.
So if you think you could use a little down-time from work, it will be effective if you make it a regular aspect of your week; make it a habit.
Just try one thing…
Try not to think about changing the world. Just try one thing. Every day. For a week, a month, a year. Start with one thing. And stick to it.
A 5 minute walk at lunchtime.
Ban thinking/talking about work at dinnertime.
One movie a month.
Leave work 10 minutes late rather than 1 hour late.
One hour drawing with your child each night.
Enrol in a night course.
Get up 10 minutes earlier and have coffee with your spouse.
10 minutes to play with your dog after work.
Have coffee with a colleague and talk about anything but work.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply 3 times before checking your first email of the day.
Send a card (e-card or real) to a different friend once a month.
Listen to one podcast you love over lunch.
Be conscious of your overwhelm thoughts and practice refocusing; doing something rather than just worrying.
Notice when you procrastinate because there is so much to do. Stop it.
Smile at least once a day.
Whatever it is for you.
Even with one small thing, if you stick to it, there is no doubt you will start to see benefits – feeling refreshed, focusing better, maintaining and growing positive relationships.
You have a choice.