Picture someone walking a tight rope. As they cross the rope, their bodies are strained. Their focus and intensity at an all time high. They are fighting every step of the way. They look scared or nervous. They definitely don’t look relaxed. It does not appear they are enjoying themselves. It looks like if they make the wrong move at any moment… it’s over.
If this is what the ultimate ability to balance looks like I ask; why are we striving for this?
I am not a believer in this thing called “life-work balance”. I am an advocate for being fulfilled and happy, but that does not necessarily mean things will be in balance, and fulfillment definitely ebbs and flows based on what is currently happening in your life.
This is why when I am consulting, coaching or teaching I actually talk about energy levels. There are things you do each day that fill you with energy. There are things you do each day that drain you of energy. I teach this so called “balance” is achieved by spending more time on things that energize you and charge you up, than on things that suck the energy from you. It also means learning to identify when it is time to plug yourself in for a full recharge (call it me time, call it self-care, call it vacation).
How do can you stay energized and charged up?
Slow down long enough to evaluate
You can’t impact what you don’t measure. So often, I meet people who are on autopilot and think that how things are is how things have to be. When you step back and take time to evaluate what fills you up, vs what drains you, you will be able to start to make changes. I have created a tool at www.melissamaloney.ca/calculator to help with this. Check it out!
Do the right things at the right times
If you want to perform at your best, you need to be executing the most important things you do with high energy and effectiveness. How do you do that? One simple way is to make sure you are not doing things that are most important for your success right after you complete something that drains you.
Another strategy would be to sandwich draining activities between energizing activities… think of it like your phone, if you get off a long call or after downloading a large file, you likely plug your phone in for a bit so it doesn’t “die”, do you plug yourself back in for a recharge?
Identify your “tells” for when it is time for a full recharge
We are always “on”. Technology does not let us shut down automatically at night like people used to. In the past when you left the office for the day… you left the office. Now when you leave the office you can still be reached via text, email, messenger etc. The convenience factor has let work bleed into our homes and our homes bleed into our offices (Did you just find this article checking Facebook from your desk?).
This makes it harder then ever to actually shut down.
We need to be committed more then ever for taking ownership over our own shut-down and recharge time. Ideally before your body does it for you. When you start to pay attention to your “tells” you will perform better, be happier and ultimately be able to do more. What are some examples of “tells”? Getting agitated faster. Being short with people. Being more emotional/aggressive. Feeling tired all the time. Needing more effort to focus. Physical activities feeling harder.
Your body speaks to you long before it shuts down… we just don’t always listen.
Taking ownership over your energy levels and ensuring you are fulfilling your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs is the greatest gift you can give yourself. You will be far more fulfilled and satisfied than if you try and “balance” your life.
I am off for a recharge now!
Join me on Monday June 18th at London On Health and Wellness where I will be presenting on just this topic!
If you are interested in having me help your organization “Energize, Prioritize and Optimize” email me at firstname.lastname@example.org