Falling out of balance is easy. Ask anyone who ever tried a handstand. Ask anyone who ever learned to walk. Ask anyone who has ever had a job, or kids or (gasp) both! In my last post, I discussed balance. In this post, I offer five steps to cultivate it.
1. Grab your notebook, planner, or a small piece of paper and a pen.
Give yourself a minute to list five things that deplete you. I find it easier to start with the negative. List the first five things that come to mind.
Give yourself a minute to list five things that fill you up — that make you smile, feel happy, feel lighter….
Now — cross out two things on that list that either cost money or seem exhausting
Now comes the fun part!
2. Cultivate your hobby.
Whether you wrote hiking, yoga, painting, puzzles … whatever, if it brings you a smile and a laugh, you owe it to yourself to cultivate that hobby. Having a hobby stimulates an important part of who you are. Having a hobby also gives you something interesting (besides your job) to talk about.
3. Schedule YOU time.
Let’s be real. If you don’t write it down, it’s not going to happen. There will ALWAYS be more that NEEDS doing. YOU time is just as important as the rest of your to-do’s. It doesn’t need to be alone time. Sometimes a long walk with a good friend is exactly what the doctor ordered.
4. Turn off your phone when you sleep.
Lack of sleep, or interrupted sleep, leads to obesity, depression and scores of other problems, not the least of which is a feeling of imbalance. There is no sane reason that you need to be awakened at 5am by an MSN announcement, or worse, an email from your boss. If you think your boss expects a response at 5am, you need a reality check. If your boss actually does expect a response at 5am, you might consider seeking a new job.
5. Stop thinking Busy and start thinking Productive.
The word Busy destroys a company’s culture and brings its employees down. Busy is a terrible word which breeds like rabbits. To me, Busy means inefficient. It means disengaged. It adds stress to you and to the people around you. Try replacing Busy with Productive. I bet after a week or two you’ll feel a whole lot closer to balanced.
How do YOU cultivate balance?