The Balancing Act
By Jane Steveson, Strategic Director: Magnetic Storm
Your career is important, but a problem arises when you neglect other important areas of your life. Areas which, if not balanced, can negatively influence your ability to be successful and happy.
To truly achieve success, we need to strive for a balanced life. I believe that balance is not when all things are equal. It’s being mindful of life and the bigger picture. Investing wisely in your health, career, wealth creation, family, friends, relationships spirituality, personal time, fun. Here’s some pointers, but everyone’s life is different and priorities shift and change constantly:
Focus on the bigger picture
Change your perspective by thinking about the life you want to live and then about the career which fits that life. If you are strategic about your decisions, you can put the horse (your life) before the cart (your career).
Turn the tap on burnout
Burnout is “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands”. When you reach burnout you’ll find yourself with low energy levels, low self-esteem, and you will tend to work reactively rather than proactively.
While technology can simplify our lives, it also makes it almost impossible to escape the office. Manage technology and set aside time to unwind and enjoy family and friends. You may think you do this, but is it time without interruption? Because of technology we need to be proactive and disciplined about returning natural balance to our lives.
When you spend time to reflecting on life, or challenges you might be facing, you can discover new ways of moving forward. I challenge you to find innovative tools and technologies to allow you more time to switch off, and do what you enjoy. Managing stress is key to living a fulfilled life.
Find a role model
Find people in your life or industry with a similar outlook to you, who successfully live healthy, happy and balanced lives. Speak to them to find out what they are doing right.
Everyone is different. Don’t adopt someone else’s definition unless it fits you. When it comes to life balance, one size does not fit all.
Do something you enjoy and focus on you and turn off anything which diverts your focus, and relax, recharge and have fun.
Celebrating you also means looking after yourself: eat right, sleep well (seven hours a night) and commit to regular exercise.
Fulfilling your purpose is your destiny. Finding your balance in life is essential to unleashing your potential. Be at peace with everything not being equal but be mindful that you need to take care of all the aspects of your life – just not all at once. Take your first, small step today. Tomorrow take the next.
This article originally appeared in the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber's quarterly publication INFOCOM.