Sharon M. Weinstein, Chief Wellness Officer, SMW Group LLC
“I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” E.B.White
How is your day going so far? Are you improving the world, or are you enjoying it? Perhaps you are able to juggle well and do both, and then again, perhaps not! We all know that life gets in the way. From the mailroom to the boardroom, we all need balance, and we need it sooner rather than later.
Thirty-five-year-old daredevil Nik Wallenda made history again by crossing the dark, Windy City skies over Chicago on a tightrope without safety net or tether. The stunt was aired live on Discovery Channel and beamed abroad to more than 200 countries. He completed the task, in balance. His task was a physical, emotional and spiritual challenge, and yet he did it. When you think about your busy day, is it nearly as complex as Wallenda’s?
We all have a “to do” list, but do we have a “must do” list? I advise concentrating on the “must do” list and recognizing that we must focus on balance and on what can be done. After all, each of us has the same number of hours in a day.
Know your Limitations
Are you an assertive type who finds it easy to say “no”? Or, are you a people-pleasing type who takes on more than you can possibly handle? Negotiate for workplace balance by knowing yourself and your limitations, and remember that “no” can be a complete sentence. This means that it’s perfectly acceptable to say “no” without any further explanation. As a matter of fact, “no” can be the best time management tool that you have!
How to Seek Help
Successful, balanced professionals are not afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs help from time to time, and reaching out is an admirable skill. Be acutely aware of the stressors in your schedule and in your life. Know thyself first! Manage yourself, and take advantage of counseling, coaches, professional peers, mentors and more.
Have the Right People in the Right Seats on the Bus
Having a lot of help is not enough if it isn’t the right help for the right job. Make a concerted effort to surround yourself with good people, and give them the latitude they need to do a good job.
Football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse – they are all team sports, and they all involve teamwork. If you are a part of a team, or if you are leading that team, but you function more like The Lone Ranger than The Brady Bunch, the team will suffer, and so will the outcomes. A business team can achieve far more than the sum of the individual skills alone. How and why?
• They can generate a wider range of ideas
• They are self-motivated
• They can brainstorm
• They often take more risks than individuals
• They have a range of personalities and styles such as workers, thinkers and leaders who contribute the right balance of skills necessary to achieve high performance
• They support each other
• They provide mentoring
Think about the high performing teams with which you have worked and identify the aspects of teamwork that are, or were, most beneficial.
For one day, notice how often you are not focusing on the task at hand. For example, during a phone call, are you thinking of what you have to do after you are done with the call? Are you straightening the clutter on your desk as you listen to a coworker? Before you make a call or keep an appointment, take a moment beforehand to say to yourself, “I will give this my full attention.” Then do it.
Track Your Time
Do you often find yourself at the end of the day wondering where the time went? Consider tracking how long it takes you to do routine tasks so that you can better plan your time.
Make an Appointment
Right now, make an appointment for lunch or another activity with a colleague or relative you have been meaning to spend time with.
So, how is your day going so far? Are you ready for balance? Reflect on these thoughts, and experience balance firsthand!
• No one knows you better than you; work that to your advantage
• Become a master of efficiency
• Identify those areas of life most important for your well-being
• Know your limits and empower yourself to balance
About the Author
Sharon M. Weinstein, Chief Wellness Officer, SMW Group LLC, and author of B is for Balance, 12 Steps toward a More Balanced Life at Work and at Home is an energetic, motivating and highly skilled speaker who educates others, enriches their lives, and empowers them to achieve balance in their own lives. She draws on her own life experiences to help others gain control of their life purpose. Sharon is Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing and a member of the Kaplan University School of Nursing Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the American College of Wellness and the American Academy of Nursing. Work-Life Balance is not just what she does – it is clearly who she is! Sharon is a member of the National Speakers Association.