Do you find yourself in a constant state of limbo? Juggling all the different parts of your life; work, family, friends, health etc? Whether you are a small business owner, manager or employee the juggling act is constant and hard.
A number of years ago, Bryan Dyson, then the President and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, delivered a speech in which he discussed the difference between glass and rubber balls.
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
Striving for the balance in life that Dyson suggests is something that is often much easier said than done. Striking the balance that keeps the glass balls from damage and the rubber ball from bouncing will look different for everyone. What is important is recognising your priorities and working with them accordingly.
The balancing act is one that took some time to for me to master (I say master with a tongue in my cheek!) and it looks different for everyone, but I believe no matter what level of balance you are trying to achieve these tips can help!
I have put all of these into place over the course of the last 12 months and I can honestly say they work!
1. Schedule important personal activities
These are the things that can quickly fall by the wayside if they aren’t scheduled purposefully; exercise, date night with your partner, catching up with friends. Block out your calendar for important personal activities and you will find they happen as they should.
2. Set boundaries
Set firm boundaries around when you are, and aren’t, available. Doing so will help you relax when you are off the clock, while also helping others avoid unmet expectations.
Designate a certain amount of time to ‘unplug’ yourself from your mobile phone and the Internet. These two either keep you hooked to work or to useless activities that prevent you from important activities like getting enough rest, spending quality time with people you connect with, and engaging in things that make you happy and help you relax.
4. Play to your strengths
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and delegate or outsource others.
5. Know your peaks and troughs
Everyone has natural energy cycles throughout the day. Think carefully about your own cycle pinpointing times when you feel more focused and productive and use these times to your advantage.
Striving for balance will be a continuous process, it will require reflection and adaption dependant on your changing needs. Understand and recognise your priorities and work with the accordingly.