Honoring the Principle of Balance

Here in the United States more so than in many other cultures, we tend to be quite productivity oriented. In today’s business world, it’s not uncommon for high achievers to work 60-hour weeks — or even more if their role involves travel! Yet it’s common knowledge that over time, such extended output can lead to serious burnout.

Whether you work 60 hours a week or 20, it’s important to recognize why we each need time for rest, recharge and renewal. Most adults today have other responsibilities on top of their jobs – family responsibilities being the most common added energy user. When you’re always in output mode, you might not sleep well or truly rest. It’s no wonder sleep and anti-anxiety medication use is on the rise!

To counter all this, let’s look at activating something I call the Principle of Balance. So many of the people I talk to have more control over their schedule than they would admit, and yet they sound just a tad like a victim when describing their work/life balance.

In my Recharge & Renewal© seminars, I make the analogy that our lives can be compared to the ocean’s waves. Notice that first the waves crest and break, with the water rushing onto shore. That’s like our output – the active productivity phase of our life. Then this same water recedes back into itself for a bit, before ultimately resuming its forward motion and surging onto shore again. The receding back reflects the restorative part of life’s equation.

To take this metaphor one step further, we notice there are high tides and low tides. Throughout the work year, I bet you have your high output busy seasons, and then at some point, you set aside time to sit back and analyze the year’s results, thoughtfully budgeting and planning for next year’s new thrust forward. By balancing out these two rhythms, you become a better businessperson.

Unfortunately, some folks I’ve met seem to feel guilty about taking time out for themselves. The ocean metaphor would indicate that’s foolish! We all require that R & R to maintain a balance. We don’t have to take a week off work for this, although sometimes that’s quite a good idea. We can put our personal batteries in recharge mode for a bit simply by listening to good music or watching a favorite show (and possibly drifting into a restful nap). Whatever works!

In my next post, we’ll take a deeper dive to look at your personal recharge mechanisms. Stay tuned!

 

©2018 Marie Moran