As the sun slowly sets on another year, it’s time for a huge sigh of relief. I am throwing myself back in a metaphorical armchair, throwing the feet up and probably going to have 40 winks. Apart from my day job, I have spent the year examining all sorts of leadership styles and behaviours and ways in which to drive personal and professional development. Now it’s time to put on an embarrassing jumper, sit by a log fire on a 40 degree day in an Australian summer, drink a little Egg Nog with my nephew James, dress the dog in reindeer antlers and laugh while I watch it’s completely perplexed and irritated expression.
Fa la la la la – la – la la la
One area where I haven’t spent much time is on work life balance. I was too frantic trying to do my job and write my blog posts. Are you waiting for the boss to delegate a little balance to you? Don’t hold your breath. As rapidly as everyone is talking about the need for work-life balance and adding it as one more item on their To-Do list, we are all working frantically to remain relevant and indispensable. It’s a new world where we are trying to be so much more focussed on people, where we recognise and celebrate emotional intelligence in leadership, diversity and equality in the workplace. And yet at times, in this seemingly enlightened world, the highly competitive and fast paced workplace seems for many people, to translate into ‘work until you drop’ or risk being left behind.
So you’re working harder and harder and your average weekly hours are growing faster than the circumference of my stomach at Christmas time. It’s time to take stock and what better time to do that than during your Christmas break – if you’re lucky enough to have one. If you’re going to set some New Year’s resolutions they should reflect a rebalance of your life in 2015. In the end, it’s going to make you more effective, more productive and just better fun to be around.
Here are 3 tips to start the new year off on the right foot
NQR – Not Quite Right is quite alright
It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it probably never will be so might as well accept that now. Perfectionism is a wonderful way to push your stress to the limit, if that’s your goal. The fact that nothing is ever really perfect, means you never get anything finished, which is wonderful for stressing you even more. Perfectionists can’t delegate because no one else can do anything well enough, so guess what that means, your workload balloons along with your blood pressure. Enough already, sometimes near enuff enough is good enough. For more reading on Perfectionism, check out my post – No! -This isn’t finished and it never will be – Perfectionist Behaviour
You’re not an electrical appliance
– so unplug yourself, at least occasionally. There are enough electrical currents in the brain without adding more and more and all day long. I often see people walk their children in prams around the block with the mobile phone up to their ear and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the child fall out onto the nature strip unnoticed. I am every bit as guilty as the next person of being adhered to a computer monitor, but you really need time to consciously switch off and allow the brain to reboot. Set yourself a few rules, like a walk or family time when unplugging is mandatory.
Here we go again, and one… and two…
Physical fitness is as important as mental fitness and in fact it promotes mental fitness. The big bonus is, it reduces stress, and I think we have established how prone we are to stress. There are times I physically feel like a sack of loose potatoes and when I get like that I know it’s going to be hard to do anything effectively that requires mental stamina. Keep your self physically and mentally in shape. Set yourself a routine for walks, take stairs over escalators, walk rather than tram, mow your own lawn etc. There are a hundred ways you could introduce a little more exercise into your life. And give your mind a moment – I am a keen meditator as the mind needs a rest as well. Check out my post – How to cheat at Meditation. The ‘Lazy Meditator’ – that’s me – here’s how.
The final wrap before the present unwrap
Don’t underestimate the importance of work-life balance. The vast majority of people can’t really effectively work 60, 70 and more hours per week and can very likely accomplish just as much with a balanced lifestyle in a more efficient and sustainable manner. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can work unsustainable hours without sacrificing something very important, whether it’s family, health or leisure or dare I say it, the quality of your work.
And a merry Christmas to ye all
It has been a great year this year, with much to celebrate and be grateful for. Late this year I was joined by my nephew James Westmore as the regular artist for the blog and everyone has enjoyed his amazing illustrations. He plants himself in every illustration (Where’s Jimmy) like Alfred Hitchcock, so look out for that. I had great support from many friends and colleagues and I am thankful to them all. For me, I celebrate Christmas, but whatever the basis for your personal and family festivities now or whenever you celebrate your special cultural time, I wish you a wonderful and restful time. Thank you to all those people who have read my articles regularly this year and maybe even joined in the conversation. I have given myself annual leave for about a month so I will be back in the New Year. Stay safe and well. Peter
P.S. I am always really grateful if you share the post on your favourite social media which you can do by just clicking on the buttons on the right hand panel. If you really enjoyed the post then please subscribe for an email alert once a week.
A huge thanks to Rosie Broadfoot who has edited the vast majority of my articles over the last 18 months. Rosie is moving on to bigger and better things in 2015 (if that’s really possible). Thanks Rosie your literary skills will be sorely missed.