The Blog

On Life Balance: You Can’t Find it Unless You Feel It

So many of us are over-extended with both work and “life” schedules, we struggle to balance it all.  We are often sleep deprived and so, fatigue, has become our natural state of mind.  It is our new reality, and yet we continue to battle every day to catch up as if we think we actually can.  But we cannot. And when we realize that there are not enough hours in a day to accomplish all that we had hoped, we just let it spill into the next day, and on and on it goes. Yes indeed, we can lose our sense of self in this unravelling vicious cycle.

Present, guilty as charged.  I write so often about time-management and how powerful it can be in order to reach our goals and maintain balance, but I neglected to include how important it is to carve out some self time.

I have always been an advocate of exercise, but lately it’s been an activity that I dread, and more like something I have to do, not want to do.  In the past, I would squeeze a quick work-out in just to feel like I accomplished something.   Typically, I jump on the treadmill and trot along as random thoughts invade my head, but never really focus on anything in particular except how much longer I need to stay on it.  A prime example of not being present or embracing the moment, but just worthy enough to cross it off my checklist.  Just barely.  Rushing to get my day going, I jump off that treadmill to just start running on essentially a different kind of treadmill; my work schedule.  Truth be told, I have been kidding myself.  I have never reaped the optimal benefit from the time I’ve set aside to find the balance.  The experience was lacking purpose.

Recently, I decided to take up Pilates and I must admit, it has been life-altering.  For me, that one invaluable hour of a day provides me with not only the physical balance I need, but the mental focus I require.  Stepping away from my daily fast pace and taking time out just to breathe, is rejuvenating.  Throughout this new workout, my core is fully engaged and strengthened, and when it’s over, my mind is equally engaged to face the day with an incredible energy to succeed.  It’s my new life-balance.

Don’t be too busy to live a healthy life.  Prioritize.  It’s time to stop chasing your tail.  Working until burnout is not at all productive.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what exercise you prefer, albeit the gym, yoga, or a run.  What is imperative is that you do something to exercise physically and allow the mental juices to flow.  It’s cathartic.  Exercise diffuses the stress.  The more you do, the more you”ll want to do, and the better you will feel.   My trainer always likes to say before a final stretch, “give yourself a hug,” and I do.  And it feels great.

Does your life often feel like a balancing act?  What do you do to feel balanced?

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2 Power Tools You Need to Help Manage the Stress of a Busy Day

I have yet to meet a person that does not complain about how busy they are.  It’s seems to be the new standard reply to “how are you?” No more “I’m fine”, just “busy.” The truth is, it is indeed the sign of the times.  We are all guilty of immersing ourselves into over-scheduled days, action packed with juggling commitments, meeting deadlines, racing to appointments, and circuitous car pool runs.  Mornings are hectic, work days grow longer, and conventional mealtimes have become more spontaneous than scheduled.

Don’t fool yourself; as a result of this daily chaos, we all suffer.  We are all overextended, overbooked, at high speed overload doomed to crash and burn.

Being busy can be challenging but doable, but being too busy is arguably dangerous.  Mistakes are inevitable, and if you have not planned well, important dates, commitments, possessions, etc. can be overlooked, lost, or forgotten.  Is your busy schedule robbing you of things that matter to you? Are you lacking balance in your life?

What if I told you that if you stopped being so busy for a hot minute and relinquished a bit more more time to organize your lifestyle better, you’d actually have MORE time?

As to not unravel, I suggest two imperative tools to balance your life.  Meet ORGANIZE and EXERCISE.  They go hand in hand because they work in the same way for your mind, body, and soul. Hopefully most of us take to the gym to work out the stress we lug around,  and strive to keep our bodies healthy and fit.  Physical exercise is an excellent outlet to relieve our stress and provide the balance we require to function.  Just as exercising targets specific muscle groups, mental organizing can target specific tasks and accelerate productivity.  Take time out and focus on what matters to you.

EXERCISE your brain and ORGANIZE your priorities.

WARM-UP: Consider preparedness as your warm-up before a busy stressful day.  It could prevent you from spiraling out of control.  Consider your day at a glance, and make adjustments if your schedule looks too full.  Paradoxically, if your life’s treadmill is running too fast, slow down and customize the speed that works for you.

STRETCH: Use bits of time that you can carve out as as an opportunity to stretch your potential and make positive changes in your harried schedule.

TRAIN: Train your mind to stay on task.  Be aware of your actions and deliberate.  Time is invaluable, don’t waste it, get a value from it.

ALIGN: Organizing your daily plan will keep you in alignment. Be clear and realistic about your daily goals.

BREATHE: Adhering to an agenda that is not abusive will enable you to pause and breathe. It’s important to catch a breath during a hectic day.  Build in some wiggle room into your schedule, allowing for the unforeseen and unexpected.

Manage your settings; modify both your workout or work ethic. Take back the control. Being ORGANIZED, like EXERCISE, means having a routine, a plan, and a system.

Exercising daily is empowering and feeds your productivity.  Active planning and organizing will do the same.  In both scenarios, if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.  Make time-management just another EXERCISE of your day.

ORGANIZE and EXERCISE are powerful tools to manage and balance our lifestyles and can help us live our best life. Make them part of  your daily routine. Careers, marriages, relationships depend on it. 

Are you too busy?




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