How to ‘do’ less and achieve more
Maybe Jeff Bezos is right, and the notion of ‘work-life balance’ should be abandoned in favour of ‘work-life harmony’. Not all of us can be the world’s richest person but many of us tend to throw ourselves into our work, to the detriment of the things we love (like friends, family and sanity).
We all know that a rested mind is a more productive mind; more than ‘common sense’, it’s a well-established psychological fact, and we also know that more well-rounded individuals with a good social network are more emotionally, mentally and even physically resilient.
The rub lies in how to (realistically) fit it into the busy schedule that is modern life.
However, taking a step back to give yourself some 'me time' can do a world of good. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how to charge those batteries.
Don’t try to do everything
The first step to reclaiming your life – and maybe even growing your business – is to let others help. And while delegation is an important business skill, too many of us are guilty of 'de-delegating', asking a team member to complete a task and then doing it ourselves 'because it's easier'. It’s a false economy, because trusting your team to look after things while you take time to focus on yourself is the only way to successfully build your business. Ask yourself if you really need to be doing repetitive tasks and try focusing your workload down to the essentials. If you don't have a team, you might be surprised how many apps and cloud software solutions can help you move tedious admin work off your desk.
Make sure your social network isn’t virtual-only
Social media is a blessing and bane. It both widens and shrinks our world. Remember to take time each week to reconnect with those nearest and dearest in person, perhaps through hobbies, sport or just over a coffee. And make sure all phones are out of the way (first one to pick theirs up also picks up the tab!).
Don’t neglect your health
Your body isn’t just the thing that carries your brain around; it’s every bit as much a part of ‘you’ as your brain/mind/spirit. In a physical world, your physical health is important. Best of all is the fact that improving your physical health has benefits far beyond weight loss or getting rid of aches and pains. Moving your body can be one of the best ways to turn the mind off. It boosts moods, trims waists and helps you sleep better. Just 15 minutes a day can do wonders!
Listen to the silence
Speaking of wonders – ever tried meditation? Few things beat it for reducing stress, improving mental clarity, and balancing your emotions. Think of it like defragging the hard drive of your brain. Meditation doesn't mean chanting monotonously in some far-flung monastery somewhere; just five minutes (mid-commute even) of closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing will do. Let all other thoughts slip away and feel your breath. You’ll be amazed how focused you are after.
The modern world is packed with things that demand our time and energy, and it can be all too easy to get swept away. The next time you’re feeling daunted while planning your day, try to remember, time you enjoy wasting is never wasted time.