(Originally posted 03/30/2018)
Whether you own the company, manage a department, or just take your job seriously, you run the risk of living your job. You’re too busy working to remember that your job is just a part of your life. While many bosses would love to have someone focus on the job 24/7, it isn’t good for the long-term health and well-being of the individual . . . or the company.
Most people striving for success fall into the trap of developing tunnel-vision and becoming task-oriented, deadline driven. Checking things off the to-do list becomes an obsession . . . and you inevitably find yourself totally invested in work. When the conversation turns to work/life balance, you agree to the concept, but put off doing anything about it because you’re too busy . . . with work.
When that happens, your personal motivation becomes a struggle and you risk your organization stagnating. Truly achieving a work/life balance takes effort and discipline. You need to make some changes today to stop existing for work.
Here are 10 simple things you need to do:
1. Sleep. You need to be well rested to start every day feeling alert, motivated and focused. If that means you’ve got to miss your favorite TV show or stop reading that report at 10 o’clock, so be it. Learn to use the DVR or read the report in the morning. Work during work hours; live life and have fun and the rest of the time.
2. Don’t dread the day ahead. To be successful, you need a positive outlook from the moment you open your eyes in the morning. You probably have multiple tasks to accomplish, but be thankful you have those tasks and the ability to achieve your objectives. Remember: the only thing you really have control over is your attitude.
3. Greet everyone cheerfully. The correct answer to “How ya doin’?” is “Great!” “Good,” “Fine”, or worse, a litany of your problems won’t encourage your team. Any sign of ambivalence or negativity on your part will directly impact the performance of those people you encounter. A positive attitude usually leads to positive results.
4. Interact. Life and business are both team sports. You may feel like the weight is all on you, but it’s rare that anybody can truly succeed in a vacuum. Every person in your workplace has something to offer, so go out of your way to interact with them. If nothing else, it will show your staff you value them. And you never know when you might learn something. Or see a situation from a different point of view.
5. Enjoy lunch. It may impress other people if you habitually work through the noon hour at your desk. But, refueling your body is the best excuse to force yourself to step away from whatever it is you’re doing and recharge mentally and emotionally.
6. Take a hike. A twenty-minute walk in the middle of the afternoon allows you to clear your head, get the blood flowing, and spark your creativity. It’s not a waste of time if it’s good for your body and your mind. It just might make you more relaxed, positive, and productive.
7. Let it go. To be successful and stay motivated, you must push past setbacks. Everyone has glitches. You just have to fix them if you can, learn from them, then let them go. The quicker you forgive yourself or other members of your team, the quicker you can focus your attention and energy on conquering the next challenge.
8. Focus short term. While setting long term objectives is important, constantly thinking about where you want to be in 10 or 20 years, makes getting there much more difficult. It’s hard to be happy and stay motivated with your daily achievements when the specter of where you eventually want to be is constantly on your mind. Instead, along with lofty objectives, set smaller, more measurable goals that can be attained monthly, weekly, or even daily. Remember, the only way anyone ever wrote a book is one page at a time.
9. High five. The big wins in the workplace are usually the result of many small wins. Celebrate the small victories whenever a goal is achieved. It’s great for morale and makes everyone feel better about their contributions to the company.
10. Flip the “off” switch. When it’s time to leave the office, leave the office. Unless you’re running a home-based business, you’ll never break out of the fog of work if you bring that work home. You may buy into the importance of a work-life balance and convinced yourself that it doesn’t apply to you. You’re wrong: it does. Start today.