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Finding Balance in Busy

Some practical ways to calm the storm in our everyday world.

We are always on the go from one thing to another, and before we know it, the day is over, and we are mentally preparing for what lies ahead. Was life always this turbulent? Has technology made it worse? Are we overworked by trying to achieve expectations set by our career or personal life? Is there a pause button???

Think about the last time you were out to dinner with friends or family. When looking around the restaurant or at your table, were guests connected to their phone? Were phones sitting next to plates or continuously in one’s hand? Either it be personal or business, we are always on and therefore constantly busy. Who set this insane regulation and when will it end?

In the past year, the word busy has been used and heard one too many times. When I ask how one is the reply “busy, busy” or “I’m good, just busy” is the new normal.  Is everyone THAT busy? I mean, even our President has time to tweet throughout the day while running our country. Is busy just a word to symbolize importance or a sense of purpose? The entire construct around “busy” needs to be reconfigured and we need to bring back the coolness of balance. 

With today’s fast-paced world embroiling us in multiple directions alas, there are a few recommendations to help make stability possible.

1. PRIORITIZE TASKS

Prioritization goes hand-in-hand with organizing based on the severity of your tasks. If you have a family and your goal is to provide food, shelter, and transportation, getting to work may be a top priority after ensuring the kids are safely at school post a healthy breakfast. When it comes to prioritizing tasks at work, determining which projects are time-sensitive is key. If stuck in a rut, seek an assistant or a colleague to help you.  Above all, be upfront with your boss. While we all want to be on positive terms with the big cheese, I trust a good supervisor will value your honesty when you’re feeling overwhelmed or near career burnout.

2. THE POWER OF NO OR DECLINING INVITES

Yes, it’s completely okay to say no to additional commitments when your plate is full. And yes, it’s acceptable to decline invites to parties, dinners, and anything that’s not worth your energy. While we often feel obligated to please others, we need to remember to satisfy ourselves as well. You deserve a break, even if it’s five minutes.  If it comes to an additional task that your boss is requesting, sit with them to go over expectations and deliverables and see if you can work out a plan that pleases both parties.

3. PRESS THE PAUSE BUTTON

Be sure to carve out quiet and alone time during your busy schedule. For some, that’s your lunch break. Take those breaks alone and go for a walk or listen to calming music. Whatever it may be, allow yourself the solo time to let your brain detox from information overload. And try to refrain from hopping on social media during your breaks. Social media often perpetuates anxiety and stress rather than promoting peace and calm.

4. EAT WELL & DRINK WATER

The saying is valid that what we consume impacts our mental and physical wellbeing. Nosh on fruits and vegetables versus candy from the vending machine. Grab a large bottle of water versus a cola product. These simple diet habits have long-term effects on our overall health. Junk food will make one feel sluggish from the high sodium and thus impact your work performance and energy. Being drained from a bad diet will keep one off-balance, stressed and tired.

5. THE WELLNESS WHEEL

The trajectory of life has curves and bumps creating the mind to forget what’s most significant to us.  This is where the wellness wheel by Clarion University comes in handy.  The wellness wheel is a great way to assess your self-awareness in seven dimensions:  emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual.  Each aspect is comingled and complementary to achieving a balanced lifestyle. Review the wheel and assess how you can finesse those curves and bumps.

The preceding suggestions are the stepping stones to greater leaps and bounds as you manage balance over busy.  I hope this post assists you on your journey or complements your current plan.  Remember one thing, being busy isn’t cool nor healthy.  It’s draining and will impact your health and wellness with yourself and others. Balance is possible and it’s rad. Life’s too short to miss the things that ultimately matter.

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