By Steve Hansen, PCC. Many of my clients have a similar issue: they don’t make time for themselves. They take care of everyone but themselves. They are either working (often long hours) or taking care of family which leaves little time left. Over an extended period that’s often an unsuccessful strategy if you want a balanced life. 

How do we take care of ourselves in order to be more balanced and fulfilled and thus more effective at work? Here are some things we need to think about:

Physical care: gym, running, resting, personal time

How often do you have time for a sense of renewal, a coming back to who you are and who you want to be?

Family time: spouse, kids, sports, travel

One executive I coached said his favorite time of the week was coaching his daughters at soccer. What would be more meaningful for you as you spend time with family?

Spiritual time: church, meditation, inspirational reading

What feeds your sense of being a part of something bigger than yourself?

Hobbies

That take our full attention. That add to a sense of our creative abilities.

To begin to do things differently, looking at our values can be very helpful. Personal values are the things that are most important to us, motivate us, and guide our decisions. So what do you value?

Here are some questions to consider to clarify what your values are:

  1. What’s most important to you in life?
  2. If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?
  3. What energizes you?
  4. What are you most proud of?
  5. When were you the happiest and most fulfilled?
  6. What legacy do you want to leave as a person, with family, at work, in the community?

Once you become clearer about what you value, a strong desire and commitment are needed to focus new behaviors in ways that reflect those values. 

  • For each of your values, make a list of things you could do to put those values into practice. 
  • Don’t be constrained by practical considerations at this stage. 
  • Just write down possibilities, even if you think you won’t have time to do them. 
  • Make a list of things you could do to live by that value. 
  • Repeat with each value. 

Now you are ready to choose the behaviors you want to demonstrate. Take your time, don’t rush. This is a marathon not a sprint. Remember, small actions done consistently in strategic places over time creates major impact.

To learn more about leading a balanced life and its positive impact on happiness, health, work, career, and leadership, schedule a consultation with Steve.