Aug 8 · 4 min read
Ahh, Monday. You might feel due for a vacation. Wait – you just had one and already long for the next one!
If you’re the statistical American worker, you are overworked, your health is at risk and so is the elusive work-life balance. How can you escape the weekend-to-weekend hamster wheel? Is balance even possible with all the demands you face in life? It is, my friend. It is.
If Your Energy Is Off Balance:
You’re worn out.
You never have any time for super exciting side projects.
You’re not reading the books you’ve bought. (There’s just not enough hours in the day!)
You’re dragging yourself to work, dinner, the gym…everywhere.
You’re wanting Monday to become Friday. On Friday, you realize your week escaped you and you wish you had two more days until your deadline at work comes up.
A friend asks you to join a fun event and you just don’t know where to get the energy from. You’re drained.
If you want to see change, I’ll get straight to the point of what I have observed with friends, former coworkers, and clients.
How To Achieve Balance
Stop Energy-draining Habits and Mindsets
I’ll cut straight to the chase before I get to the good part:
- Stop Drinking The “Busy” Kool-Aid. Busy has never got anyone anywhere, valuable outputs do.
- Stop Workationing (working from vacation to vacation and during your “vacation”). You’re not present in life if you work just so you can vacation. There’s more to life than vacations and accumulating stuff. Look around. There are people around you. One of them might be staring at you with longing for a conversation. Have your kids seen you smile or engage recently?
- Stop telling yourself “it’s only until…” Chronically putting things off “until the time is right” only chokes the quality out of life. I am not talking about delayed gratification and saving money until you can afford the stuff you want. Kudos to you for being disciplined. I am talking about limiting beliefs and procrastination based on fear. Dwelling in limiting and negative mindsets train us to stay where we are because it is a habit-forming mindset. Limiting beliefs are draining our energy because they put the brakes on our desires for change and achievement.
Start Energy-balancing Habits and Mindsets
Now to the good stuff – here is what will get your from exhausted to energized in a few, simple steps:
Check your energy balance by gauging it on four levels. Think of it as four tires on your car: all tires need to be equally inflated for a smooth ride.
You’re made up of more than flesh and blood, meaning, you need more than food and water to have enough energy. You’re more than a body walking around this earth. You have emotions that can energize or drain you. You have a soul to be nurtured and a mind that needs to be stimulated and also utilized.
Your energy balance in this example has four areas to pay equal attention to (balance as a whole). You balance each area in itself by leveling input and output (balance within). To stick with the car example; you attend the needs of the entire call, all four tires, as well as each individual tire. If one tire is deflated, you add some air.
Your physical energy. You need rest, food and water to build energy (input) and you need movement to stay healthy, retain muscles, etc. (output). You can’t just exercise and not rest. Balance requires attention to both sides.
Your emotional/relational energy. You need to love and be loved, give and be given to, speak and listen (input/output). If you always do what others want and neglect yourself, you’ll quickly lose steam.
Your spiritual energy. You need to feed your own soul to serve others well. Only spending time in meditation, reflection, reading, and praying will not be balanced. Neither one or the other would create balance. You need both (input/output).
Your mental energy. You likely inhale a lot of information all day. We live in the information firehose age. A lot of what our mind has to sift through is involuntary. Your mind also craves stimulation in specific areas of interest. You have to balance what you allow in with what you put out (input/output). Your mind has to come up with solutions, make decisions and so forth. How are you going to make decisions when you’re overwhelmed or drained? Not at all.
To regain your energy again, you need to balance in two ways: within each segment (input/output) and across all segments.
Finding balance is a misnomer. You don’t find balance. You manage and maintain it.
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