Achieving a balanced ‘you’ 

The phrase ‘work life balance’ has been used so much it has become wallpaper, but the relevance of it has never been more poignant in our modern life. It is essential in fact, that we do maintain a healthy work life balance – as cliche as it sounds. Having a good balance means you don’t work yourself to the bone, you have the opportunity to have fulfillment outside of work, without feeling overwhelmed with work. And in the interest of productivity, a healthy, happy and well-balanced employee is going to be much more motivated and efficient. But more importantly than just striking the right balance between work and non-work time, is the idea that you need something outside of work that pushes or challenges you. If you don’t have something pushing and challenging you outside of work, chances are you are not as well-rounded and balanced inside of work. Put another way, the skills that you learn outside of work, can help you perform better at work. 

When we are on a path of continuous improvement we want to strive to be the best version of ourselves in all aspects of our lives. We want to be better managers, better leaders, better colleagues, better spouses, better parents, better friends. 

Our journey of personal growth often sees us wanting to develop our skills in becoming better communicators, more agile, more resilient, more compassionate, more decisive, more present, more confident, more positive, more pragmatic, more grounded, more driven, with greater self-control and be open to change with a growth mindset. 

All these skills need discipline, practice and commitment to develop. And often it is best achieved (at least some of it) outside of the workplace, in our spare time. 

By pursuing hobbies and activities outside of work that challenge us and help us build these skills, we are strengthening them to use at work. Whether it’s training for a marathon, sailing the Sydney to Hobart, skiing, mountain bike riding, netball, cricket, whatever floats your boat – it teaches us next level tenacity, determination, resilience, team-work and the exhilarating sense of achievement, to name a few key skills.  

Healthy Oscillation leads to balance 

As well as pursuing these hobbies outside of work, another great way to keep balanced and well rounded at work is to be aware and embrace oscillation, on both marco and micro levels. Oscillation is defined as the process of moving back and forth regularly and is derived from the Latin word “oscillare” which means “to swing”.  
This oscillation, the rhythmic switching between activity and recovery, is a phenomenon we should seek to embrace and optimise, because when we do it well, we thrive. The activity helps us build our skills and the rest allows us to reflect on them, in a continuous mission to do our best. 

The best examples of how this oscillation can maximise human performance is through world class sport; where it is known as periodisation; a particular form of training used to develop and accelerate an athlete’s performance potential. The periodisation cycle consists of four phases: preparation, pre-competition, competition, and active rest. These phases are strategically structured to facilitate gradual adaptation of both the mind and body, optimising physical and mental performance. 

Consider how you can integrate oscillation or a natural process of continuous ‘rest and recovery’, into your daily work; on a mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual level. Maybe it’s going for a walk at lunch (physical), going for a coffee with your colleagues to connect (social), taking a break from one task to the next to reflect on the bigger picture or meditate for a few minutes (spiritual), giving yourself some down time between tasks (mental). Just being aware that you and all those around you, are naturally oscillating beings helps you to embrace this natural rhythm of activity and recovery into your daily work life with the knowledge you are performing at your best when you do. Likewise don’t neglect the bigger oscillating needs to stay balanced; enjoying a weekend without being contactable, taking all your annual leave and going on holidays, doing what you can to be fulfilled and enriched outside of work. 

How do you stay balanced? I’d love to hear. Could your leadership team benefit from one of my tailored workshops? Please get in touch today . I’d love to help!

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