There’s increasing research supporting the notion that work-life balance is less of a reality and more of a myth, due to the increasing pressures of life and employers. But in fact, the majority of these pressures come from our innate desire to succeed. We take great pride in self-sacrifice and hard work, often thriving on feeling needed. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of checking work emails at all hours and on weekends. My guess is the majority of you had a hand up. I’m guilty as charged. Rather than conforming to the notion that work-life balance is merely a myth, it’s time to find the right fit for you, the balance that will allow you to accomplish both professionally and personally with immense satisfaction.
The biggest contradiction of all
I’m part of the team who manage and run OneWave, a non-profit organisation promoting mental health through surfing and saltwater therapy. We strive to raise awareness of the need to look after your mental health and talk to supportive people when you’re finding it tough. Despite our efforts in changing the conversation, we constantly overlook the most important part… ourselves. We’re subliminally opposing the essence of what we’ve created. With teamwork, open communication, and spotting each other, we’re turning things around, moving and striving towards a cohesive sense of wellbeing.
Last week we explored part one of balance – “That Thing Called Balance”. Scroll below to get up to speed with the first 5 points. This week I’m going to share 4 more tips which might just help you find the solution you’re looking for.
6. Sleep more
Sleep makes the world go round. We concentrate best, make the best decisions, and are kindest to ourselves and others once well slept. Starting your day early is the best way to be productive, but it also means you need to get to bed! Some people can handle 6 hours sleep a night, and others need 9 hours. For me my magic number is 8 hours per night. People are often shocked when I tell them I’m not a morning person. The truth is I hate mornings. The thought of sleeping in is much more attractive than dragging myself out of bed to get in the freezing ocean or head to an early meeting. But I can assure you, once you get over that 10 minute barrier, the day is way better for it. Those who are early risers are not more motivated than most people, they just say yes more.
7. Saying No
Ok I’m guilty – I’m a chronic ‘yes-man’. Regardless of the situation, pleasing people or completing tasks, I find myself saying yes to everything. I was recently told, “you’re more defined by what you say no to, than what you say yes”. I’ve road tested this theory of late and it’s a personal breakthrough! By cutting out the things that you can avoid, you’ve got more emotional and physical energy left in the tank for what you need to achieve. Having a clear vision and purpose (your ‘why’), along with appropriate boundaries, is key to ensuring you stay on track.
8. Invest in relationships
Balance doesn’t just fit with the black and white nature of work, and switching off from it. It’s key to ensure balance resonates through every part of your life, especially with the people that mean the most to you. My family are the first to tell me when I’m being ridiculous, absent minded/elusive or even a ghost. Listen to your loved ones, because as much as you don’t want to admit it at times, they are inevitably right. Relationships aren’t meant to be hard, they’re there to be the light beacons through the night and celebrate the wins.
9. Get comfortable with discomfort
Daniel Flynn, one of the geniuses behind Thankyou, said “to change things, you must become comfortable in the uncomfortable”. I love this quote, as it couldn’t be more on point. I’m a true advocate of the fact that the more you can lean into discomfort, the greater your ability to evoke change will become. This is easier said than done, but when you find yourself in a daunting situation which would have sent you into a spin previously, there’s almost this eery sense of comfort and your ability to succeed becomes much greater.
Thanks for tuning in. I hope you’ve managed to keep that balance this long weekend, and pay tribute to the brave ANZAC men and women who paved the way for this amazing country we live in – Lest We Forget.