Balancing the Business and Personal for a Richer Life
The old adage that you must work hard to succeed has, upon further investigation, been modified to “you must work smart.” This idea that your job needs to be a 24-hour commitment has been debunked by those who claim the better path is to combine your work with exercise, recreation time and plenty of sleep. It’s been found that real success isn’t just the product of putting in the hours, but also of properly organizing, prioritizing and finding some time each day to relieve the stress.
That’s easy to say, but the reality, we argue, is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. That’s where organization, planning and simplification…like ZarMoney online accounting software, for instance…come into play. And this is where you also must remember, as popular speaker and businessman Stephen Covey often exclaimed, that you are your own greatest asset. So take care of yourself. You can do that by seeking a true balance in your life that involves the physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.
Starting the Day Off Right
Okay, let’s think about the work day. Don’t we all achieve better results when there are no concerns or worries hanging over us? Don’t we draw up more energy from ourselves when we’re focused on the tasks at hand? That’s why it’s good to begin your day by quickly checking your email. This enables you to set a prioritized schedule for the day. You will be able to shed some of those stresses once you know precisely what obstacles need to be addressed, which issues need to be resolved.
Equally important is keeping your mind fresh and rejuvenated. You can help things in this area by taking frequent breaks throughout the day. Overworking your brain for long stretches of time dulls it and leads to frequent mistakes and even confusion. Studies have shown that the brain can only focus at optimum performance for 90 minutes at a time before needing some relief. When you take that break, though, don’t just put your feet up on the desk; get out of your chair, walk around, grab a glass of water or just admire the view from the window.
Did you also know that napping can increase the efficiency of your work? No, that doesn’t mean putting a cot in the lunch room or sliding under the covers in your bedroom for a couple of hours. You can get real benefit simply by napping at your desk for 10 to 15 minutes. And when you do this, ignore those phone calls…you can return them later.
Why is this an important routine to practice each day? Well, according to research, when memory is first recorded in the brain’s hippocampus, it is highly fragile and easily forgotten, particularly if the brain is tired or storing a lot of other competing memory items. Napping is thought to push memories to the neocortex, the more permanent storage compartment inside your head. Studies have shown that participants have actually scored better on tests following a nap than those who remained awake the whole time. Experts suggest taking that little snooze in the early afternoon, when energy levels seem to ebb.
Getting Away from It All
So what about that time when you’re not behind your desk in the office? What’s the best way to unwind? Well, not surprisingly, a great way to rejuvenate yourself is to spend time in nature, away from the city noises and bustle. Some cities offer more nature spots than others, but you can always find some kind of retreat that enables you to savor the flora, the fauna and the serene surroundings, for a peaceful sense of renewal.
And how about recreation? Think about the word…re-creation. Maybe it’s time to re-create yourself, to expand your senses and your interests. It’s important to work hard when you do work, but it’s just as critical to set aside some play time. Take the kids to the park, read a book, ride a bicycle, find a hobby. You can’t be thinking about your business 24 hours a day without having it affect your perspective and blur your thought process.
Running a business, let alone a successful one, requires a certain nimbleness. You must be able to communicate with your employees, your clients and your vendors, manage the books and plan for the future. At the same time, there has to be room to savor the pleasures of our existence, whether it’s a nice meal, a pleasant walk or a conversation with a good friend over a glass of wine. These are the things that make us well-rounded individuals and give us the ability to see and evaluate the “big picture.”
We work so that we can have a better life for ourselves, our family and our staff. Now…not later…is the time to enjoy that life.