Life Balance Begins With You



I was hired by a female executive who was on the threshold of burnout. She had worked an average of 12 hours per day for over 6 months following her company’s acquisition of a major competitor. Then summer came around.

Fully absorbed by the vertical integration of her company’s two brands, she had forgotten to plan vacation time. Consequently, when someone requested her presence for a meeting she verified availability in her calendar and confirmed. Suddenly, it was September and the world returned to work. By third quarter, her productivity had taken a nosedive and by quarter
four, I became part of her new year’s resolution.

“This is the perfect time to put the big rocks in first,” I said, passing her a full year calendar. First, I recommended she book vacation time. “Even if I don’t know where I’m going?” she asked. Precisely, I replied. Then, she blocked out family time to be with her parents, siblings or relatives. After that, she reserved personal time to do the things that made her soul sing like spending a weekend each quarter at the hot springs. Finally, she booked mental health days following the estimated completion of two big projects in the pipeline so she could decompress, rejuvenate, and get ready to start again.

She achieved her life balance goal while becoming a role model among her peers for high energy and productivity throughout the year. You too can welcome each year with greater vitality and enthusiasm, if you put your big rocks in first. Then, use that time as intended.

Word to the Wise: You don’t need to let anyone, including your company, know your business. Should someone propose a convention, meeting, lunch or dinner during a time you have blocked out for yourself, reply as you would for any other appointment: “Sorry, I’m not available. I have a previous engagement.” As a byproduct of making self-care your #1 priority, you’ll boost self-esteem, productivity, and quality of life. Now is the perfect time for you to begin by downloading a full year calendar and putting your big rocks in first.



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