Busy professionals are sometimes too busy. Unconscious workaholics, on a mission to get from A to Z in the quest of achieving a dream or mission, plod on in a state.
They may think they are self empowered, driven, strong and made of iron. In fact, their hearts palpitate and their tempers flare. The most caring and well-intentioned people fail to sleep at night. They are so overburdened they do not see what is going on. They sense and intuit that something is moving at the pace of a disaster waiting to happen, yet it’s not until either an accident, illness or exhaustion that life’s mechanisms take the gravity of the situation to heart and slow it all down. What makes us think we can do it all, today?
At a recent seminar I attended, life-work balance was discussed, and if there was one point I will take away with me and use in my own practice of living better (happy), forever, it is this: know where your recovery points are. In the day, week, term and year, busy professionals need to know when these moments exist or are necessary, and then plan for these times when things can slow down. Or else.
But let me sneak in another little big thing: time management. Busy people need to chunk down major commitments and priorities into many more smaller ones, for this makes tasks more manageable, and completion is key. But why?
Because when life becomes about work and work only, the joy of living sours. Human beings are animals not machines. We weren’t born to work all of the time, 60-80 hours a a week, no matter how enjoyable the work may be. Arguably, we were born to fulfil our potential – too – as humans ‘being’, and self-actualisation in this regard is multifaceted. Among a myriad of priorities, relationships are critical. If you don’t have time for relationships – lover, family, friends, colleagues, God or Spirit (if you believe), community and most of all with yourself – then what is the point? What’s it all for? What is the point to this work that is so ‘important’?
Pomodoro is your friend. Only, you may not own a tomato shaped timer, and you don’t necessarily like to work to a timer, either. The complexities of managing a super-charged work life with an equally full personal life is a real challenge and one not to be taken lightly. For your own inner life’s sake, for peace’s sake, for balance’s sake, give yourself space to breathe. Look at this question of self discipline and life-work balance, but do give yourself time to breathe.
For we can, at times, all ‘undo’ what has been done, backtrack if necessary and divest ourselves of commitments that no longer matter. With a little self reflection and some shifts in priorities, one can choose what is most essential and take care of body, mind and spirit. It is the essence of good living.
More in future posts.