Practical Techniques for Achieving Work/Life Balance in Your World Part II
“When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to.” N. Smith (unknown)
Running from one task to another without any schedule or order, will wear both you and your brain down. Save yourself, your brain, and your business.
I hope you read the blog post “Your Brain and How it Functions”. If not, the link for it is: www.bigrockblog.com/blog/2018/10/10/yourbrainandhowitfunctionswhatitmeanstoyourbusinessandlife
If you are running your own business, this information (and the previous blog) is important to you, if you want your business - and you - to make it for the long haul.
Do you ever get to the end of a busy day totally exhausted, irritable, and wondering what the heck you did or accomplished in reality?
If you are like I used to be, you start counting on your fingers what you remember. If you are more organized, you have a list of ‘to do’s’ and you collapse in a chair to review it. There is a better way.
There is a reason you are tired, and a reason you don’t remember what you did while spinning on the edge of a dime (Much like trying to ride a unicycle: forward, backward, wobble, wobble, forward, backward… you get the idea) trying to keep up with everything in your business.
It is of vital importance to your brain function to set a schedule of work and breaks. Doing so will keep your brain refreshed and in gear for high quality function over longer periods.
Find the best stretch of time between 20 minutes (the optimal) to 60 minutes that works for the situation you find yourself in. And…it doesn’t always work out; but the point is to make it work for you. The longer you work, the longer your break should be: 20 - 30 min. of work = 2-3 min. break; 40 min. of work = 5 min. break; 60 min. of work = 7 min. break.
Your brain will function better in 20 minute bites; and some days you’ll just need to accommodate around messed up schedules. Still take the breaks!!
At the end of the day, if you stick to the schedule, you will most likely find yourself with energy left over and still raring to go. Truly.
Some Quick Ways to Give your Brain a 2 Minute Break!
Keep one or two small balls on your desk. Stand up, move away from the desk, begin throwing the balls up in the air so each ball lands in a different hand from the starting hand. Recognize juggling?
Stand up, move away from the desk, stand in a stride position, and go through the motions of throwing an imaginary ball to the left, using your right hand, and then throwing an imaginary ball to the right with your left hand. Your arm must cross midline (stimulating both sides of the brain).
Put on your headphones, rev up some music! Stand up, move away from your desk and engage in some country line dancing or Zumba moves… or…
march on the spot
then step forward and back, alternating legs
Do cross over steps, i.e. left foot steps to the right crossing over the right foot; then right foot over the left.
Stand stride, arms up in the air to match the stride position; try doing the Macarena moves, or simply take your right hand down to touch the left foot (or as close as you can get) and after standing up straight again, take your left hand down to touch your right foot. Repeat!!
Other Simple Suggestions to give your Brain a 2 - 5 Minute Break
Take out the garbage (if you have a home office)
Stand up and look out the window and really look at what you see (colours/textures)
Stand up and walk or run around your desk first in one direction then the other
Turn on some favourite music and sing out loud
Play one song on an instrument you play, or doodle/draw (Any of these activities use a completely different part of the brain, giving your thinking brain a complete break!)
Practice standing on one leg then the other or pretend you are on a high wire
The thing is to plan and schedule these breaks into your day - in advance; whatever your day holds!
By scheduling your to do list into your calendar, including your breaks, you get your life back in your control, rather than letting what happens in the day lead you around by the nose. You will also become a little more realistic about what you can actually accomplish in a day.
Scheduling will help you avoid putting all your to do’s on one list, never getting to the end - day after day, which then makes you feel as though you are not accomplishing what you need to. This ends up demotivating you!
If you decide how much time to spend on some task, work to that time period and end it when you said you were going to end it. That’s making a contract with yourself and keeping it.
Schedule your to do’s in a realistic, achievable way. This takes self-discipline and persistent practice.
You can do it. And doing so will help make your business more sustainably successful and help keep you sane.
So get on it! Try it! If you fail one day, try again the next! Develop the discipline and make it part of your daily work patterns and habits.