What I’ve learnt: Juggling the balls

Every day in leadership brings on a new and often exciting challenges but it can also be difficult to feel like you’re in control of all aspects of your life, especially when things start to get really busy and overwhelming.

Over the years, I’ve had to learn some tough lessons when it comes to juggling all the different areas of my life. Trying to do everything perfectly, all at the same time, can cause you to burn out and then you’ll be no good in any of the areas.
Bryan Dyson, from Georgia Tech, has his own theories about which areas of your life you should be prioritising. He breaks up life into five main areas:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Health
  • Spiritual Health
  • Work

It’s inevitable that we will drop one of these balls at some point – we simply cannot do it all! Four of these balls, he says, are crystal – if you drop them, they’ll break, be scuffed or damaged in some way. They may not shatter, but they’ll never be the same again. The other ball – work – is rubber. If you drop this ball, it will come back.

Work is still valuable

Just because the work ball is made of rubber, it doesn’t mean that it is unimportant. Your work is valuable – not only is it a way to earn money so that you can enjoy the other parts of your life, it is also the way that you can get recognition for your efforts, a place to use your skills, an arena to learn as you go and, for many, a source of social engagement. Never underestimate the importance of your work.

What should be #1?

Regardless of which area you are trying to prioritise at any given point, it is always important to make sure your health is your number one priority. When your health (whether it’s spiritual, mental or physical) is in order, you’ll be in the right headspace to function at your very best and tackle anything head on.

Years of long-haul flights have taught me that a few red wines and a sleeping tablet were not the way to go – drinking plenty of water and making sure I got real, restful sleep when I could was what made sure I was functioning at my best, whether my destination was work or home.

Take some time out each day to take stock of your thoughts and see how you’re tracking for the day. Make sure you’re focused and healthy and ready to take on anything the day throws at you.

What about when a crisis hits?

Sometimes things get out of our control and we need to focus more energy on something that might be going wrong. Don’t be afraid to let your priorities shift temporarily when things crop up in your work and life. Make sure you put extra energy into immediately dealing with the crisis so that it doesn’t drag on and leave you feeling drained.

Always remember to acknowledge and recognise the little moments that make it all worthwhile. Be there for your family,your friends, your employees and yourself and whatever you’re doing, always be fully present.

If you would like to know more about getting a good work-life balance to make sure you’re always giving your best, contact People Make The Difference. We can help you with our training workshops, one-on-one coaching and Coach On Call services. To find out more, call us on 0412 333 415 or visit peoplemakethedifference.com.au