The Value of 5 Minutes
In the last couple weeks, I have enjoyed a simple app on my phone that helps you relax and meditate for just a few minutes at a time. Realizing my greatest challenges can be found residing up in my head, I couldn't resist trying out "Headspace" as a starting point to delving into the art of meditation. Whether it is at my desk before starting the day, at a lunch break or between hectic activities during a big event, it is energizing to put my thoughts aside and get a little "Headspace" on a daily basis. Here are a few nuggets that I've retained along with the benefit of instant relaxation:
- In understanding oneself, we understand others; in feeling compassion for oneself, we feel compassion for others.
- What is important is how we relate to our thoughts and how we acknowledge becoming distracted by them.
- Try not to overthink the process too much. Instead, enjoy the feeling of pausing to balance and catch your breath.
- Meditation isn't about getting rid of your thoughts. It's about learning how to be at ease with them.
The Balancing Act
All of us are faced with crazy times where we have too much to do and not enough time to accomplish it all. As you try to keep the various balls in the air, you feel you just can't do justice to any one of them! You might even feel you have lost control of your time and what is important to you. "There just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to!"
You are at your limit, and then someone like me starts to talk about balancing your professional and personal life. Personal Life!!?? Now??!! You can't be serious! Striking a balance between your personal and professional life however is more important when things are at their craziest than at any other time of the year.
To be a great leader, it is critical to step away from your work occasionally--even if it is just for an hour or so--and do something completely unrelated to business. It is critical as you strive to keep your perspective, to plan for and enjoy snatches of time that reenergize and motivate you. When you come back, you will see things differently. Your thoughts will be clearer and decisions will be less painful, allowing you to take action. In the rush, the old adage is true, "Sometimes you can't see the forest for all the trees!" Well, why not take the time to refocus your vision so that you can see the incredible forest again?
Time away can take any form but can have equally amazing results. The main criteria is to make sure what you decide to do is completely unrelated to business and it stays that way. One business owner I know plays basketball at noon twice a week. He will not let any business issue interfere with it and says that this is the best way to clear his head and get his aggressions out.
The choices are limitless and the key is to do whatever it is that you enjoy most! Whether it's a few hours to enjoy family activities, go fishing, read, meditate, golf, bike ride, write, or lie in the sun, be sure to allow the magical effects of relaxation to get you ready for the next onslaught.
I think we can all agree with the concept of balancing your personal and professional life. The question is, "How can you fit this into a day that is already too full?" My suggestion is this:
- Choose one activity outside of work this month that you really want to do, but you have been putting off because it is not a priority. Schedule that activity in your planner as if it were a "must do" business commitment.
- Once you have done that and, while you are still feeling good about doing that, schedule another activity for the next month and continue to do it as long as you live!
Once you have made the effort to set aside time to enjoy your outside activities, you'll soon find that you'll be able to schedule increasingly more of them on a regular basis, even when you are the busiest. The more you do it, the easier it becomes! Balance is a choice and everyone in your life will benefit from the effects of your efforts.