In current times, being “connected” 24/7, high workload and stressful situations are at the order of the day. We are mainly externally focussed, busy with “doing” instead of “being”.
We are born as human beings, not human doers, just something to think about. What would happen if we do less of doing and more of being? I found power in slowing down to go fast!
Research and own experience showed that the key to fulfillment in life and work is directly related to having a balanced work-life. And that being productive, effective and happy in life is only possible if there is a healthy and happy work-life balance.
I used to work more than 12 hours a day. Always being in a rush, on the move, having so many things to do. Wanting to live up to all expectations of others, self, partner, job, family. Until I was so out of balance that I had to change something. I changed into being a human being! I found the magic in slowing down to go fast.
How I did it, is a long story, which really involved deep inner work. To keep it short, I had to become of aware of why I was working so hard. Why I was doing so much instead of being…
It had to do with becoming aware and accepting that I was a perfectionist and a pleaser. I was a high achiever from a motivation of wanting to please instead of wanting to achieve. And that combination led to a continuous stretch of myself.
Bing aware of where it came from, allowed me to make new decisions. I decided to let go of the achiever and perfectionist to please and be the human being that wants to achieve. That decision changed my energy, it gave me energy.
My four principles of my work-life balance I gladly share with you:
1. Slow Down to Go Fast & be crystal clear on your priorities and goals.
Slow down by focussing on taking the time to just be in the now, bring your attention to your breath and feeling your body. Then you are able to zoom out, take a distance and see the big picture of your life. Life consists of different areas that together create a wheel; personal development, career, fun&recreation, relationships, health, finances, romance, and family. How much time do you spend in all these areas? Is your wheel round or is it out of balance, bumpy?
After this assessment make a decision on how you want it to be. Every change starts with you knowing what you want and then making a decision to really go for it.
2. Manage your time!
In ancient traditions, time is an illusion. Time is what we make of it. You have to maximize your efficacy and after that your efficiency. If you step up your productivity and efficiency and take on more and more work, you won’t make progress in your work-life balance. Ruthlessly apply the well-known 80/20 principle along the way.
3. Set Limits
Become a master of setting limits. Decide on an hour that you leave the office or stop working. Of course, you have to be flexible in certain circumstances and still it is very helpful if you stick to this rule. Do your best to leave work at work to separate your professional from your personal life. Of course that is also not always easy and sometimes these are intertwined, and still, if you are in need of balance, this can be a quick win.
4. Value and Love yourself enough to say NO
Think of this way? Each time you say NO to another you say YES to yourself.
Quit spending time on low priorities. All of these principles are related to one another. If you have clarity on where you are and what you want, if you know your priorities, you are able to manage your time. If you then also apply the 80/20 rule your productivity and efficiency will increase and help you to set limits and say no.
It takes time and repetition to change the old (unconscious) behaviors that keep you out of balance.
Honestly, it’s not always easy for me, being an entrepreneur now, having big dreams and high expectations still. And even if these high expectations now come from a place of congruency, I have to be aware of taking the time to zoom out, of slowing down to go fast.
If you would integrate even only the principle of slowing down to go fast, you will hear, see, feel and experience how your work-life balance will improve. Your inner sense of happiness and fulfillment will grow. And that is what I wish for all of you!