April 04, 2011
This is 4 in a series of 5 leadership tips for work/family balance.
When life and work gets out of balance, seems that taking care of ourselves gets tossed out the window. Why is that?
You can train yourself to put one person in mind when things get frantic. Yourself. The heart of the truth is that if you are not self-managing, then nothing will get handled smoothly – scheduling, efficient problem-solving, creative thinking, and so on.
A recent study looked at the source of conflict created by a lack of work/family balance and identified several items that can help improve it. Here is item #4 in the list:
Take care of yourself
You know this. Maybe hearing it again will help.
Keep your dietary and physical habits healthy.
You will become more resilient to stress. Your outlook will be more positive. Your ability to solve problems will improve. (there is actually research on innovation capabilities when happiness is high)
Start by writing yourself a reminder, if only a post-it on the dresser mirror. It might say “Take care of your SELF today.” Then be looking for a mental reminder when you may go off track. Use that “mental red flag” to bring you back to the post-it reminder. Re-center, and check yourself.
Try looking out for what may be interfering in your work/family balance. Can you eliminate some evening meetings by sending someone else, or only attending the social hour at the beginning? What would be the worst thing that would happen if you dropped something? Really? The end of the world?
*** Adapted from the article Is Stress Getting to You by Rebecca A. Clay, Monitor on Psychology, January 2011.