As Wales moves into a countrywide ‘firebreak’, and other parts of the UK go into various levels of restrictions. I started to think about my work-life balance. This virus has been with us now for over 7 months and I don’t know about you, but I miss two things - people and travel/ holidays.
Yes, I think my work-life balance is better. I still start work early, but these days I tend to finish work during normal office hours, rather than working in the evening. Like me many of you, I have experienced productivity gains and a better daily work-life balance as we use technology, drop the commute, and work from home more. But something is still not quite right with my overall work-life balance. My focus is slightly off, my drive a little subdued, my achievements slightly diminished. (I know, can you believe I am saying that!)
I am tired. (Another shocker.)
Why am I tired? What's missing?
What about you? Have you noticed anything different about your performance, your mood, your productivity? Do you feel drained? Are you on the hamster wheel, feeling like you are going nowhere? Or are you loving life? Enjoying every minute, filling your days with joy.
How often do you check in on yourself? As leaders, I am sure you often think about your teams and your family. But what about you? How are your ‘NRG’ levels?
For me – I’m missing holidays. (I haven’t had a true break since 2019. Yes, I have been away, but it has been for work.)
The holidays are very important to me…. they are my very own ‘circuit breaker’ from the build-up of work. Those that know me well, know I work extremely hard, trying to fit as much as I can into each day, 110% you might say. I do that knowing that once a quarter my husband and I have agreed we take one week or a weekend away from it all. I use holidays to completely stop! To unwind, to relax, and to recharge my ‘NRG’ levels.
I’ve never been one for the staycation. If I have any time off work and have to stay at home I end up finding things to do around the house, or I go back to the laptop and start working. So that is not a break for me. I must force myself to go away from everything and do other things to switch off.
So, what am I going to do?
Yesterday talking to a brilliant business colleague, they mentioned a concept that was recently presented in a zoom session.
A ‘NRG’ break.
The idea is that during each day you take a set amount of time away from the desk to recharge your ‘NRG’. Something personal to you that you love and enjoy.
Go listen to your favourite comedian on youtube
Maybe do a little crafting
Go for a walk outdoors
Play with the kids
Go and do some exercise
Play with the cat or the dog
Read a book not related to work
…anything that makes you smile and takes your mind off work.
I love this idea, so why not join me and give it a try? I am not just going to try during the working day (I think that is going to be really hard for me) but I’m going to try and have mini ‘NRG’ breaks at the weekend. Forcing myself to switch off and forget about work. I’ll let you know how I get on.
It looks like this virus is going to be with us for some time. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so waiting to get back to normal might mean you putting a pause on living. Let’s not do that. Let’s start finding ways to get what we need from life within the opportunities presenting themselves. (Obviously, it goes without saying - whilst at the same time helping to keep our communities safe and healthy.)