Our staff and students recently returned from Spring Break, that ever-so-coveted time of the year when we take time off from our normal routine. Some chose to visit exciting places. Some chose to relax. Some chose to catch up on various home improvement projects. But this made me reflect on what choices I make during the “down time” of my life.
I was raised to work long hours and to exhaust whatever energy was needed to get the job done. Because of this, my tendency is to push through and not slow down. You may be like me.
Or maybe you’re like a few others that I know (no names mentioned), that turn work into a four letter word….well, you get what I mean. It’s something to avoid at all costs.
As a leader, you will be observed ALL THE TIME. What kind of message do you want to send those you lead? Here are some things to consider:
- Life-balance may be a myth. I tend to think of it as adjusting the proper tension as one area of life demands more attention than others at various times. Read “The Stress of the Stretch” for more on this.
- You may need more discipline. What area of your life is the weakest right now? Do you need to do a better job of monitoring your finances? How’s your marriage? What about your health? The answer could be as simple as sharpening your sword.
- Sometimes the most responsible thing you can do is rest. After battling mononucleosis for a year, I learned this lesson. I wish I had listened to friends and family. But I thought overextending myself was noble. What I learned was that I can’t help anyone if I’m not healthy, relaxed, and sharp. You have to take care of yourself SO THAT you can help others.
The hours of margin in your life are a gift. It’s those times in the early morning, the late evening, during times off work, etc. How you use them are up to you.
Question: Considering how you handle your down time, do you have any tips for the readers who struggle in this area?