Hands up if your schedule looks like it’s wall to wall meetings, calls and work and sends you into a mild panic?
Yup, that’s the best way for us to feel overwhelmed and over-peopled. This is especially overwhelming to introverts who need downtime between being “out there”.
Personally, I’m an extrovert with introverted tendencies. I love my downtime and alone time. But when I have a crazy day planned, I have a mild freak out.
Let me know if this sounds like you.
Back when I was working in corporate, it was necessary to fit everything into the working day. 9 to 5 was the norm and my contract was even extended to be on call from 7am until 7pm. Not ideal for your sleep or your social life. Being on call meant being available to turn up on-site and go into Fixer mode. Then after work, I’d kick off my shoes and have my “downtime”. Buuuuut I was too tired to recover from the day so I put it off until the weekend. Then the weekend comes around and we have another round of craziness to deal with as it’s the only time to get home stuff done.
It makes sense to be always on and available when you’re at work. After all, we’re getting paid for that, aren’t we? Then the time we’re not being paid, we have out downtime. Makes sense?
You see, the old way of working is to pack in as much “work” as possible into the day. Even if you’re the laziest busiest person, you want to be seen to be turning up and doing the thing, right?!
We have a hangover from the industrial revolution of what the workday is to us. We take that into our entrepreneurial ventures and this is where we suffer from burnout.
Burnout is a sneaky little thing. It creeps up on you out of nowhere. We feel like we have infinite amounts of energy to do the things we love. And on a quantum level, we do… however, we’re souls inhabiting a human form and our bodies do get tired and need to refuel. And that’s not just with food, we need to refuel our energy too.
Our purest energy comes from living in total congruence with who we are.
Yes, that’s right…. A lack of energy is us running around with our brakes on and we all know what that does to a car. It burns out.
Now, that’s a big concept to take in and just to make things fun, I’m going to add in another one.
The difference between balance and harmony.
Everyone is seeking balance in their lives. There are whole courses and coaches who deal with work/life balance. They’re awesome but I’m gonna tweak the idea slightly for this to really sink in for you.
Balance is a myth.
Every system in nature is seeking balance but as we know, nature isn’t stable. It’s continually growing and dying. The cycle of life, if you will.
Balance is a point between two opposing forces. Think of the old school scales in your kitchen. We know that adding more on one side will make the other tip over. We keep adding to one side and having to add to the other.
Harmony is the bringing together many forces to a point of congruence. A mixture of many aspects like a symphony or like a balance ball at the gym. You’re standing on it but you’re never still. You’re continually moving and adjusting.
Now we have that defined… back to the article and burnout.
Burnout is where we are trying to balance everything and packing everything into our days. We’re adding more to one side so we have to add more to the other side to balance it out. Work hard, play hard, right?
The trick is to add SPACE into the mix and use that as the balancing force. Doing less and more rest will harmonise the demanding work you do in your business.
Us smart people have got time management all wrong. We’re trying to pack everything into our days instead of harmonising our days.
Harmonising means that we take time off for rest/downtime/alone time (however you recharge) BETWEEN our appointments. NOT just at weekends. Charging through our days to then balance it out at the end is burning you out.
I’m actually sat in a hotel bar right now after a three-hour conversation. Even though I’m around great humans, I love to have downtime to recharge and come back stronger for my next appointment.
The old me would have powered through and booked another appointment or coaching call straight afterwards and tricked myself into thinking that I’d get some downtime later.
I used to do this but after burning out a few times, this can be really dangerous to your physical and mental health.
So why do we do it?
Us smart humans have a bias toward thinking we can do it all. Our brains think we’re superhuman and we want to continually prove that to ourselves. We see what we want to see and we behave in accordance with that.
If we think we can do it all, we continually put ourselves into situations where we keep on proving that to ourselves.
“I can do it aaaaaaalll” I hear you shout.
True, you can… until you can’t.
That’s when you need to take a damn good look at the story you’re telling yourself about how you harmonise your work/life.
There is no requirement from anyone apart from yourself to do it all and pack our schedule with all the things. In fact, I’m going to call you out and call you crazy for doing that.
This is your permission to tell yourself a different story. A story where you throw out the idea of balancing work/home/play/downtime and ask yourself this “how can I harmonise all my responsibilities by using space in my schedule?”
How can you use downtime to re-centre yourself to ensure that you’re presenting your best self at your next appointment?
Is it taking 10 minutes to meditate in your office with a do not disturb sign on your door?
Is it escaping your office for a walk?
Is it taking Wednesday afternoons off to get into the countryside?
Is it asking your PA to always allow 30 minutes between appointments?
Whatever you decide is good for you, be mindful that your brain will try to trick you into thinking you can pack more in.
You are superhuman in your mission but you don’t have to be a superhuman all the time.
Adjust your schedule to harmonise downtime alongside your workday.
It’s ok to put your hand up and say you’re not superhuman. In fact, it’s the best thing you can admit and start adjusting your schedule to ensure you’re in complete harmony not just balancing your work/life.
You can put your hand up and message me to let me know that you’d like to look at your working day to improve it and your performance.
I will take you through a powerful and deep conversation where we will transform you from a burnt-out mess and turn you into a real superhuman by getting to the heart of what’s really going on.
I will create two hours of space for you to feel seen, heard and cared for.
Message me to begin your transformation today.
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Better Humans→Better Businesses→Better World