Take care of number 1 first.
The first things I schedule are not about work, they are about taking care of me – mentally, physically, and spiritually. Only if I take care of myself can I really do the things that are important to me and be there for those who need me, now and into the future. If I let my health and wellbeing go then every aspect of life is effected – including most of all my family, clients and students, associates etc…
First, it’s not about having the time to take care of yourself. People often say ‘I’m too busy to exercise’ or I don’t have time to see a chiropractor regularly.’ My reply is simple, I don’t have time not to take care of myself. I don’t have time to be sick. I don’t have time to not be there for my family or serve my clients.
Consider this. It usually takes more time to regain full health and wellbeing than it does to lose it. You can get angry and lash out at someone in an instant or you can consume unhealthy and toxic foods in moments. Dealing with the effects of these behaviours will take much longer, maybe days, weeks, or even years.
So make time time to care for number 1 first, then you can take care of everything else.
For me this includes making time on most days for exercise, including a range of activities like walking, weights, yoga, and pilates.
Even before that book in a few sessions with my great Network chiropractor, Dr Ari Diskin.
I love going to the movies, both alone and with friends, so I put that in also – up to twice a week. I sometimes use a Monday matinee as a kind of prep session. I’ll usually be able to draw a really important message from the experience that I can take into the week.
Relationships are at the heart of life. The core relationship is with my wife, and this is founded on the time we spend together. Then there are my friends and family. So, I like to book a few social engagements for the week – a couple of lunches, maybe a film with a friend.
I’m fllexible with these things also, and as I usually have my evenings free I am able to do things on the spur of the moment. It’s more that I schedule in time so that these things can happen.
At different times of year I make time for other activities also – like skiing, going to the beach, a festival, or out into the country. And then there are conferences and seminars. I go to at least one every week often more. Sometimes these go for an hour, others go for several days. I am never too busy to educate myyself.
Then I schedule my work time.
This is what it looks like. Chiro is in Green. Exercise and lunches are in Orange, home and social time in Blue, and work time is in Red.
The point of going through this with you is to impress the importance I place on maintaining myself and my overall life balance even in the most critical productive phases. The way it is configured works for me. I know, for example, that I work really well after the gym so I make sure I can do that. But I find that if I go too early to the gym then it can have the opposite effect.
So it’s about knowing what works for you. If you put a high value on your health and wellbeing and the relationships in your life you will make time for these things no matter what. What is more you will know, as I do that using your time like this actually means you are likely to be more productive and efficient when you are working, so it’s a win-win. It’s not about sacrificing work time, it’s about priming myself so I can make the most from it.
In my next post I’ll look at how to get the most out of your work time, so you can work for fewer hours, be more productive and deliver a higher quality product or service.