In an effort to bring a little more Life into my balance, I have decided to stray and write about something unrelated to my work.  What could that be?…Could it be work-life balance?…Why yes, I think that’s what it is.

Now that I’m done having a conversation with myself, let me get down to it.  You see, what just happened is one of the possible consequences of focusing too much on work and not enough on oneself.  Other side effects can include but are not limited to falling asleep at your desk, chiropractic problems from sitting at your desk constantly, concerned colleagues who receive your emails at all hours of the night.  Need I go on?

So, here are some tips on how you can incorporate more Life into your balance.

Schedule it in.  If you are someone who lives by your calendar, this should be easy.  Block off time for yourself or to connect with an old friend over coffee, lunch or dinner.  Notice I didn’t say schedule time to network.

Start your day off intentionally.  Some of the most fulfilling times of my life, both with work and my personal life, have been times when I blocked 15-30 minutes every morning to reflect on my day before it started.  For some, it may be spiritual time; for others, maybe it’s while you take your morning walk.  The point is to intentionally reflect on your plans for the day and go forth organized and prepared.

Take care of yourself.  Who am I to talk about this one?  As I would say to my kids, do as I say and not as I do.  For the most part, they’ve heeded that advice — now you can too!  Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will translate into a more productive you in all areas of your life.

Do something you love that you haven’t done in a while. Everyone has something they love to do but just haven’t had the time.  Read a book, pull out that instrument you used to play, go for a bike ride.  Whatever floats your boat… just go for it.  The other day, I put on some headphones to listen to a song I had just recorded.  The quality was amazing, the mix of the sounds was glorious and I realized how much I missed listening to good quality sounding music.   I see more good quality music in my future.  What do you see in yours?

Let me leave you with one last thought: It will still be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.  Your work won’t fall apart because you took time for yourself.  In fact, you might just see the opposite happen.