I used to work through lunch. By the end of the day, I’d be worn out, but I needed that hour to get through all the work that I had ahead of me… Or did I? Remaining committed to our goals—whether it means walking away from the desk or following through to handle a customer’s request—continues to build our reputation and credibility, and thus impacts our success relative to our organization and time management. I started to commit to reserving my lunch time for non-work activity. The actual time may vary each day, but I make sure that I get away.
I typically like to go for a run to clear my head, but the message here is to commit to doing what you want to do. I find that when I come back to the desk, I have a fresh perspective and new energy to drive through the rest of the day productively. Running is just one example of keeping a clear head by balancing my personal and professional needs. The key is to move your focus away from work, even for a short period of time, and to bring back a laser-focused approach upon your return. Today’s professional environment and all the technology therein mean that work and life are interlaced. As much as we want to separate the two, it’s almost impossible. So instead of fighting it, it’s time to embrace it.
You can start by blending your personal and professional schedules together. If it’s not permitted at work, then at least counterbalance them, and view them side by side to ensure that you are looking at both worlds together. Your commitment to balancing work and life will bring more control to both. Schedule your lunches, or they will never happen. Block off time for dentist appointments or they will be forgotten. Include time on your calendar needed to pick up your children from school or let the dog out so that you won’t schedule one event to inadvertently create a conflict with the other.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Down the Chute: A Toboggan Tale (children’s book)
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood