I think it’s fair to say that we all seek balance in our lives. However, does anyone else feel like we are juggling so much that finding balance becomes just one more item on their to do list? While technology helps us be more productive it also aids in creating an expectation of instant gratification in all things business and pleasure. The work week is no longer 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday. We now work from our desks and also our couches, beds, on flights, in the middle of the night, and while on vacation. We can always squeeze in one more minute for an email, text or post.
Hobbies are often recommended as a way to relieve stress and create balance. The dictionary defines a hobby as: “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” But it appears that ‘leisure time’ is no longer a big block of time but more like a short interval in between all the calendared events and to do’s that fill our lives. If so, is that interval still hobby worthy? Is your hobby technically still a hobby if you can only devote a few minutes to it?
As a leader in your organization you may feel like you need to have the balance figured out. Chances are, you don’t. And you’re not alone. Furthermore, if you feel this way it’s almost certain your employees do too. That’s just one more added stress and distraction to productivity and efficiency within your teams. So, the real question becomes “What can you do as a leader to bring more balance into your own work and inspire others to do the same?”
Maybe our goal should be to transform items on our to do list into something that feels like a hobby. Are you an outdoors person? How much of your job can be done outdoors? Can you take meetings while going for a walk? Do you get energy when you’re doing something creative? What routine project is on your list right now that could benefit from a creative approach? Are you naturally competitive and want to get into better shape? Can you create a company-wide activity with some friendly competition? You get the idea.
Balance can mean something different to each person. I think balance is when you feel in the flow. It’s when you tap into that something special you know how to do that comes so easily it doesn’t feel like work. In my work I measure people’s natural talents for organizations and I know that when natural talents match the needs of the job, the job can feel like a hobby. The secret lies in the small things you can do to transform your everyday into something that makes you smile more often because you’re using those natural talents that are unique to you.