The Importance of Taking Time Out. After many long reflections, a little extensive, I may say, here I am at the start of my latest exciting venture, another one, some would say! An interesting one too, how do times change, and how do we grow during these uncertain times?
Ready for a new chapter?
How do times change, and how do we grow, not more so during these uncertain times?
We live in unchartered times; resilience is moving forward and protecting oneself from the unknown health problems one can get with age if one doesn’t get enough rest. So we need to balance our working time and hours of rest. So now, where am I, and what do I know? Well, here I am on the sofa – fire lit and feet up, waiting for the supersonic suspense Saturday six nations 2020! This morning, I went for a run and then completed chores to clear the day for me to be with my family in front of the box.
I am delighted with my life. I live in a beautiful part of the world, where foothills meet the sea, and everything I need is just a few minutes walk or drive. I enjoy my job, but most importantly, I have the time to do what I want.
What I have, has not come by accident but by hard, dedicated ongoing work. Here I am talking about commitment, dedication and focus. I hear so many people say how unhappy they are with their lives, and I feel I can help in many ways if one is willing to reach out and ask for help.
How do times change, and how do we grow during these uncertain times? For me, the importance of taking time out became my priority.
I have had my fair share of ups and downs over the years. As a result, I had to question myself and re-evaluate where I was and where I was going.
I was working all the hours, pretending that all was ok when really, I was burying myself in work so as not to face and tackle the issues.
Many will relate to this and say they do not have any problems, do you?
When you are wrapped in your life and a perfectionist, it is straightforward to take work as your friend and miss many more important and relevant things.
Are we living to work, or are we working to live? That is the question. On which side are you?
I fell into the first category for many years, where work was my life, and I achieved everything there was to achieve, yet at a cost.
I am grateful to have learnt early on that there was a better way not to live an unhealthy, unbalanced life but a happy, fulfilled life.
One of the first things I implemented in my development was the rule of three (nothing to do with the much-talked-about law of six). I am talking about rebalancing your life so you spend equal amounts of time on the following areas of your life:
How does this work? There are 168 hours a week so each part would be 56 hours.
Work – On average, we work up to 48 hours a week and with the commute, this is around 56 hours.
Rest – Sleep is, on average, 8 hours a night; times this by seven days, you get 56 hours a week.
Play – Using mathematics, we are left with 56 hours to play. Wow, you may say, where are they?
This would be the perfect outcome in an ideal world where you achieve the right balance and positive well-being.
However, if one becomes neglected, rest is often the first to suffer, i.e. lack of sleep. We are creating an unhealthy balance which negatively affects our mental and physical well-being. Likewise, when life is all work and no play, we suffer, and often, stress becomes present.
Balancing rest breaks, sleep disorders and work demands can become very tricky.
When I was younger, my working day was 10 to 12 hours daily, followed by several hours of partying. This left little time for sleep. As a result, I would only rest for about 5 hours a night which, as you can guess, was not long-term sustainable.
Please don’t take me wrong. I am not claiming to be an expert in the medical profession or a sleep specialist. However, a lack of rest can bring unwanted issues like a weak immune system, cardiovascular disease, and physical health.
The good news is you can work on reversing the downward spiral – I have! I learned and rediscovered life.
I concentrated on time spent resting to sleep between 7 and 8 hours per night. To achieve this, I stuck to a routine – alarm clocks, wake-up calls -you name it. I used it in the beginning to get the right amount of sleep.
Not long before my body clock was set in that, I woke routinely. Having a good sleeping pattern gave me energy in the morning and evenings and time to enjoy my hobbies and guilty pleasures.
I am averaging about 6 to 7 hours per day. Wow, you may say, what can I do with all this time? As Jules Renard once said, “The world belongs to the people who get up early”.
Something I strongly advocate. Achieving things at this time is very satisfying when everyone is still asleep. It is not all walking on the beach or rolling hills, playing my sax and taking pictures.
This time can also be used productively. Early in the morning, I spend 20 minutes planning my day, paying the bills and “Eating the frog”, but more about this next time.
I would love to hear about your balanced lives. How do you balance your 168 hours? Is it working for you? Book a Discovery Call with me to chat further http://ericcouturiercoaching.com/contact/