I’ve recently listened to a dear colleague of mine (@jonathanddownie) at a translation conference (@TLConference) talking about the importance of having a lifeline – it’s an interesting word just because to me it evokes refuge, life and salvation from danger at once. It also comes to me visualised as a line of your life, a path you walk, a thread you sew. Translating it into in a more business-related dimension, it’s a way to find support to work better, feel happier and work at your best.
While finding collaborators and people to trust in your business remains a tough act (of faith) – most times, as the saying goes, ‘if you want something done, you better do it yourself’ and I can tell you, I have burnt my hands in the past for it – you can still rely on other people’s skills to get inspiration (learn something new, ask them for consultancy, pay for a service and grow your knowledge and network) yet it’s true that sometimes it’s important to let go.
What can you do to tick all your to-do list boxes + live a little?
– Estimate your expenses (physical and monetary): my job implies travelling and being exposed to germs and people (sorry, we all sneeze and cough after all). The air-con of a plane is a receptacle of all that – and on top of my allergy, well, it’s a lot to take in. I found myself so close to chronic malaise that I have really realised once and for all that health is what defines the life you lead and want to lead. Matter of fact, I cannot work as much or as efficiently as I set myself to unless I am healthy. While I’m not actually ill with a life-threatening problem, being utterly exhausted can be a life-changing experience that affects your life-work balance.
– Have attainable goals: alright, I’ve not gained that client, or I could not afford that Santorini break I longed for just yet. I’ll make it, but I need to make my goals SMART – to make your goals S.M.A.R.T., they need to conform to the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
– Don’t postpone: I realised that most things are better out of my way while I can.
– Take risks – but don’t feel too bad about them going the wrong way if they do;
– Find your calm: be it travelling, or reading, or exercising – a clearer mind can be achieved by taking care of your body;
– Delegate where possible: don’t be afraid to say no or ask for help – it means you know your limits. And knowing your limits shows maturity and wisdom.
What do I do to avoid burning out?
I’ve recently struggled a lot with physical health – while my mind is curious and healthy (or I hope so!), my body has been a bit under the weather since Q4 of last year. A bad cold after another, lots of travelling and stress made it even worse and it eventually ended up in chronic coughing and one flu after the other, with the inevitable voice loss and money loss.
I still need to juggle a busy life, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve started taking into account little things that remind me of how important my health is for everything orbiting around it.
– Whenever I can I reward myself (OK; it may be shopping but hey, that’s my nature);
– I started – and I’m pretty much in the discovery phase – meditating. I am using Calm and also tried Headspace, two similar apps on my iPhone that can help you do that;
– I choose events and commitments carefully – if I know I’m going to be too tired or not sharp enough or simply cannot get there on time, well I say no. Also, if a job is too taxing or not worth the pain, I also try to cherry-pick.
– I try to up the ante of the quality of my life when I can – be it a flight at a more decent time (or class!), or one hour sleep more or that back massage to invest in;
– While I do not do anything for free any longer, I do invest in giving back to the community namely this year is tutoring for interpreting students.
– I say NO more frequently – pleasing everyone and then struggle is never rewarding if you think it through;
– I automate most of my tasks – I cannot live w/o iCal or w/o my phone – and it helps me relax, for as crazy as it may sound.
– I am indulging in supplements – Omega 3, B complex, Vitamin D, Rose Hip and Cranberry – hoping to boost my metabolism and my immune system to work more efficiently. And I’ve recently discovered this new protein shake from Welleco and I’m so going to try it;
– Love more. Anyone. Mostly your loved ones, because they care and they need to know you do too, crazily.
In a bit of an Easter residual inner peace and in a world where any day could be your last, these my thoughts for a frenetic life.