Let's Do Lunch To Balance Worklife
By Donovan Grant
"A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life"
It took less than 67 days this time. Just when I was beginning to think that I was going to have to find a new gym, my favourite cross-trainer became free. The thing is that since the start of the year it has been a real struggle to get a smooth flowing workout at lunchtime. There have been a large number of new recruits and the gym equipment has been getting maximum use.
It’s bad enough having to wait for your favourite piece of equipment, but the lockers are always taken and even worse than that we have to queue up for the showers! Not a pretty sight!
It’s ok now though because normality has returned. Many of the new recruits have already fallen off the metaphorical treadmill. Their regular visits have been reduced to the odd one or occasionally two per week. This is predictable.
When you ask them the question “Hey, buddy, why didn’t you make it to the gym today?”
You can almost mime the reply:
“Oh I’m too busy at the office”
“I had to get this report done for my boss”
“I needed to do a working lunch today”
Now you can understand their excuse because you may have had to use one or two of them yourself. We’ve all had to miss out on doing lunch before. I know that I have had times where I’ve wanted to go to the gym or just go for a walk at lunchtime and I’ve not been allowed out. It was a bit like being on detention at school and having to stay behind to catch up because the naughty boy upset the teacher!
Do you often have to miss out on lunch against your wishes?
The pressure and demands to get the job done can be so tough on us sometimes and we end up feeling guilty. Not guilty that we are not doing our job properly. But guilty because you may feel like you are letting the team down if you don’t make more sacrifices. The thing is that when you see others on the team grabbing a sandwich and bringing it back to their desk it seems normal. Everyone starts acting as if there’s not enough time to pause during the middle of the working day, so you feel obliged to do the same.
Like all good teammates, sometimes they dish out the veiled humour which affects you more on an emotional level:
“Where’s your commitment”
“We can’t do this without you”
“If we don’t finish this today, then we can kiss the bonus goodbye!”
So what do you do? You are a professional and you enjoy doing your job well. At the same time you have commitments to yourself. May be your work-life balance is suffering and you need to get back some more me time. Maybe you’ve been having health challenges and your last medical heal screen recommended that you start a regular exercise program. Or maybe you just enjoy breaking up the day by getting some exercise instead of just being stuck in your office for eight hours a day.
You owe it to yourself to be the CEO of your own life. This includes when you work and when you play. My experience has shown that taking lunch breaks every day increases my well being mentally, physically and emotionally. With exercise and working out there you add balance to your life because after a while you start to feel better from the inside out. The challenges that you face in the work environment become less of an obstacle because you are calmer and more at one with yourself. And besides that, before long you will start to notice shapely changes on the outside too.
So should we be happy, the cross-trainer is available again after 67 days? On one hand yes, because we can get a workout and use all of our favourite machines without having to wait. On the other hand, it’s a bit saddening because the deeper meaning is that a few more people are stuck in their office, probably eating a tuna and cucumber sandwich with a packet of crisps and a can of coke. They have given up on their dream getting work-life balance during their working day.
Work-life balance is a journey and not a destination. On long journeys you need to stop, have a break, refuel, check that your headed in the right direction and then get going again. If you are on the journey ad you’ve stopped for longer than necessary, then my advice is to KEEP ON GOING! YOU CAN DO IT! Be the director of your life and give yourself the break that you deserve.
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Donovan Grant is a “Honest and True Step By Step Work-life balance and Career Coach. His systems help the average career changer as well as high flier get extra-ordinary results quickly. www.donovangrant.com.