Guest blog by Gagan Singh
When it comes it having a portfolio career, I could talk to you about marketing, confidence on camera and public speaking. But without a healthy foundation, my words would mean nothing.
Have you ever tried to find balance in your life? If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because the moment you focus your attention on one task, the others get left behind. So what do you do?
Many people will cut back on sleep, drink more caffeine or simply procrastinate. But there are a few things you should know before you fall out of balance. This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you select a balanced approach that will let you successfully prioritise what is most important to you.If you're looking for balance, the best method is to ensure that you end up with something that resembles a good life, is to start by looking for these things:
Ensure your body gets enough sleep so you can perform at your best. Human beings are the only mammal that voluntarily sabotage our sleep hours. Ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep and if possible, use a sleeping ring or a smart watch for a few weeks to track how much deep sleep you’re getting.
Since leaving school, I’ve always pushed myself by taking on new habits in the morning and squeezing in every ounce of work during my waking hours. After all, this is what the motivational gurus tell us to do, to push ourselves to the limit, to work hard and never give up. This however is a recipe for failure; sure you’ll be able to get a lot of R.O.I on your working hours but the long term impact could be a serious illness. According to sleep expert Matthew Walker, Usain Bolt slept for over 12 hours to rest and recover. If the world's most famous athlete can get away with sleeping so much and still keeping on top of his schedules, you and I really have no excuse.
Make sure your mind isn’t lost in too many hypothetical scenarios. Worrying about the past or being anxious about the future doesn’t help solve anything. If you can control the outcome, jump in and take action. If you can’t control the outcome, just let it go. An antelope doesn’t get in front of a cheetah and start worrying about what ifs- it just runs. Get some headspace and clear your mind from any baggage from the past, worries in the present or anxieties about the future. Worrying is a waste of time and only leads to you being unhappy twice. Try mindfulness using an app like ‘Headspace’ or following free professional yoga training from ‘Yoga with Adriene’ on YouTube.
Finally, your phone is not designed to make you more productive. Endlessly scrolling through social media does not get the work done. We cannot consume and create at the same time. Control your attention by minimising your screen time. Use Screentime on Apple devices or AntiSocial on Android devices. They ensure that your phone goes into a standby mode hours before you sleep, letting you sleep well.
Striking the balance is not an overnight task but by focussing on sleeping, thinking and minimising, you can mindfully live a healthier life and keep your batteries charged ready to support your clients, friends and family. Having worked on these three things in my life over the last few years, I’ve noticed the confidence and clarity that have become the backbone of everything that I do in my personal and professional life.
Happy mindful living,
Gagan Singh is the author of ‘Smart Public Speaker: Present with Confidence, Own the Stage and Resonate’. He is a public speaking coach and a current Area Director and Ex-President at Toastmasters International, responsible for four public speaking clubs. Over 2,500 students have enrolled in his online courses and he also holds a full time position as a Head of Marketing.