Seeking Balance

Welcome to the Flash Friday Series! Each Friday, we share something personal: A personal goal, achievement or some way we find to achieve balance in our harried, busy professional lives. For those of you who know me, you know I like to play as much as I like to work. It's the stuff that keeps us sane and alive. I hope this series inspires you. And? If you have a story you'd like to share, please contact me here. Me, Running the Tough MudderGeoff Livingston launches the series:

Balancing wellness and work. It's a tough, but necessary issue I wrestle with frequently.

Recently I signed up and ran a Tough Mudder. I did this partly on a dare, and partly to ensure I'd go to the gym and train.

This was important because of the intense amount of work I fielded this Fall: We became a single income family over the summer, which required me to take a more serious work approach while balancing the joy of parenting. Also, I was preparing for a TEDx speech.

So why add another thing?

I don't know what it is about me and the way my head works, but working out actually helps me manage time. I'm better able to handle tasks, stress, and presence.

The Tough Mudder forced me to train because it's such a brutal course. The endurance of running one-half mile, stopping, and engaging in an obstacle, then picking up a run again -- again and again over an 11-mile course -- was demanding.

Even after working out for six weeks with an extra tough regimen of running, biking, swimming, stairmaster, and free weights, I was taxed.

But it kept me physically balanced, and I got the work and home results I needed, too.

First, business went very, very well during this timeframe. I am in the midst of my best quarter ever as a solo entrepreneur.

Even though there were some kinks I'd like to work on with my speaking style (namely pacing across the stage) during my TEDx speech, I felt it was the best I had ever given. It was an 18-minute speech given completely from memory with two umms total.

SmileFinally, my family life seemed to even out a bit as we re-adjusted to our new roles, and how that impacts life. My daughter Soleil turned two, and she is just a peach.

Other Balance Factors

Sleep and eating well matter in the work/life balance equation, too. It's one of the reasons I am currently maintaining a five-day a week vegetarian diet.

Basically, I eat meat two or three days a week to ensure I'm getting protein, but that's it. And I always feel comatose after I eat meat.

Lastly, there's sleep and rest. I always feel better rested, who doesn't? This is a big area for me to focus on over the next few months.

I'm not writing or heavily promoting a book currently, the first time in two and a half years. It's important to recharge the batteries during this lull.

Rest is by far the one area that I skimp on.

Look, balance is very, very hard. I'm definitely a Type A driven worker. I always have been; which means I'm always skimping on self-care in some way.

Do we ever achieve perfect balance? More than likely no. But it's something to strive for, and it takes constant tweaking as life priorities and needs change.

How do you balance your personal life so you can be the best you can at work?

Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker, and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop outstanding marketing programs. He brings people together virtually and physically for business and change.