During busy periods, many professionals struggle to make space for themselves. There is poor work-life balance: it is what they feel themselves, or they hear others complaining about it. “Busy Busy” is a frequent answer to a check-in from a colleague. And somehow, it is very hard to get out of this cycle.

Then a quieter period follows, and for some it is hard to even remember how stressful it was before. Saying no suddenly seems easier, and so is leaving your desk for a short walk.  

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You might know the well-known Zen proverb: “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour every day, you should meditate for two hours.” Taking breaks and encouraging your team members to do the same is even more important during busy times.  

So, what are you going to do to continue and promote the healthy routines picked up during the summer period now that our agendas are filling up again?  

Identify the signals

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Do you know when you are doing too much? How does it feel? What signals does your body give you? Headaches, concentration problems, are you becoming impatient with colleagues or clients? Do you know what the signals are of your team members? Knowing the signals is the first step.  

Make it attractive

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When you know the signals, what are attractive routines to help you address the signals? What do you need to take a break, or communicate your boundaries? Do a little dance behind your desk, vent over coffee, play table tennis with a colleague? What do you team members need to experience the holiday spirit again? Whatever you or your team members need to ‘break’ from doing too much, talk about it and do it. It might even improve performance.