Top Dog Blog

Veterans in industry and the public sector share insights, tips, and trends in Effective Leadership


October 1, 2017

The Back Burner

Someone recently asked how I keep such a great balance in my life. Those who know me might argue that opinion. But what is “balance” anyway? Being true to ourselves and what we consider as balanced is important. We all will work harder and spend more time in areas that we find important. But no matter what that is, it’s also very important to know when to put some things on the back burner.

Find Your Balance
What do you consider your balance? While the person who asked me that question considered me to have balance in my life, others might consider me a “workaholic” because I spend much of my time thinking about and being committed to achieving business results. What is important to you? Professional athletes spend endless hours training, while researchers and scientists making groundbreaking discoveries by spending a large portion of their lives experimenting and reading. Maybe none of those things are important to you, but whatever is of value should get your time and your focus. As a leader and executive driving for results, you will spend much of your time “working.” Just like the athletes and scientists leading in their disciplines, there are no shortcuts.

Manage Your Time
All of that being said, finding time for yourself and others in your life is important and it’s something we must be purposeful about. Where is the back burner in your mind? What I mean is that you need to be present for your own escape or others. Whether it is enjoying a hobby, engaging in conversation, or attending a child’s event, you will have to push some of your priorities back in order to facilitate your own relaxation, creativity, or simply to be there for others. I personally visualize a stove and tell myself while the thoughts never disappear about my work, I must know when to bring things to a boil and when to let them simmer and delay a little.