Ever set yourself on fire: taking on too much, and making up for what others should be doing?

Wait…maybe I’m talking about myself, not you. Just in case you (or a friend) ever find yourself in that situation, here are 5 tips to douse the fire.

I won’t claim to have come up with these 5 tips…they were from a talk given by a member of my women’s business group. I simply will elaborate on what they mean for me.

Dousing the Fire

  1. Nutrition – some days it’s hard to get the proper nutrition, but at some point, it is possible to do.
  2. Sleep – sleep debt is dangerous; during these colder months, it is important to manage our energy levels, and sleep is the best way to recharge.
  3. Stress Management – we all have a thorn in our side. Instead of letting everything aggravate you, consider how you can eliminate those sources of stress – whether they be human beings, situations or objects.
  4. Movement – my favorite kind is Zumba. What is yours?
  5. Community – Lucky for me, I can count on a strong network of people aligned with my professional, civic and other interests. But the thing is…you have to show up! You can’t be a member on paper. Show up, and be there for other people also.

There’s probably not a news flash in here for you, and that’s a good thing. We just need to practice things that we know are good for us, both on a personal level, and in business.

How it Relates to Work

For our physical needs, those 5 steps seem self-explanatory, but there are also takeaways for your job or business. Sometimes we find ourselves creating workarounds instead of doing things to fix the problems. We can take steps to mitigate them.

  1. Nourish your skills – no one will pay you to keep the lights on. You need to present ever greater value.
  2. Establish a routine for work and rest – many people are famous for sleeping only 4 hours a day in order to devote their existence to work. Even if you absolutely love what you do, taking a break works wonders for your work relationships and other relationships.
  3. Breathe fresh air – A change of scenery is always nice. If you are lucky enough to have some mobility for your job, why not occasionally work in a friend’s office instead of your own?
  4. Avoid loneliness – This builds on the previous point. There are plenty of co-working space available throughout the country. Spend time with entrepreneurs who understand what your life is like.

What’s your Fire?

Your fire may be personal or business-related. Don’t fall into the trap of pleasing other people, of doing other people’s work, or filling the gaps. You will be better served by establishing a flow actually solves the problem, and makes you happier in the end.