Let’s face it: your life can easily get out of balance. Look, you are a complicated person who has a lot of different responsibilities that you need to meet all at the same time. Yes, you are an IT manager with IT manager skills and that is probably a big part of your life, but you may also be a husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend / parent / etc., you may belong to a church / Boy Scout troop / civic organization / etc. Oh, and their there’s the issue of keeping your weight down and your abs up. Just exactly how are we to go about doing all of this?
The Big Three Ways We Keep Our Balance
The first thing that we need to realize in order to keep our lives in balance is that we’ve just been given one body with which to make it through this life. What that means is that if you don’t keep it in shape, you’re not going to be able to make it to the end of this race. Sorry, there’s no IT manager training for this. When things get busy at work and your team really needs your time, that’s when you start to drop the ball – you eat poorly and you don’t take the time to exercise. The key here is that you don’t want to get yourself into a situation where you have to say “I can’t do that” because of how you feel. Exercise is something that you need to do every day.
Jobs come and jobs go. If your current job went away today, you’d find yourself at home with your family (or home alone calling your family on the phone). What would that be like – do they still know you? We need to understand that our family relations are the most important relations that we’ll ever have. You always have to be working to improve these because they are a long-term project.
It turns out that if you want to live to an old age, you need to develop a robust set of social connections. You want to have a large and varied group of friends that you can turn to when it’s time to go do something. These friends need to be people that you do things with outside of work – you can include people from work, but you need to interact outside of work. If your work is causing you to sacrifice your friendships because you have no time for anyone, then you are making the wrong types of decisions.
The Next Three Helpers
One of the things that can cause all of us to experience a great deal of grief is our personal finances. That’s why you need to take a look at where you currently stand and evaluate if this is where you want to be right now. Are you working towards saving for retirement or are you spending it all today? What you want to do is to feel as though you are in control and that you have options as to what you can do with your money. If you find that you are working too much and have too little money, then clearly something is out of whack.
How do you feel about your job? When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, do you roll out of bed ready to take on another day? Or do you feel as though you are just running in circles not getting anywhere? You are investing time, energy and effort into your job. The question that you need to be able to answer is how is that paying off for you? Are you getting the results that you want?
A lot of people will put their spiritual health at the bottom of the list, but perhaps you should not be doing this. This does not necessarily mean going to church (although it can). Each of us has a spiritual side to us – what makes us feel whole, why are we hear, what is our purpose? Every so often you need to revisit these questions and make sure that you can still answer them. When we find ourselves working too much, things can get out of balance and we’ll forget to do a spiritual self-check. Don’t let this happen to you. Take the time to make sure that your priorities are in line with what really matters to you.
What All Of This Means For You
In order to be a successful IT manager, you need to keep things in balance so you can do other things, like IT team building. What this means is that yes, you can spend a lot of time at work but no, you can’t forget about all of the other things in your life that really matter. A key part of keeping things in balance is being aware of what really matters.
In order to keep things balanced in our lives, we need to understand that our goal is to make it through this life using the one body that we’ve been given. This means that our health is a key to our ability to accomplish what we’ve set out to do. This is not a journey that we are undertaking by ourselves, we have our family to help us along. However, we need to take the time to maintain our relationships with the various members of our family so that they’ll be there when we need them. Studies have shown that if we want to live a long time, we need to have a robust set of social connections. This means that we need to create and maintain a diverse group of friends. Our financial health will determine how happy we are. As will how we feel about our job. Finally, our spiritual health has to do with being able to answer a set of fundamental questions and we need to check in to make sure that we still know these answers.
Keeping your life in balance is not an easy thing to do. There are a wide variety of forces that are both pushing and pulling you at all times. However, the good news is that it can be done. You need to be aware that this is a critical skill and you need to take the time to work at it. Keep your balance and you’ll be a great IT manager!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What steps should you take if you discover that you your life has become out of balance?
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Resiliency is a word that I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard before, but I’m not quite sure if we all know just exactly what it means. I mean, we know it’s a good thing, but what is it? It turns out that resiliency is having the ability to adjust to change or disruption, being able to move on from a negative event to more positive events. This sounds like a great thing for any IT team to have, but what can you as an IT manager do to use your IT manager skills to help them to get more of it?