Can we really have it all? The key to work-life balance

The key is energy.

Tony Schwartz, author and CEO of the Energy Project writes, it’s not about the quantity of time we put into a task, but the quality:
“It’s not just the number of hours we sit at a desk in that determines the value we generate. It’s the energy we bring to the hours we work. Human beings are designed to pulse rhythmically between spending and renewing energy. That’s how we operate at our best. Maintaining a steady reservoir of energy — physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually — requires refuelling it intermittently.”

This statement perfectly sums up the rhythm of life.
Sleep-Wake-Eat-Do Stuff-Sleep.

Whilst this probably sounds like your standard sleep-wake cycle, it’s time I let you all in on a secret…in between all that ‘doing stuff’ you’re meant to be ‘not doing stuff’.

Just ask any of the Glassdoor.com Top 25 companies for work-life balance, it is all about making sure we intermittently switch off. Riveting stuff – I wouldn’t mind a workplace with on-site yoga classes, sleep pods, fitness centres, healthy meals, offices filled with natural light and flexible work hours.  “Companies that make sincere efforts to recognise employees’ lives outside of the office,” said Glassdoor’s Rusty Rueff, “will often see the payoff when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.”

Among the top 25 are companies that mostly create an ‘organisational culture of wellness’.  Whilst it would be great to go and play a game of tennis at lunchtime, the best most of us can hope for is to actually get a lunch break.

Here are some top tips to get your work-life balance (without a sleep pod):

– Don’t get caught in a common thinking trap (e.g. Jumping to conclusions, overgeneralising, dramatising, personalising etc). Just because you dropped your coffee all over your white shirt on the way to work does not mean it will be a bad day – obviously you were just meant to wear a different shirt into the office.

– In times of stress, take a second to breathe and re-focus.  A few deep breathes can change your entire tone and outlook.

– Remain optimistic

– Connect with others and invest in your relationships.  Have a chat to someone – people love talking about themselves (this has been proven by various psychological studies).

– Don’t let yourself get caught at your desk.  Take regular breaks and reward yourself for your hard work.

– Take the time to relax and refocus.

Find your source of energy and motivation and the balance will follow

Speaking of finding balance…it can be difficult to balance a healthy diet and cravings.  Therefore I love adjusting ‘traditional’ unhealthy recipes and turning them into something more food friendly.  Insert – Moroccan Mushroom Burgers

Image

Moroccan Vegetable Patties

Ingredients
1 tsp Cumin, seeds
2 cup Chickpeas , drained, mashed (sub with steam sweet potato if paleo)
2 tbs coconut oil
½ cup brown onion finely diced
¼ cup of Zucchini , coarsely grated
¼ cup of carrots , coarsely grated
¼ cup quinoa flakes
2 tsp Lemon Zest, grated
1 tbsp ground Coriander
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
A pinch of Himalayan rock salt
A pinch of Black Pepper
¼ tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 large egg (or flax egg)


Method

  1. Melt half of the coconut oil in a fry pan over medium heat and sauté onion, zucchini and carrot until almost dry.  Set aside.
  2. Place cumin seeds, chickpeas (or sweet potato), quinoa flakes, 1 egg (or flax egg), lemon zest, salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon in a high speed blender and combine (tip you may have to stop and mix it around a few times).
  3. In a medium bowl combine the mixture from the blender with the sautéed vegetables. Chill for at least 1 hour – Do NOT skip this step or you may have trouble keeping the burgers from falling apart.
  4. Use the rest of the coconut oil to coat the fry pan and cook the patties over medium heat until lightly brown (approx. 3 mins each side).  Alternatively, patties may be baked in a 100 degrees Celsius oven for approximately 20 minutes.

The Mushroom Burgers

Ingredients
Large Portebello Mushrooms (2 per person)
Patties (Recipe for Moroccan Vegetable Patties below)
Iceberg Lettuce
Tomato
Avocado

Coriander Pesto (optional)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  2. Steam the mushrooms for 2 minutes.
  3. Place mushrooms on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes each side (flip after 10 minutes). Mushrooms should be nicely browned but still plump.
  4. Assemble burgers layering lettuce, tomato, avocado, pesto, vegetable patties in between the ‘mushroom buns’.ImageImage
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