Sometimes it’s hard to remember that there is more to life than just work. That towering to-do list on your desk sure makes it difficult to see the big picture, but the to-do list is not the real problem. The real problem is many people don’t realize when they’ve gone from busy to backwards — flipping their priorities upside down and, as a result, overcomplicating their lives. Many executives who find themselves in this downward spiral, have turned to my books or reached out to me personally to try and right the ship.
Below you’ll find just 5 of the signs you can look for to judge if you are living an over-complicated life with unnecessary subconscious stress, doubt, and backwards priorities.
1. You’re Spending More Time Thinking About Work Than Your Personal Life
You know that friends and family are important, but when you realize that months have flown by since you had a decent conversation with them, you’re in trouble.
2. You Turn to Shopping
There are plenty of people out there that truly believe in “retail therapy.” Sure, a new item or two is great, but it’s no substitute for getting outside, interacting with people, and connecting with nature. The truth is no new sofa or gadget will change that. It’s been the same for thousands of years.
3. You Feel Guilty Relaxing
Did you know that some of the most successful societies in the world have daily naps built into their work schedule? These cultures have a minute to rest while our culture views such periods of relaxation as a sign of weakness. Relaxing should be seen as an investment in your productivity, not the other way around. There’s a reason you remember those articles you read in the paper about entrepreneurs coming up with their great start-up ideas after 3 sleepless nights in the office. It’s because they are extremely rare. They hardly ever happen because people who take time off and get a decent nights sleep come up with great ideas all the time. Taking a weekend to do absolutely nothing is good medicine.
4. You Try to Fill Every Minute
“The genius of the music is the silence between the notes.” Our greatest strokes of brilliance come when we aren’t trying to force things to happen. Learning to stop, pop the clutch in, and breath often help us come to quick solutions. This doesn’t have to involve taking time off of work or even checking out completely, just take a few minutes to clear your thoughts no matter where you are. Carpenters are taught to measure thrice and cut once. Time to think in a relaxed state is huge.
5. You’ve Lost Sight of Your Legacy
We talk a lot of reputations. Your reputation is the only thing you own, but what about your life legacy? I hate to sound morbid, it’s a fact that you could die at any time. Ask yourself every day if you have lived fully and if what you are doing makes a difference. If the answer is no, then you might need to switch gears or look back at my first point about spending time with family. Net worth means very little when we have a terminal illness. What would you regret on your deathbed? Get to doing that and making those changes now. Life is not a spectator sport.
If you want to learn more ways to live a stress-free life, check out my free course on creativeLIVE October 29-30.