Unbalance. Is that bad?

What is Work/Life balance?

Anyway, is it “Work/Life”, “Work & Life”, “Work, Life”, “Work-Life”, or maybe “worklife”…what’s the right punctuation?

We’ve grown to use this phrase as a way to talk about the fact that some people work too much, or some people think that others work too much.

Can’t work be a part of life, and vice versa? Is there such a desperate need to separate the two so that we don’t ever think that they can easily co-exist?

Is there really a need to declare any particular hour is to be only for one thing, or another, or that one’s family or friends are “life” and something else is not?  And what about one’s life’s work?!?

Perhaps it’s just me that’s confused, but what if everyone took responsibility for their own view of what to fill their life with? That, to me is life, and work, and balance.

Show Up

How can I help?

What do you need?

Are you feeling ok? Anything I can do?

These are such well-meaning questions, but if a person is really struggling with something–a “life problem” or how to field a ground ball–they may not know what they need, and it’s probably not an answer that would be most helpful.

Offering to provide a fix that neither party knows exists is impossible, and “well, let me know…” is really not helpful.

So, just Show Up for your friend, teammate or partner of any sort. Just be there; you don’t even need to be a good listener, specialize in empathy, or even spend much time to be good at Showing Up.

In sports, showing up can look like being first to something, being prepared, being willing to lose, or fall short. It can be cheering, and it can be pushing; high fives can come in all sizes.

Showing up can be a smile or pat on the back, a “I see you working hard”, or a package of cookies, or a note or card. It can be an email or a text message or a stop-by-to-say-hi or shovel the driveway.

Just do something, no matter how minor.

There are no rules of caring for people, and don’t worry if you don’t know what to do, just show up for them.

Spare Time?

We ask a lot of Time.

We beg for more of it, wish it would go faster, hope it might slow down, perhaps even if time would simply be a little kinder…time is a pretty important part of our lives.

Time takes blame for it’s shortcomings, “why don’t have I more time?” we ask, as if time cut a few corners last hour and shorted us. “Where did all the time go?” we demand when our days slip away, and somehow it’s Time’s fault for not being around when we need it.

Take a moment (if you can spare it) to think about Time and how we view it.

Should Time get the credit for being productive? Maybe you get the gold star for that one and you should use a small bit of time to plan the next chunk in which you can move forward with your tasks.

Time belongs to all of us, and it’s available to everyone but not used equally.  We own our piece of time.

We don’t have that much time to spare and we can’t give it away to others, but we can choose to waste some, we can share it, and each of us gets to choose how much we how we use it.  It’s up to you.

Tick tock.

It’s A Group Exercise

Working together is fun. Being on the same page with other people, finding a solution that requires others to add energy to the system, to match up the gears with colleagues, is a great way to move things forward.

That’s why so many of us love team sports, and why people pay to do the same workout with others that they could do for free by themselves.

Being around other people gives us energy. Working with others gets us to the intersection of enthusiasm and hard work. This is true on a team, within a coaching staff, position group, office pod or neighborhood.

Without a structured plan, however, working with a group can be annoying and unproductive. In team sports, this is where the “one chief” model becomes important. Someone needs to direct the work, start the music, evaluate the needs of the group.

How do you make working with others one way you get better as a coach?

 

Do More Weird

Just like the rest of the world, coaches are “judgy”.  We think that the way we do things is the best way (otherwise, why would we do it that way?) and we find reasons to poke holes in other ideas.

So many people doing “weird” things are having great success. Is this because of the idea, the implementation, the personnel, or a combination?  Hint: it’s almost always a combination.

What do YOU do that you think other people think is “weird” or outside the box? Do more of that.

What About What Might Happen?

Forward momentum is enhanced by testing, guessing, making mistakes and accepting partial credit or incomplete solutions.

We’re told to work intentionally now, but…be ok with thinking about the future, but…not too much.

We pass along this approach to our players, too.

The present is important, yet fleeting.  It’s easy to either be complacent, or consistently dissatisfied.

Do you feel this? Do you pass along this angst to your team?

Working to be our best, currently, is really all we can do.

It takes an inner peace (conscious or not) to be satisfied right now, to not ruminate on the past or solely anticipate the future. When “what about…” comes into play we become less content.

 

When Selfish Is Good

If everyone prioritizes paying attention, even in “a good way”, to what others are doing, their goals and dreams, a team will not be at it’s best.

The word selfish has gotten a bad rep.  Being selfish in your preparation, doing everything you can to be at your best? That’s a great start to making your team better.

By being prepared and modeling the work you put in in selfish-mode you’ll be helping the team from the inside out.  The foundation of a team is it’s people, so be a great person/player/athlete and you’ll be doing your part.

It takes a great group effort to be a great team.  The existence of standards and norms that make up the basis of a team’s culture and the ethic of working together toward a commonly held goal is crucial to outcome success.  However, relying on a set of “great team players” that are not also at their best individually is not a recipe for success.

All teams must work together in a selfless way, but the individuals within should make it a priority to be selfish in their preparation.