4 Ways to stay focused and balanced in a short month

Don't let a short month burn you out.

February is a short month, both in the number of calendar days, and in the length of the days themselves. During this time, it’s easy to stray from what would make us more productive, vibrant, fit, and effective.


Because the days grow dark shortly after 6 p.m. in most places, too many people believe that eating early, watching more TV, not getting exercise, and not maintaining a healthy balance of activities is okay. After all, the day is done quickly, so why bother to maintain some semblance of work life balance?

Here are four ways that physicians can treat February the same as any other month in terms of maintaining an effective work life balance:

1. Plan to exercise several times a week, even going so far as scheduling the activities on your personal as well as professional calendar. When an activity is scheduled, it tends to occur, much more so than a vague notion that you will hit the gym, or take a long walk when you get home.

2. For at least two weekends per month, if not three or four, involve yourself in some wholesome, rewarding, outdoor activity – yes, in February. Even if your area is covered in snow, it is as good a time as any to enjoy the great outdoors. Winter holds fascination for many people: How do birds survive? Where do the squirrels go? Take advantage of your own neighborhood, town, and community. Walk the trails, visit the parks, and take in the nearby surroundings.

3. Involve others in your quest to maintain work life balance. “The more the merrier” is a relevant axiom when it comes to leisure activities, exercise, and getting out and about. When you have a partner – a family member or a friend to accompany you – you tend to do more, stay out longer, and derive more from your day

4. At work, ensure the you take a few strategic minutes here and there to walk down the hall, perhaps leave the building, and stroll about. Or, do whatever it takes to stay limber. Perhaps close your door and do some stretches. You will feel like a new person, and it won't even take you more than 60 to 90 seconds.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and a thought leader on work-life balance issues. He speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the work-life balance of their people. Visit breathingspace.com for more information.