“Work is a part of your life and it’s only when we start to separate it that we start to feel like we are unbalanced, ” said Ciji Tatum-Townsend, productivity expert and owner of Balanced not Busy.
Ciji recently sat down with the host of our Sage Advice podcast, Ed Kless, to discuss what it means to be “Balanced not Busy,” and share tips with us on how to live a better life.
Who is Ciji?
Ciji: I am a daughter, a sister and a friend, but more importantly, I am genuine and authentic on my every day journey to live balanced not busy and provide practical solutions to others (mostly strangers) to find balance.
Professionally, I am a Public Relations Manager at Cox Communications and former Event Marketer at Red Bull North America and Dyalect Marketing Agency.
What does the concept of being Balanced not Busy mean to you?
Ciji: I have always been intrigued by the word “busy” since I was six years old. Surrounded by working parents and grandparents, everyone seemed to be really really busy…ALL of the time. I was initiated into her family’s secret society of busy people when I turned 13. My over programmed social calendar, full schedule and a ridiculous amount of commitments from school sports to the youth and government club were official rites of passage.
I remained in the secret society and committed to the condition of being busy in high school, college and for many years post-graduation. Until one day a light bulb went off and I no longer wanted to respond to “how are you?” with the overused response, “I’m so busy.” I wanted more out of life. I wanted to be balanced, not busy.
A new research study revealed that 60 percent of Americans don’t have a healthy work/life balance. Do you have any tips on how people can work to achieve a better work/life balance?
Ciji: Yes, I have a TON! First and foremost, stop trying to achieve work/life balance. Work is a part of your life and it’s only when we start to separate it that we start to feel like we are unbalanced. Live life in seasons, at times you will need to pour more into work responsibilities and at times you will need to be 100% focused on family, friends and anything else that is non-work related. Be ok with how you feel during each season and be present in that moment.
Do you have any personal mantras that you like to live by?
Ciji: Yes, Balanced Not Busy. I am 100% ok with having a full plate as well as spinning several of those full plates at one time. As long as my plates are intentionally filled with what I am passionate about, I am balanced.
Do you have any tips on how to remain productive while on the go?
Ciji: I travel a lot for work and it can be one of my most challenging times to find my balance. Primarily because I am outside of my norm and my rhythm is out of whack. In this particular case of being on the go, it’s important to keep as many norms in place as you can. If you typically wake up early and work out, do that. If you enjoy Chamomile tea before bed, do that.
Do you have any favorite business books that you would recommend to someone looking to find balance in their lives?
Ciji: Absolutely, I love to read! I would suggest adding “The Seven Day Weekend” by Ricardo Semler, “Let’s Have Lunch Together” by Marshall Howard and “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be” to your home library.
Want to hear more from the interview with Ciji Tatum-Townsend and Ed Kless? Listen to the full podcast interview.