Are you keeping an eye on your bucket?

Bucket No….not that bucket!

Many of us are burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.  Our companies have been “right-sized” which is a nice way of saying — same amount of work, fewer people to do it.

We’re trying to keep up on the trends and changes in our industry, use social media to create a personal brand (and grow our companies) and stay connected to our customers.

Then, there’s that little thing called new business.  We’re all trying to hold and grow our market share, our market presence and build the brand.

Oh right…don’t forget about the charity boards, volunteering at our kid’s school and just managing our personal lives.

And we’re on call 24/7.  Our devices makes sure of that.

Whew!  No wonder we feel like we’re running on empty much of the time.

So here’s my question for you.  How do you re-fill your bucket?  How do you make sure you have enough in the tank to keep going?  How do you stay physically, mentally and emotionally replenished?

Here are some of the things that work for me, but I’m looking forward to hearing your tips and tricks.

I serve others:  Part of the reason I volunteer my time and share my talents is because it fills me up to know that I am using my gifts the way I believe God wants me to — in service of others.  I only volunteer and sit on boards for organizations that I genuinely believe in — and care deeply about.  That way, I can take immense pride in the work they ultimately do and my small role in it.

I have professional support squads:  I learned a long time ago that I needed to bond and hang with other business owners who understood my worries, pains and joys.  Through the years, I have either created or joined a small handful of groups that serve as my sounding board, my safe place to vent and my think tank.

But…perhaps most of all — they are some of my biggest cheerleaders.  They believe in me and my abilities and when I am feeling like I can’t quite cross the finish line — their encouragement helps me push through.

I’m a dad:  First and foremost — at the core of my being, I am my daughter’s dad.  Having declared her as my absolute priority helps me find balance and give me permission to never miss a play, or pick her up after school and hang with her rather than schedule yet one more meeting that day.

I travel:  My job affords me the opportunity to get on a plane and go somewhere at least once a month.  I know for some people, traveling is a huge hassle but I like it. I’m rarely gone for more than 3 days — but in those few days, I am gloriously alone.  It is more than a rare treat.  It is absolutely replenishing.

I create an oasis where I can: I know I’m not going to get big blocks of “me” time.  I’m not going to sit and watch an entire baseball game without multi-tasking or just do nothing for a couple hours.  My life isn’t structured that way.

So I take little mini-breaks where I can get them.  Music is healing for me, so I will often turn off my phone’s ringer, really crank up my car stereo and just let the music fill me.  I’ll take the dog for a walk just to breathe in the fresh air and get some think time in.  Or I’ll watch some ridiculous show on VH1 to laugh with my daughter.

It’s hardly perfect.  And it’s probably not enough.  But those are some of the ways I stay sane and re-fuel myself so I can keep at it.  How about you — how do you make sure that your bucket is full?

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