Series on Work-Life Balance: Doing something for ‘me’

If you find that you’re teetering dangerously close to being out-of-balance, consider rearranging your personal life by adopting some of the following things.

1. Exercise.- Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, plays tennis for one hour every day and Richard Branson stays active with kitesurfing. But if exercising brings thoughts of getting a root canal for you, no worries; Harvard-trained psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor says all it takes is 15 minutes of fun cardio activity per day. So ditch the gym for gardening or walking the dog. Juts remember: The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.

2. Pick up a new hobby (or rediscover an old one)- Is there something enjoyable that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time to pursue? Or something that you absolutely love to do, but haven’t done in years? Need some ideas? Here are the hobbies of some of the world’s most successful people:

• Warren Buffett: Playing the ukulele.

• Aubrey K. McClendon, co-founder Chesapeake Energy: Wine collecting

• Michael Bloomberg: Skiing and golf.

• Peter Thiel, technology investor and former PayPal co-founder: Internet chess.

3. Do something fun for yourself- Don’t neglect “special time” with yourself. Science has found that people who have fun are more creative and productive, make better decisions, and get along better with colleagues. Daymond John, investor on the ABC reality series “Shark Tank,” spends weekends at his lakeside cabin in Dutchess County catching largemouth bass.

4. Find a faith that works for you- I speak of a faith–whatever your belief system–that comes from a deep spiritual connection with a power greater than yours. Billionaire Bill Gates told Rolling Stone that his family goes to Catholic Church, even though he admitted having his own doubts about God.

5. Take up meditation- Oprah Winfrey practices Transcendental Meditation. She sits in stillness for 20 minutes, twice a day. She says, “only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.” Setting aside this little ritual everyday during your spare time will make the rest of your week seem manageable. You’ll notice a difference and a weight come off your shoulders.

6. Give back to the community- A study conducted by Australia’s Fidelity Charitable Gift Trust found that 89 percent of entrepreneurs donate to charity. Entrepreneurs with a heart of service understand that the cycle of business, and life, should be about giving back and spreading the wealth to causes they believe in. Meet 7 entrepreneurs who love giving back.

7. Get together with mentors outside of work to learn something new- This takes humility, so check your ego at the door, and seek out sage advice from wise connections to improve a part of you that’s lacking, or to get some fresh perspective on something that is keeping you stuck. General Motor CEO Mary Barra is influenced by a network of them. She writes how mentors correctly advised her to take an HR role even though she was an engineer. “Different people see different aspects of us as we progress in our careers and handle the opportunities and challenges along the way,” said Barra in a LinkedIn post.

8. Go out on a date. Make it weekly for it to really count- Entrepreneur John Michael Morgan, best selling author of Brand Against The Machine, lets his wife have the floor to speak on the importance of dating. She writes in her husband’s blog, “schedule a date night right now and use that alone time to create or re-evaluate your vision. What do you want your lives to look like in the next 5, 10, 20-plus years?”

9. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your family- Make sure you’re always available for your loved ones, and never put the business over them. Even billionaire entrepreneurs have a home life. Shark Tank co-host Mark Cuban told a South by Southwest audience:”On the weekends we have [a nanny] in the morning, so Tiff and I go work out Saturday mornings. Then the rest of the weekend it’s just us. It’s us putting them to bed. It’s us at dinner. We try to be as normal as possible.”