While the workweek of an average individual has lessened in terms of hours worked over the past few decades, many in the workforce have extreme schedules, working 70 or more hours a week. Trying to balance absolutely anything with this kind of schedule would seem maddening.
Even for regular 9-to-5 workers, however, achieving work-life balance often simply seems too difficult. It’s much too easy to just go home and watch some old reruns of your favorite show on TV or Netflix.
With the increased stressors of life nowadays, it is more imperative than ever to balance your life, particularly if your job causes you any stress or difficulties. You need time to exercise, socialize, enrich your mind, and get all of your other non-work duties accomplished.
If you’ve ever felt like your job is taking all of your energy, here are a few tips for achieving some balance.
Prioritize and Schedule Certain Things
A huge key to managing a busy life is to prioritize and schedule out all of your tasks. Upon doing this, you will quickly learn that not everything you do holds the same importance, and you’ll be able to cut out many of the tasks that do not help you achieve your aims.
You’ll likely feel a big burden being pulled off your shoulders once you prioritize certain people and things. You’ll feel more appreciation from and for the individuals and entities you choose to continue to make a part of your life, which will allow you to feel more fulfilled.
The key takeaway is that less is often more.
Take Care of Yourself
Going along with the last point, you need to take time to take care of yourself. This will help you feel more fulfilled, happier, and less anxious.
Other than exercising at least a few times a week, it’s important to eat well, stay hydrated, and get the proper amount of sleep. Different relaxation practices can definitely help if you’re not balanced, whether this be taking a long walk, meditating, practicing yoga, or breathing deeply.
If you take care of yourself properly, you should have the energy to perform better both on and off the job.
Envision What You Truly Want
While it’s cliche, there is a lot of truth to the phrase “mind over matter.” If you want something badly enough, you can usually get it. It just takes some willpower and discipline.
The problem for many of us? We’ve lost track of our goals to varying degrees. We lose perspective that our job— at least in most cases— is not our end goal. It’s simply a way to support ourselves, and should not absolutely consume our life.
Reminding yourself of what you truly want to have or accomplish before you die can help you with both finding purpose, and finding motivation to fuel that purpose. You can use whatever motivating factor you find fitting— fame, purpose, legacy, happiness, etc.
Ultimately, no one is going to be able to alert or remind you as to your biggest dreams. Reading inspirational books or watching videos can help, but it has to come from within.
Striving to become a better you will make you a more balanced individual in the end.
Once we’ve grown out of childhood, it becomes easy to discredit the value of fun. Fun is thought of as being childish, and even inappropriate, in many situations.
The key to fun is indeed balance. Sure, you may not love your job, and there may be things that are inappropriate to engage in within an office environment, but you need to kindle that curiosity and excitement in your spare time.
For different people it’s different things. Some like watching movies. Others love video games. Yet others relish the ability to see a beautiful sunset at the beach with someone special. For many, it’s all of the above and more!
By valuing fun, you’ll be more effective when actually working, as you’ll have less worries on your mind, along with perspective on your true values.
Remember, life is short and is meant to be enjoyed!
Any reasonable workplace will fully embrace the value of providing work-life balance, as this permeates into the health and happiness of its employees. If during the interview process you get the sense that a position will grind you into the ground, take a hard look as to whether that’s what you want.
On a final note, it is important to emphasize that working can bring one a tremendous sense of value and fulfillment in life. Working should never be the problem. Doing or focusing upon anything in excess can create issues that will need to be addressed.