Learning how to balance your personal and professional obligations is tough, but once you have a system in place, you’ll be well on your way to decreasing your stress and increasing the quality of your life – at home and at work. Many people believe that increasing one's performance means needing to do more, which results in spending less time with our loved ones, neglecting our health and putting our passions and hobbies on the back burner. We end up frustrated, out of control and stressed. So how do we really balance work and life?
Let’s begin by reflecting with these questions:
- Am I frustrated at the end of every day, wondering where my time went?
- Are there any hobbies I do outside of work?
- Do I take care of my health and wellbeing? How?
- Why can some people achieve a balanced life and why can’t I?
You may have answered these questions in your mind simply with a yes or a no. However, that is totally fine. Below, you will find my personal insights on what you can do to achieve a happy and balanced life.
Lesson 1: Time for control.
The most valuable thing in this world is time. To achieve a perfect work-life balance, time is all you need. However, you need to know how to manage your time to prioritise your most important tasks. Oftentimes, we say that we lack time, but the truth is that we may not manage our time wisely. Indeed, time is uncontrollable but we can control the events in our lives. Think about your priorities and everything meaningful in your life and list them down according to highest to lowest. Try to organise a daily, weekly or monthly schedule for you to have a guide on your upcoming tasks. And of course, stay committed to it. Once you do that, you'll have more direction and motivation to achieve your tasks.
Lesson 2: Time to clean your desk.
A messy desk is a sign of a messy mind. Don't you think so? Researchers investigated how a messy work environment affects people. However, for some people sitting in a messy, disorderly room could also stimulate more creative ideas than sitting in a tidy, orderly room. Everyone has different ways of working productively. Albeit, while you may not believe your messy workspace negatively affects you, it could be interfering with your coworkers’ or roommates' ability to get their work done without being distracted.
Lesson 3: Time to do what you love.
There is nothing better than doing things you love! It may be going hiking, painting, travelling, etc. Do things that make your heart smile. There is more to life than work, work and work. If you start doing the things you love, you will find that it will refresh you and make you more fulfilled. If you read Lesson 1, it’s not about having time, but rather, making time for the things you love doing!
Lesson 4: Time for self-care.
Invest in that skincare product! Eat healthy instead of eating junk food. Create a daily exercise regimen that you love and works for you. Daily physical activity can improve your health and jumpstart your day. These days, there are so many ways to get motivated to exercise. You can download free fitness apps, watch yoga classes online, join weekly sports meetups or sign up for a gym membership. Taking care of yourself means taking care of your mind and body. Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve energy levels and more. Self-care is an important part of our daily life and must be considered a priority. I promise you'll notice the difference.
Lesson 5: Time to take a break.
Keeping up with work, feeding yourself, paying bills, dealing with life’s issues, maintaining relationships, etc. It’s not unusual to occasionally find yourself thinking I can’t take it anymore, especially when you can’t seem to catch a break. However, even 15 minutes or an hour to yourself can be all it takes to reset and find your calm. Lower that stress on your body and mind. It’s not good for you. When taking a break, engage in things that give you a sense of joy and comfort. Nourish and nurture yourself. Take a break from everything – work, life, and even the virtual world. Recharging also gives you time to reflect on yourself and understand why you are feeling the way you are. Breathe for a moment and take all the time you need because you deserve it.