Work and Life Balance

work and life balanceCaught trying to juggle the busyness of life? For all of us, at the end of each day there’s always something forgotten that needed to get done. Sometimes it slips our mind. Sometimes we over extend ourselves. Sometimes we give up our own plan to help another. We need work and life balance. Each night when I lay down and close my eyes I could easily be haunted by all I didn’t accomplish, and end up in a restless sleep. Tossing and turning…..the ALARM goes off and I hit snooze. It’s another day with so much to do. I need better sleep. I need more time.

While the details of the day for each of us are different, we all share this similar struggle. We need more time. We want more time. We can’t add time though. It’s locked in at 24 hours a day. What we can do though is create time.

“To say “too busy” is merely to say confused priorities”. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

By taking the 24 hours we all have and being more efficient at time management (planning ahead, being proactive) we can create more time.

1) Prioritize the activities of your day – big and small.

2) Organize those activities and make a schedule.

3) Do some research for tools that will help you.

Stick to this plan.

If you’re trying to balance work and life to no avail, stop procrastinating, make a decision to prioritize one and tilt the scale.

1) Prioritize everything in your life. Focus on things you can control. It’s not about how many activities you do or how intense they are. Or how many friends you have. How much is in your bank account. It’s about your life and the lives of those around you. Where does your passion direct you and are you following it?

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton

Family Comes First. The other activities in your life are important, but not as important as the foundation around you – Your Family. It could be your parents, siblings, wife, children or relatives. For some it’s even close friends. All of them are a part of your everyday life. The life you are living would not be “your story” if they weren’t in it.

One of them might even be able to mentor you in organizing your life. Those who came before us usually have some good wisdom to pass along. One day you’ll probably be in a similar position.

Friends are Part of Your Support System. We all need friends. Some of them become like family to us. No man is an island and friends are there for each other. One day you may be offering a hand and another day asking for one. Our friends are integral to our happiness. We live our lives seeking adventure, challenges, excitement, peace, and fulfillment. Our friends help make up that story and are a part of our life’s adventures.

Nurture Yourself because if you want to live a happy and fulfilled life with family and friends then you’ll need to be around. Eat healthy and exercise. The more energy you have the more you can do. You’ll feel more alert. For some of us we even require less sleep when we exercise. Sports and Fitness is a great way to include family and friends into your life.

Don’t forget to take time off. We all need a break from the hustle and bustle. The daily grind can take down even the strongest and most focused if they don’t relax and rejuvenate. Take a vacation and let your mind wander. Go on an adventure. Some of us have jobs we’re not too passionate about. Well, save up and go do something you are passionate about.

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Leave Work at Work. It will be there tomorrow. While you’re at work do it well. While you’re at home do that well. We all bring work back with us and technology doesn’t make it any easier. I have a company laptop and a smart phone that is always on. I have to make the decision and effort to unplug myself from them. Sure, sometimes at work a promotion opportunity or work project will come up and you’ll need to let others know you’ll be busy to focus on that. But after it’s complete work will take a step back to its normal spot of 8 to 10 hours a day. You can also use your commute time to get something done. I like podcasts to catch up on news from my career field. If you ride public transportation you could even bring a book.          Are we living for work or working to live?

If you’re not working yet and are in school, the same principles can apply. Just like work, an education is important and should be done. But an education is to support your life, not replace it.

Do You Really Need That? Recognize the distractions and time wasters in your life. Work gossip, surfing the internet, TV, video games, fake friends…..The list could go on and what’s on that list is different for each of us. Let go of the activities you don’t need.

Many people waste time doing activities they really don’t need. Some of them become habits that are then disguised as daily necessities. We think we need them when we really don’t.

2) Get Organized. By prioritizing the people and activities in your life you can now organize them with a plan or schedule. Remove everything you didn’t need and stick to it. Smartphones are a great resource for staying organized. I sync my work and personal calendars together and use the “reminders” functionality all the time. An efficient tomorrow requires an organized today.

Communicate with your family, friends and coworkers to let them know what you’re doing and where you’ll be. Effective communication is a part of an organized life. Think of everyone in your life as your team mates on a sports team. You maybe dribbling the ball and in control but if you don’t communicate with the guy to your left or right they will find it difficult to stay in sync and support you. An organized life is an efficient life.

3) Research what tools might be available to you. My employer offers many family friendly plans like flex schedules, commuting options, fitness incentives, day care discounts, etc… for both male and female. But if I don’t know what they are then I can’t take advantage of them. Do some research for tools you can incorporate into your life and use them.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. ~ Albert Einstein

The more we procrastinate and say tomorrow will take care of itself the less likely it will happen. Tomorrow is formed by the decisions we make today. Want more time? Create it out of the 24 hours you’ve been given.

About John

Passionate. Life Learner. Thinker. Christ Follower. Investor. Conversationalist. Army Veteran. Dog Lover. Corporate Colleague. Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs fan. Follow me on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Michelle K says:

    Once again, a great article for both genders. When I jump back into the dating game I might require they be a subscriber of FM haha.

    • Thanks Michelle! I agree that a lot of what we write could apply to both genders. 🙂 Appreciate you spreading the word!

  2. Yes! Finally someone writes about work-life balance.

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