In the past I used to regularly work very long hours. This lasted for years and years and as you can expect, the price I paid for this lack of work-life bakance was not insignificant. My relationships were affected quite a lot. I put on weight. I went from being very positive and smiling all the time to being upset and tired.
This doesn’t happen overnight. But if you lack balance in your life, you wake-up one day and it hits you. You realize that life is not about chasing relentlessly the next task on your to-do list, while missing sunsets, smiles and actually…. life. Don’t wait till you reach that point!
Here are 15 work-life balance tips to help infuse a bit of balance into your life:
1. Spend more time doing what is meaningful to you.
We all have endless to-do lists and it is a fact of life that you can’t spend all your time doing stuff you like. On the other hand, ignoring your soul and living a life of “have tos” is a bit less than ideal. Remember that you always have options. This may not be the case short term, but longer term you are not a prisoner of circumstances unless you accept to. Try to maximize the time spent doing what you love, with people you feel good with. It will make a huge difference to how you feel.
2. Pursue a passion.
As part of regularly allocating time to do things you love, pursue a hobby. Forget the excuses that you don’t have time. It may be the case that it’s not feasible to allocate as much time as you want to pursuing your passion. However, do this regularly as much as your schedule allows you. It will brighten your days significantly. And you’ll have all the time something exciting to look forward to.
3. Don’t over-commit.
This is a tough one. We want to do so many things and time is limited. But instead of complaining about something we can’t change, ruthlessly cut everything that is not essential. Set and observe priorities. Remember that committing too easily is a key cause of your full schedule and high stress level. Reduce your commitments and spend a higher quality time with the activities that make it on your list.
4. Exercise regularly.
You are probably tired to hear this again and again. But it does work. You will not only enjoy a better physical shape, but also a better mood. As a watch-out, don’t try to go for a big lifestyle change all of a sudden. It will only last for a couple of weekends. The most important element is to exercise consistency.
5. Do work you love.
It may sound like a luxury, as many of us work just for the money. If you often go to work with a big smile on your face, it’s great. If not, it’s never too late to pursue a career that is more fulfilling. Don’t settle! There is no dress rehearsal for life, so we need to make the most of it.
6. Manage time better.
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? It’s true that time is limited. However, the real issue is the way we perceive time in relation with everything we would like to do. We have much more control over the second part of the equation…So it’s up to us to learn how to shift from a time scarcity to a time abundance approach.
7. Slow Down.
The pace of life has become a little crazy. We are chased all the time to do this and that and we often feel we are behind. Therefore, we push and accelerate the pace even further. We do need to have our moments of relaxation, though. But you will not get to enjoy such moments, unless you create them. So make sure that from time to time, you purposely slow down.
8. Connect with others at a deeper level.
We are social beings and we do need meaningful interactions with others. You get so much more out of deeper meaningful connections, than from brief superficial interactions. Try to surround yourself with people you resonate with and spend time to build quality relationships. This will bring you so much joy!
9. Dedicate time for growth.
You may feel the need to read a book, to grow spiritually, to learn something new. If you ignore this need for too long, you will start to feel that you lack something in your life, even if it’s hard to point out what. Do make time for activities that help you grow. No excuses!
10. Recharge your batteries.
Take a vacation and do something new, something wild or just do nothing. Try to change your environment completely for a while. And on a regular basis, make sure you get enough rest. It’s ok to sacrifice sleep short term if you really have to. However, if you turn this into a long term practice, it’s very detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Make sure that you take care of yourself. After all, we are human beings, not robots.
11. Minimize the negativity in your life.
We are bombarded with negative news all the time. We meet difficult people, we are caught into conflicts, we get hit by our own negative thoughts. If you think about it, all this negativity doesn’t serve any constructive purpose. Ignore it! Get it out of your life!
12. Embrace change.
Our balance is often disturbed by the various changes that keep coming into our lives. Change is unavoidable. It is our reaction to change that triggers the stress though, not the change itself. Learn to embrace change and to welcome all the opportunities that come along with new experiences.
13. Let go.
There is a lot of baggage we carry around and most of it does not serve us at all. Let all the anger go. Forgive. Leave failures behind. Accept lost opportunities. If you feel hurt, don’t deny your feelings. Deal with them and move on….
14. Have FUN.
Go out with friends, play with children, build the biggest sand castle, run by the sea, take a long walk in the mountains, go horseback riding, dance, do whatever puts a big smile on your face. When is the last time you had the time of your life? If you think too much about the answer, it’s time to take the initiative and do something fun right now!
15. Be yourself.
There is a lot of pressure to comply with what is socially regarded as the success model. However, you can only be fulfilled if you stay true to yourself. Get rid of the “shoulds” in your life, as this is YOUR life and you owe it to yourself to live it your way.
Photo by: orangebrompton