In today’s fast-paced world, it can seem impossible to balance work and life without sacrificing bits from either. People are more career-driven than ever before and they want to achieve their dreams at any cost. However, some things just aren’t worth sacrificing. A proper balance is necessary in order to remain happy and productive. A big part of success is how you handle this balance.
1. Draw out your plans
Every success story starts with a good plan. You can’t go on a journey without knowing where exactly you’re headed. If you know what your endgame is, you’re able to prioritize and make the right decisions that will get you there in a good timeframe.
What are your hopes and dreams? At the end of the day, we all have some kind of goal that keeps us going. All that dedication and work aren’t all for nothing. However, figuring out what drives you can be tough. If your ultimate goal is to develop a very successful career, work should be your main focus. On the other hand, what if having a successful career is a way for you to achieve happiness and comfort? Are you more interested in the ends or the means of reaching those ends?
A lot of people fight with these thoughts, which is why it’s so important for you to take a step back and get a good grip on what it is you really want. Once you have that figured out, formulating a good plan should be your next step.
2. Don’t push yourself too hard
We all know that one person that works a little too hard for their own good. The effects of overworking yourself are very noticeable. If you have big dreams for your future, you might think it’s justified to give your job 110% of your dedication. You might think that this is a good work ethic in practice, but it’s going to do you a lot more harm than it will good in the long run.
A proper work ethic requires a particular type of balance. To achieve your ultimate goals, you need to have a clear head to start with. If you’re overworking yourself to the point of stress, you’re not actually reaching your goal any faster than you would with less work. Everyone has their breaking point and it’s important that you don’t get anywhere near it.
If you think that you have to sacrifice your personal life or health in order to get ahead at work, you’ve got the wrong idea. The most successful individuals you’ll run into all have a very well-balanced schedule that includes things that aren’t related to work. Sure, sometimes you’ll have days that feel extremely work-oriented, but that shouldn’t become a habit. There’s a time and place for work and it should always be limited to some extent.
3. Keep your friends close
Too busy to go out with friends? We all have busy days, there’s nothing wrong with that. Do your friends have to schedule an appointment three weeks in advance just to see you? That’s when you know you have a problem.
Humans are inherently social animals. Most of the activities we participate in include other people. Spending time with people is an actual need that is etched into our brains. Sure, we can fight it and spend most of our days alone, but the need is still very much present. Sometimes, you might not even notice that you really need to spend time with others.
You should never leave your friends on the back burner in favour of your career. You can never be too busy for friendship. Try to make some time for them at least once a week. Go out for coffee or drinks. After all, what good is success if you have no one to share it with?
4. Remember that you’re only human
People make mistakes. Even the most dedicated among us aren’t perfect. The only difference is who can keep the illusion going longer. Instead of pretending that you’re a machine, you should shatter that illusion and admit to yourself that you can’t always succeed. One of the metrics of success is repeated failure. A successful individual has failed more times than the unsuccessful one has even tried.
To be more specific, don’t beat yourself up over work and deadlines. An impeccable record isn’t your main goal, high-quality work is. Some factors are simply out of your control. If you catch the flu right before you have to finish a major project, how will you manage? A stubborn person might try to power through and deliver sub-par work. Others would stress out and lose their focus.
There’s no shame in asking for help. If you’ve nurtured your work relationships, you can always consult a coworker for help with a project. One shaky deadline doesn’t make you lazy or bad at your job. Discuss your situation with your boss and they’ll probably try to find a nice middle ground to help you out. Open communication at work will do you a lot of good.
5. Never neglect physical health
Balancing your career and personal life is hard enough on its own, throwing exercise into the mix seems almost like an impossible task. When you come back home from a busy day, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym, right? Even something as relaxing as yoga might take away too much of your time to be worth the hassle. However, this line of thinking won’t get you anywhere.
Physical exercise is a crucial part of our overall health. You heard that right –overall health. It’s not just a way to keep your body in shape and prevent your joints from hurting every time you leave your desk. Exercising does wonders for mental health and relaxation as well. Your body craves physical activity in order to feel right. Neglecting this aspect of your health won’t do a lot of good for your motivation and productivity. Even if an exercise regime takes an hour of your time each day, you can count on the boost of hormones and adrenaline to give you an additional push towards your other goals.
If you’re really strapped for time during your day, you can try to incorporate exercise into other activities. Walking is a severely underrated physical activity. Throw on a pair of earbuds with your favourite music, don your running shoes and simply walk wherever you want to go. If this is a bit too slow for your pace, you can always ride a bike instead. There’s no shortage of electric bicycles online that will get you where you want to be in a jiffy. Not only are you going to skip any and all traffic jams in your way and get to your destination faster, but you’re also getting the perfect workout along the way. All of this while not losing any productive time from your day. Even if you get tired, the electric part of the bike can take over and make the trip easier.
6. Consistency is key
When you’re a busy bee, life can get pretty hectic. Your life and career are constantly intermingling and your schedule suffers for it. It can be hard to remember all the things you have to do in a day, which can lead to some panic before deadlines. If you end up losing out on some important activities, that could spell trouble.
One day you’re balancing everything perfectly despite the stress and on another one, you’re up to your neck in work and you can’t get a good night’s sleep. It can happen, but is the work always to blame? If you aren’t organizing your time properly, you could end up cramming a lot of work into a small time frame.
Without a proper routine, you can easily find yourself lost in your work. This could end up disrupting your sleep schedule or your fitness routine. One missed day becomes two and two easily become more. Eventually, you forego a lot of the things you planned out for your week. This is something you should definitely avoid.
No matter what, make sure you’re doing right by your schedule. If you’ve decided to continue your workout sessions, you have to stick by them every day. Don’t start neglecting your hobby because you procrastinate with work. If you start looking at these “extra-curricular” activities like they’re just as important as work, you’ll probably find that little bit of extra time to do them.
People like to think that success requires forfeiting other elements of your life. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. With a couple of small changes to your line of thinking, you can achieve success and not sacrifice any of the important things that make up your everyday life.
By Mianna Korben