For most of us who work, our time away from the office is spent on other responsibilities and it feels like we just never seem to be able to achieve the ever elusive, but very much talked about, work-life balance. As best as we try to attain such stability, it just seems like the more we pursue it, the more it slips through our fingers.
You may try your best to take some time off for yourself, however, these times always seem to get dedicated to more work: work around the house, running errands, basically anything that you’ve been meaning to do in your life that you were too tired to attend to after a long day of work. The intention to move towards balance is always present, however, most of us find it really hard to properly accomplish this state of being when we always feel too overwhelmed with work, responsibilities, and a constant sense of not being adequately productive.
Below are eight habits that can help you start working towards the goal of a well balanced life:
1. Choose the quality of life you desire
In order for you to achieve work-life balance, you have to first determine the quality of life that you are hoping to achieve. While this might seem redundant, many of us have never really decided on the quality of life we aspire to maintain. Instead, we just take it a day at a time with no further thought to what we are really trying to create as our standard of living. This quality of life should not revolve on our possessions but rather on the more intangible (and fulfilling) parts of our lives, such as values and relationships.
2. Know your limits and respect them
Understand that you too have a breaking point where your body both physically and mentally will require a rest. Be in tune with yourself and know how to manage your body. It is best to know your limits and stay within these parameters than to overdo it and regret it later.
3. Set aside time for those close to you
Your family and friends usually tend to be the ones that will help you realize when you are overdoing it. However, those closest to us are usually the ones who get to share less of our time if we are constantly working. Be sure to set aside some quality time with the ones that matter the most.
4. Build a support network
Usually your support network is made up of those who have been there to support you through your successes and failures without judgment, simply attending to you with a listening ear and words of encouragement. Be sure to surround yourself with those who will always present you with truth and honesty and able to build you up in your times of weakness.
5. Increase your social activities
Get out of the house, fill your calendar with more than just meetings and deadlines, find a common interest group, join an exercise group or attend that weekly social event you always wondered about. The point is to get out of your normal surrounding and your monotonous daily routine. Discover the life that is happening around you.
6. Take some time off
It may surprise you but your coworkers (and your boss for that matter) will survive your absence, no matter what they tell you. Be sure to take some time off for yourself to reconnect, relax, and just enjoy a couple of days where you have absolutely nothing in your planner! Whether you choose a travel destination or simply decide to rediscover your city: take the time to enjoy yourself.
7. Turn off technology
Social media, television, laptops, and other electronic devices can survive without you too. You can benefit significantly from disengaging from these devices for a few hours. You don’t always have to be the first to know what’s going on in the online social universe. Take some time off to do something relaxing and give your fingers and eyes a rest.
8. Periodically reevaluate your life
Sometimes it’s good to look at where you’ve come from and see where you are in life. Is it where you planned to be? What factors that are in your control could you change? Take some time to consider this and make necessary adjustments.
We all get the same amount of hours in the day, but it is how we organize them that separate the success stories from the failures when it comes to work-life balance. Everyone’s idea of work-life balance differs but one thing is for sure: we all share a need for some form of equilibrium in our lives.
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