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6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

Life gets so busy with work, family, and social engagements. It’s easy to let yourself get caught up in the grind and forget to take time for yourself, but if you start neglecting yourself, then all aspects of your life will suffer. It might seem hard to take time for yourself when everything else is demanding your attention, but you can start to stay balanced by taking these easy steps to manage your life.

1. Work out.

This might sound like more work for some of you—or is that just me? Trying to make time for the gym just isn’t something I get excited about, so it’s easy to push that to the bottom of my To Do list—and then never get to it. The sad thing is, I know once I go to the gym and get started on a workout, I’m going to feel great. Even walking or jogging around your neighborhood can make you feel better if hitting the gym isn’t your thing. Exercise gets your adrenaline going, gets your heart pumping, and helps circulate blood throughout your body. All of these things help your body and your mind feel invigorated.

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2. Rest.

Resting might sometimes seem difficult to make time for, but for the opposite reasons of working out! With exercising, you just don’t want to do it. With resting, you want to do it, but can’t because you have too much to do, or if you manage to close your eyes, a family member comes up and starts asking you questions. In reality, resting goes hand in hand with working out! Exercise gets your body going, but rest also helps re-invigorate your body and mind.

You don’t have to take an hour-long nap, or even close your eyes! Just take some time to recline however you feel most comfortable and forget about your responsibilities. We spend too much of our waking hours worrying about what we need to do, what we’ve done, what we should have done, and so on. Those thoughts have no room during your resting time. You don’t have to know how to meditate to relax without sleeping; just let your mind go blank, or if you’d rather go to your happy place, try to focus on that rather than any real life worries.

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3. Nourish your soul.

What makes you feel like you? You might be an accountant, but feel like your true self is an artist. Or maybe you love to knit just to knit, even if you don’t sell your goods online. Perhaps you consider yourself a writer, even if no one has ever read your words. Any creative outlet you have needs to be explored, regardless of whether you want to “become” something noteworthy or not. Exploring creative endeavors unrelated to your full-time job will help you nourish your soul. So much time is spent at work that it’s easy to get caught up in that mindset and spend too much of your off time thinking about work tasks. Forget all of that when you clock out, and dedicate time to things that make you feel happy, and make you feel in tune with your true self.

4. Make time for your loved ones.

It’s too easy to try to multitask by thinking about work or chores that need to be done when you’re with family. You might think that they’ll always be around so you can sit down and spend time with them later, but that’s often not true. Your family members all have their own lives, and though it may seem like you have to put yours on hold to spend time with them, take advantage of the opportunity and push the demands of life to the side. When you’re with your family, make sure you’re completely with them. If you keep worrying about what needs to be done next, you won’t enjoy your time with others. You need to have fun whatever you’re doing, whether it’s watching a movie, playing a game, making dinner, or spring cleaning the house. Your priority should be the people, not what you’re doing or what should come next.

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5. Maximize your output.

Multitasking is touted as being the way to get the most done, but that’s not true. Multitasking actually means you’re taking time and concentration away from one task and applying it to another, and when you try to go back to the first task, you have to take extra time to re-acquaint yourself with what needs to be done. Instead of trying to multitask and taking three times as long to finish three tasks, focus completely on one task at a time, and complete it before moving on. This will keep you feeling balanced instead of scattered. If you only have a certain amount of time for a task, whether you need to complete it before a deadline at work or before the kids get home from school, make the most of this time and do as much as you can instead of procrastinating. You’ll feel better once you finish your project, and you’ll get to relax when it’s over!

6. Don’t be afraid to say no.

Part of feeling frazzled and stretched too thin is saying yes to everything. Many people feel the need to never turn down a project, social engagement, or favor. This can be detrimental because you won’t have time to complete everything, so you’ll cut corners on some of your tasks. Or, even more negative, you’ll stress yourself out and lose sleep because you’re so busy with all of these other engagements! Don’t be afraid to say no to more responsibility at work if it will affect how well you do your job. Say no to baking enough cupcakes for your kid’s entire class the night before the party. Saying no won’t make people hate you, but saying yes and failing to deliver will make you look bad. Don’t give excuses when you say no, either—just say you’re not able to handle the task at this time, and make sure you stay focused on keeping your life balanced.

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Featured photo credit: peddhapati via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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