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Can You Become Too Focused On Something – and Jeopardize Other Areas of Your Life?

Can You Become Too Focused On Something – and Jeopardize Other Areas of Your Life?

Let me introduce Robert. He is passionate about building his online business, because he thinks that’s his ticket out of his day job.

He is putting a lot of hours in on a daily basis and he is making a very nice progress every day.

Good for Robert, right? Or is it really?

You see, he has been focusing too intensively on just one area of his life. Sure, he’s even making some money off his online venture, but at the same time, he feels tired and stressed. It’s not because of his workload – he absolutely loves what he does.

The problem is that his life is out of balance. He has a family, but he’s ignored them lately in his dedication to his online business. In addition, he has some health issues, since he never has time to exercise or fix his diet. He starts to question his success in his business. Is it worth it, since it’s putting the other parts of his life off-balance?

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Things don’t look so good for him and unless he starts making changes soon, he’ll lose the most valuable things in his life: his family and his health. The good news for Robert and anyone else who is struggling with the same issues is he doesn’t have to give up on his business. There are things that he can do to change the situation.

Taking things for granted

It’s actually quite easy to see why Robert’s life is falling apart. He’s focusing too much on one area of his life while ignoring the other parts. No-one’s life should be centered on only one area; it needs to be spread across many. In order to live a healthy, abundant life, you have to get a bird’s eye perspective of things and see your whole life, not just one part of it.

Also, when you are focusing too much on something, you’ll start taking things for granted, like:

  • Yes, my wife/kids/friends will understand why I work so hard
  • Yes, I can fix my health issues later
  • Yes, I’ll rest later, I’m doing just fine

Unfortunately, this is the perfect recipe for disaster, and if you take things for granted for too long, you’ll do a disservice to yourself and those around you.

Do you respect yourself?

It’s fear that is pushing Robert so hard. He’s afraid that he’ll never be able to resign from his day job and start living his online dream. That’s why he works so hard every day. Then there is the slacker issue. If he doesn’t work hard, he labels himself as a procrastinator, who is not committed enough to his business.

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Unfortunately, he is not able to see that the amount of work he does is already outside the healthy boundaries and it’s already turning against him. Further, he fails to see that he is not alone. The reality is that there are many “Roberts” out there who are facing the same situation as he is – building their businesses part-time and looking for a way out their day jobs.

It can be done; they just need to do it smartly…

Getting back in balance

1. Know the signs. Learn to listen carefully what your family or friends have to say about you and your habits. If you are unsure of what is going on, just ask!

You could also have a regular discussion with your spouse or with the whole family about the situation and how things could be improved. The sooner you improve things, the fewer conflicts there are going to be in the future.

2. Understand your goal and the risks. Make sure you understand what is at stake: Are you really willing to risk the well-being of your family or your health for reaching a goal? Once you see the whole picture, you’ll most likely decide to take proactive action and seek for the balance.

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3. Change the perspective. See things from family’s perspective. For instance, do you really know how your spouse feels, when you are working all the time – while she has to take care of your children (especially if they are small)? Instead, switch roles where you take care of the children while your spouse is out of the home or doing his/her thing. When you understand how the other person feels and it’s easier to make decisions to balance your life.

4. Make your schedules public. Make sure that you define your schedules (working, hobbies …) and then share this information with your family. This could be done for example by using a family calendar and putting it on the fridge door. This way everyone is on the same page about when you are available to them.

5. Allocate time for other stuff too. Our lives shouldn’t be just work – it should contain other things as well. Make sure you dedicate time for yourself, your family, and your friends. This way you can create a balanced life and you will feel much better.

6. Join forces. Form a private Facebook group where you can interact with other likeminded people, for e.g. entrepreneurs. You can share information, ask tips for better productivity or how others have dealt with off-balance situations in their lives.

In conclusion

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When you focus too much on a single area of your life, the consequences can be disastrous. That’s why it’s always important to make sure things aren’t out of balance. When your life is balanced, you are happy and more productive.

Have you ever been too focused on something?

Featured photo credit:  Young man looking at a mirror and aiming via Shutterstock

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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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