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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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Timo Kiander

Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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