Are Your Work Life Balance Goals Too Big?
Lao Tzu once said, “Govern a nation as you would cook a small fish. Don’t overdo it.”
This saying is very true and applies to us when it comes to governing our lives too. Society these days is extremely stressful and moves at a breakneck pace.
We want more, we want it faster and very often, we want it yesterday. We want to be the best and have the most in the least amount of time.
Our expectations of instant gratification and our constant need to outdo ourselves has taken a toll on millions of people who are stressed out and lead unbalanced lives.
Mental health issues are at an all-time high. With the advent of technology and this era having the most conveniences available, you’d expect life to be easier… and yet it’s more difficult and burdensome than ever before.
The key to achieving work-life balance in this insane world, will be to adopt a few tips and abide by them like your life depended on it.
Stop Aiming For Perfection
There’s a saying that ‘perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order’ and that’s undeniable. With social media so prevalent, people often feel a need to appear perfect to others. They seek validation like never before.
Filters are used for photos. Extreme measures are taken to portray a glossy lifestyle that’s worth of a magazine cover.
Yet, reality is often dull and dreary. Once you stop trying to please the masses and expect to be perfect, you’ll be less stressed out and be able to achieve some balance in your life.
While it’s good to challenge yourself to do the best you can at work, aiming for perfectionism will stagnate your progress and leave you feeling drained.
Trying To Do Too Much
There’s only so much you can do. Trying to have a million dollars in the bank account, washboard abs, a beautiful supermodel as a wife and fame all at the same time is highly unlikely to happen for most people.
Very few people achieve all these goals, and yet, these outliers are held as the paradigm of success instead of being treated as exceptions to the rule.
Most people struggle to control their eating habits. Just reining this one habit under control will be a Herculean task.
So, go slow and try not to do everything at once. Consistency and slow progress will get you better results than going hard until you’re on the verge of breaking down.
Don’t be a victim of unrealistic expectations. Write down your goals and make plans on achieving them – but give yourself a reasonable amount of time.
Want six pack abs? No problem. Try and get them over 8 months instead of 3. If you’re overweight, then give yourself a year. What’s the rush?
You have time. Don’t mess up your work-life balance by spending hours at the gym and neglecting other areas of your life.
Break Them Down Into Bite-Sized Chunks
Like they say, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. In the same way, break down your goals into micro-goals with multiple checkpoints along the way until you reach your destination.
Taking on more than you can handle today will deplete you of energy for tomorrow. If you experience burnout, you may lose all interest and end up in a slump for weeks which will set you back further.
Slow and steady wins the race. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. Approach life the same way and remember to rest and relax in equal proportions to your work.
Do You Have Trouble Switching Off from Work?
This is an all-too-common scenario that affects thousands of people all over the world and it’s especially prevalent in entrepreneurs and artists. You love your work so much that you just can’t switch off.
You’re either working more than you planned to or you can’t stop thinking about work even when you’re trying to sleep or in the middle of other activities such as eating, watching a movie and so on.
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
While that is true when it comes to finding job satisfaction and not dreading work, it doesn’t give one the license to obsess about work at the expense of everything else.
You still have to look after your health, your relationships, etc. Work is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Below you’ll find 5 ways to help you switch off from work and find peace and satisfaction in other activities.
Have Interesting Plans
Try and create an interesting life for yourself. If you have something fun to do after your work, you’ll be more engaged in the activity rather than doing mental gymnastics thinking about your work.
People who work from home should make an effort to be more social and go out occasionally so that they don’t end up living in their head all the time. Even introverts would do well to go outside for a walk and take in new sights and sounds.
The change of scenery will help to break monotony and give you a mental break from the constant whirring of gears in your own mind.
Be fun. Do fun things and enjoy life. It’s not all about work.
Avoid Checking Your Phone And Emails
Avoid checking your emails and answering work related calls once your working hours are over. You don’t want to risk getting sucked back into ‘work mode’.
Very often, people check on their emails even during their leisure hours without understanding that they’re actually sabotaging themselves. It’s even worse if you’re answering the emails or getting worked up over a difficult customer or situation.
Handle work issues during your working hours and switch off all access to you once you’re done for the day. It’s imperative that you draw boundaries if you wish to mentally switch off from work on cue.
Leave Work At Work
Avoid discussing work or work-related incidents when you’re back home. Find new topics to speak to your family about. Discuss plans for the next vacation. Or ask them what they’re watching on TV or how their day went.
The magic of life is in these moments when you show an interest in what those around you are doing. Time flies fast and the work will always be there… but those close to you may not.
Appreciate the time you have with them. In time to come, it’s these memories that you’ll fondly look back on.
Start A New Hobby
Pick up a new hobby that you enjoy. It could be something you’ve always wanted to do. Rock climbing, yoga, knitting, dancing, learning a new language, etc. are all opportunities to stretch your mind and body.
Try not to be competitive about it and just seek to enjoy the hobby for what it is – something to pour your passion into. It shouldn’t become a new job.
When you have a hobby you love, you’ll be glad to leave work and go work on your passion.
At the end of the day, work is a part of your life. It is not life. Understanding the difference will help you to treat work as an important activity but not an overarching one. Find balance and both your work and life will improve.
“Is there a place you can go to break away for a little while? If you haven’t yet built your tree house, it’s never too late to start.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road
Whatever you want in life will require discipline to achieve and maintaining a healthy work life balance is a small part of that. And if you want to know more about harnessing the power of self-discipline, then check out the featured resource below for a free report; download, read it and take action 🙂