Work-life balance is a system individually customized to maximize attention, effort, and time, while simultaneously maximizing enjoyment. Work-life balance today requires the mastery of maintaining your mental, physical and spiritual health — and keeping it independent from the workplace.
Maintaining mental health means managing stress levels to stay in your respective safe zone and refusing to allow your job to take full control over your mind and schedule. Whether you are hired to work at a company or have created a company of your own, always remember to respect your on-time and your off-time. If you are constantly on and never have personal time, burning out can happen a lot faster than expected thus resulting in your inability to be sharp on a daily basis. Be ambitious, hard working, and forward thinking, but be sure not to apply unnecessary and unhealthy stress to an already stressful process.
If you know that your targeted effort must be consistent in order to achieve advancement, put forth a regular amount of effort and create systems for yourself that are specific to your path and your personal preferences. Don’t allow the pace and progression of your professional development to steer you into depression. Instead, problem-solve one problem at a time.
If you are currently serving at an entry or mid-level job, you may want to do more work now to climb that ladder of success. You still have your energy, grit and time, but there is a way to do everything. There is nothing wrong with coming in a little early, staying at the office a little later, or even taking some work home, but be sure to set aside a few hours for yourself. If you can’t ask yourself what's the last book you read for pleasure, the last time you slept in, the last time you enjoyed time with bae, friends, or loved ones without obsessively checking your email, it may be time to dial back. Worrying about work and actually working are not the same things. If you fully dedicate your time and attention while completing work assignments, then having a little time to yourself won't feel as bad.
Your body is the tool that allows you to do amazing work in your respective industries, and for that reason, in addition to so much more, you should respect your body. Respect the fact that your body needs food, water, rest and exercise. Those four items alone can enhance your ability to complete quality work by increasing your attention span, bettering your physical wellness, and enhancing your mental wellness.
The goal is to eat food that makes you happy and is a feel good experience for both your taste buds and the rest of your body. Food is a necessity and it gives you energy, so enjoy it instead of avoiding it!
You should be drinking enough water to replenish the body and stay hydrated. Hydration and over-consumption of caffeinated beverages are not the same.
Try sleeping without the interruption of technology. Yes, I'm suggesting that you turn off the TV and laptop before bed and put your phone away 30-45 minutes prior to you actually going to sleep. Try to exercise regularly and customize it to fit your style. Are you an early bird that doesn’t mind sweating before work? Then hit the gym closest to your home or job and get to it. Like a post-work workout? Well bring your gym bag to the office and tuck it away until the end of the day. Not into doing any extraneous work during the week? Try setting up sessions with a trainer over the weekend so that you can still get your time in. Simply hate the gym? Buy a trampoline, ride a bike, go for a run, go for a hike, or take up boxing. Just be sure to do something to stay active.
We all have our own ways of finding spiritual balance or peace, but you have to have time and energy to maneuver that process effectively. Sometimes a crisis can be avoided by mindful meditation, prayer, or in communal fellowship with those who share your belief. The article “What Role Do Religion and Spirituality Play in Mental Health?,” published by the American Psychological Association, has found benefits in the use of religion or spirituality in the healing, or developmental progression, of individuals seeking treatment for trauma, depression and high-stress levels.
Give yourself a designated time or day to bask in spiritual fulfillment or enjoyment. Consider creating healthy spiritual daily habits that are more than just another thing on your to-do list, and allow it to encourage and refresh you. You shouldn’t have to be crashing and burning before you finally decide to take the totality of your wellness seriously.
Sometimes instead of working 10x harder, our aim should be to enhance work-life balance to mirror behavior and attitudes consistent with working 10x smarter.
Work-life balance ensures that careers, family, relationships, physical health, mental health and spiritual health are all contributing to a larger picture of a complete life. Each component is important, but each aspect should only be a part of the whole picture of your life. It is the balance of the varying parts, including the misfires and successes in each, that allow us to live satisfactory lives filled with both work and play.
Take life’s eggs out of the singular basket of your workplace. Create space in your day for more than just the obligations that fall within the boundaries of "adulting." Acknowledge the priceless value of time and attention, then decide to invest in it. Be intentional about the life you customize for yourself.
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