Hey friends! I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while and with the holidays approaching, it seems like a good time to discuss work-life balance. As with most of my professionally-focused posts, I want to state that I’m not an expert. There are lots of times when I feel overwhelmed with work and like there is no alignment or balance and I think that’s normal. But, it should not be perpetual. So, here are my 5 tips for helping to find the balance or re-balance after busy times, and get ready, because these aren’t the typical tips you see in every other article about this.
#1 – Remember that your job is ONLY your job – This is literally and figuratively my number one tip. Our jobs are only our jobs, they don’t dictate everything in our lives, even though it can often feel that way. You likely give much more to your organization than its ever going to give back to you. You might go above and beyond, work overtime, and dedicate all of your waking hours to your career, but that’s too much. Your job is only one part of your life and it’s helpful to remind yourself of that fact when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your job should not require you to sacrifice relationships, your health or your wellness. If it is doing those things, it’s not your job, it’s YOU making those mistakes and you’d likely make them regardless of what job you had.
#2 – Get organized – People work better in clean, organized spaces. This is a proven fact. Spending a few minutes each day to get organized will help you stay on track and be more productive. This means that you’ll work better and faster than if you were in a cluttered or disorganized space, making it easier for you to find balance. BUT, organization isn’t just physical, it’s also mental. Organize your mental space, too. Take time to make lists, write down distracting thoughts, and clean up your brain to help you find greater balance.
# 3 – Plan all of your time – When I say plan all of your time, I mean it! Plan your vacations, plan dinners, plan time to relax. This doesn’t require you to be a schedule-obsessed, planner-addicted person. You don’t have to write out every minute of each day to do this, either. But having a plan with everything included helps you prioritize and gives you things to look forward too. This week, for example, I’m working longer and harder because I am taking next week completely off. Having those plans helps keep me motivated to accomplish tasks now, in order to play later.
#4 – Eliminate comparison – Stop comparing your life, your work, your style, your everything and anything to everyone else. It’s hard in today’s social media highlight-reel driven society, but it’s also essential to success. It’s so cheesy, but I always remind myself that there’s enough sun to shine on everyone. Someone else’s success doesn’t take away from your own or mean that there isn’t room for you. There are tons of bloggers, professors, lawyers, teachers, etc. and there is still room for more! You need to work on yourself, your job and your life for YOU. If you spend your time comparing yourself to others, you’re not only wasting your time but your cheating yourself out of time that could be better spent finding balance and happiness.
#5 – Ignore people – Yep, I said it! Ignore people that don’t make you feel good, that don’t support you, or that you just don’t like. You’re not a bad/mean/selfish person for doing this. You’re actually just the opposite. Having fulfilling relationships takes so much work, but the best relationships don’t feel like work at all. Those are the relationships you should cherish and if people don’t make you feel that way, ignore them. You don’t have to ignore people forever since sometimes you need different people at different times. But, don’t sacrifice your own balance for people and relationships that aren’t helping you in some way. Relationships should be mutually beneficial, and when they aren’t, end it.
What are your tips for finding work-life balance? Share them in the comments!
PS – Curious about careers that have great work-life balance? Check out this post!