Working toward a better work-life balance

scowlingly ‘Men for the sake of getting a living, forget to live.’ Margaret Fuller    

In all likelihood you’ve been there… and you may have seen generations of your family and friends go through the same! You’re working endlessly, but find that you have so little to show for it! Hard work alone doesn’t always pay, and that’s a fact. I’ve had times where the days of stress accumulated into weeks, which then turned into months, and when it started to affect my health, I told myself that I wouldn’t put myself through that again. As the story goes though, my work-horse nature took over, and before I knew it I began working frantically yet again, scrambling to ridiculous self-imposed deadlines, with weeks passing by in a blur. Thankfully, a bit of good sense kicked in, and although I had to make a concerted effort to do so, I forced myself to stop, take a step back, assess the situation and devise ways of working smarter and not harder. And that’s not just something that ‘people’ say. You can actually get more done in less time, and lead a more balanced life in the process.

Anyone who knows me, will know that I’m a hard worker by nature… and I do believe that having goals and working toward them is good for you, but one of the major mindset changes for me has been getting around to understanding that just working hard doesn’t always mean that you’ll reach your goals. What I’ve learned instead, is that periods of rest, enjoyment and contemplation not only helps to rejuvenate, but also assist with focus and creativity when you do actually get back to your scheduled tasks. I struggled for a while, feeling guilty if I took time out when I still had outstanding tasks to complete, but I managed this by scheduling my tasks as well as time out. Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean that you’re being lazy or avoiding work, it just means that you’re taking care of an additional area of responsibility- i.e. your responsibility toward ensuring your general well-being.

I now work toward practicing the concept of totality… looking at all the areas of my life that need attention, and my overall well-being. Depending on priorities, there will undoubtedly be times where the emphasis and your energies are focused on one area more than any other, but the important thing is to keep the others on your radar, and divert attention back to them as soon as you are able to.