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“Work–life balance is a concept which includes proper prioritising between work (career and ambition) and lifestyle (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).”
Is it even possible to achieve a work life balance, or is it just a fashionable thing to say? You are probably looking at this, and thinking that there aren’t enough hours in a day to possibly achieve this!
What I have learned is that, being a mother, wife, professional career women and a student, the first step to achieving this, is accepting that everything does not have the same level of importance every day. There are some days when work demands more, other days it’s the kids or school. The challenge is to navigate this.
My tricks for this balancing act are:
Keeping a gratitude journal - just by jotting down what I am grateful for, makes me want to do more of it, consciously.
Diarize all activities – including work and life. This helps to get a perspective of where my attention is needed so that I can prioritize accordingly.
Use free time purposefully – I naturally arise early, so that’s when I normally get my school work done, and knowing that I am not using my kids’ time to do school work, gives me an extra incentive to just do it.
Know what you stand for - certain things are non-negotiable. For me, missing my child’s school play or prize-giving, is a no-no, no matter what!
Reduce screen time – TV’s, computers and smartphones are both a blessing and a curse. If I don’t need to be looking at the screen, I don’t.
Plan a getaway or “staycation” – a holiday doesn’t have to be an expensive overseas trip. Sometimes just discovering a new part of town is all that I need to recharge my batteries. Finding a quiet spot at home to read a book or knit a scarf, also serves the purpose.
Learn something new – from learning a new language, trying a new recipe, a new hobby, anything. Try it at least once. If you don’t like it, change it.
Stop saying sorry and learn to say no – it is liberating, and allows you to be more productive.
Ask for help when you need it – it may be help with the children or chores, delegating certain tasks at work, and let go of the need to always be in control.
Exercise –going to gym, walking around the office block or dancing, any sort of exercise energizes me.
Free up time – I always have some cooked frozen food, which I prepare when I have some spare time. This comes in handy when I either don’t feel like cooking, or I am chasing a deadline.
Stay away from negative people – they rob you off your freedom and drain your soul.
It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck.
And remember: You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do. Make time to live your life. Make time to enjoy life.