Building a healthy work-life balance can feel impossible. Many workers are constantly connected via smartphones and other electronics and feel they can’t break away from the stream of work coming their way. However, there are points at which you have to put up a work-life barrier, both to protect your home life and to become a more productive worker.
Constant slogging at your to-do pile strips all the creative power out of your brain. Think of your work as a potter working wet clay on a wheel. Yes, pressure and focus are critical. But if all you apply is pressure and focus, all you can make are flat discs. You need to stop, sit back, and reconsider. You may need to just start certain tasks over. You might need to turn off the wheel and take a walk. Creativity can often be much more lucrative than hard work, but creativity can’t fire up under extreme pressure. Break away from the work you’re plowing through, celebrate your achievement and make time for enjoyment.
Working yourself to death can make you wealthy, respected and, well, dead. Once you’re dead, being wealthy doesn’t help and being respected just means your funeral is well-attended. Get in a workout. Get some sleep. Drowsy driving is dangerous, so if you aren’t properly resting, you’re endangering yourself and others. All work and no exercise can lead to weight gain, and you don’t want to spend all that money on bigger clothes. Exercise protects your spine against stress inflammation, your brain against memory loss, and your waist against expansion. It can also reduce your risk of biting off the head of a coworker or spouse. Figure out what your resources are and put them to work in support of your well-being. Hire someone to clean the house so you have time for a yoga class. Get your groceries delivered so you’re not shopping while exhausted and starving as this leads to poor purchasing choices and may require you to live on unhealthy options for the week.
It’s tempting to strive for constant productivity in everything you do. After all, productivity is efficient and a great use of your time. However, there are tasks that need quantity time and quality time. If you’re out for a walk with your child and they need to spend several seconds studying a dandelion, an ant or a bird feather on the sidewalk, don’t rush them or yourself. Allow yourself to be mentally present. Now is your time to disconnect from your to-do list. Remember, an enchanted forest is a place where time stops. If a child can turn a dandelion into an enchanted forest, we adults can learn from this.
It’s tempting to turn your work-life balance into an equation, but it won’t add up. Work minus life does not equal balance. It equals exhaustion, strained relationships, poor health, bad decisions, and possibly premature death. Know what your deal-breakers are. You have to eat healthy. You must get some rest. Your body and brain require the protection of a good workout. You deserve good health and the enjoyment of your achievements.
Here’s another article you might enjoy: Setting Realistic Time Management Goals