Life balance always seems to be a popular topic, partly because we all struggle to find it at times. Balance is however an essential part of finding happiness in life and business.
The problem is that we often struggle to define exactly what balance means and what a balanced life should look like. The answer varies for everybody, but how do we go about achieving it and what should we be doing to bring calm back to our hectic lives?
There are a number things we can do to encourage a more balanced lifestyle. By implementing a number of small measures we can start to take back control and regain some order. These simple adjustments can add up and over time contribute to a happier, healthier and more productive life.
Without a clear vision in life, not only will you lack direction, you will also struggle to understand exactly where you should be focusing your energy. Lack of balance is associated with being out of control and by setting clear goals you can really drill down on what is most important to you and begin to cut out things that don't propel you towards their attainment. No balanced life comes from a position of chaos and the simple act of gaining clarity can bring calm to and purpose to your life.
It is impossible to maintain balance without a clear plan. 'Flying by the seat of your pants' may seem to work for some people but ultimately it leads to a chaotic lifestyle and further problems down the road. By having a clear plan each day, week and month we can ensure that we have time to focus on all areas of our lives. We can break the plan down to focus on business, health, family and individual goals and ensure that we are devoting time to each.
Sometimes the act of committing a plan to paper can highlight areas of imbalance that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. It allows us to head off problems before they appear and we are not at the mercy of other people's plans when we have a clearly defined schedule of our own.
Learn To Say No
Sometimes lack of balance is caused by simply having too many unnecessary tasks to complete. By learning to say no to tasks which aren't essential we can immediately wrestle back time and energy to focus on things which will add value to our lives.
One of the easiest ways to gain balance is to assess at the end of each day and fine tune any areas that need it. We all have days that seem to be manic from start to finish. Too many of these and we can be thrown off synch so much that it starts to impact other areas of our lives.
By taking stock at the end of each day not only are we able to see what worked and what didn't, we are also more likely to keep on track over time. If something isn't working take corrective action. If you are annoyed that you didn't get more time in a certain area of your life , draw up a new plan for the days ahead. It's your life and you have the power to shape it how you see fit. Don't get stuck in a rut. Reassess daily and build habits that that align with your purpose and vision.
Ask For Help
Many of us feel overwhelmed at times, whether physically or emotionally and it's at these points when we feel most off track. Sometimes all we need in these situations is to ask for help. The act of sharing a problem can lighten the loads we place on ourselves and clear the brain fog. Have a strong network of people you can rely on to support you. Use them to lean on when things are going wrong and you'll find yourself back on course in no time.
We often feel most out of control when we hand responsibility for ourselves over to others. By acknowledging we have full responsibility over our lives we immediately gain control. Stop blaming and making excuses and take 100% ownership over your actions. Stop surrendering control of your life and take back the power to decide your own fate. By doing this we can easily gain a sense of mastery over ourselves and with it the balance we desire.
Know When To Stop
Work/Life balance pre-supposes that there is a distinction between the two. Problems very easily occur when we allow one to blend with the other.
Working late into the night or weekends? Allowing your hangover to drag into working time? Finishing work early for the match?
By having clear shut off points for work and play we can compartmentalise and avoid unwanted stress and pressure. There may be times where you have to work late to get a project completed, just don't allow the lines between work and play to get blurred. Set clear work times and be strict with them. While you are in work be as productive and organised as you can be. Ensure that you focus on the work that needs doing and don't get sucked into personal tasks during work time. Save them for after work or the weekend. On the other side, don't sacrifice important recreation and family time to complete tasks that should have been done in the office.
Last but not least, don't stress if things don't go to plan. Sometimes if we miss a visit to the gym we stop going completely. One bad days eating turns into a week. Don't set perfection as the minimum standard and realise there will be days when things don't go as we hoped. Acknowledge what went wrong , reassess and go again the next day. By accepting things will happen from time to time you relieve pressure. As long as you have a plan in place, you can always take corrective action. Finding balance is a journey and along the way there will be bumps.