Achieving balance between work and life and living on purpose is very important. Often we get so involved with day-to-day pressures that we end up reacting to external demands instead of designing lives that provide us with fulfillment. Even though we encounter a substantial amount of job related stresses in today’s economic environment, it’s still possible to attain a balance between our work and the rest of our lives. The following are some ideas to help you do just that:
Determine What is Important to You – When we don’t know what is important to us, it is very easy to let external demands determine our actions. The result can be that we feel our lives have lost their purpose. When we know what really matters to us (i.e., career, family, friends, health), these critical areas become the barometer against which our decisions are made. For instance, if you feel that being with your family is important, you might cut back on some of your professional meetings so you can spend more time at home.
Define What Level Of Performance Is Acceptable – Everything that we do does not to be perfect in spite of what most super achievers believe. Okay is actually good enough in some cases. Break tasks into categories based on ones where the only acceptable standard is excellence and other tasks that can be less than perfect. My associates enjoy a good laugh at my expense when I attend meetings with my binder that has a substantial amount of paper sticking out from every end. I shove whatever pertains to the meeting into the binder so I can pull it out when I need it. Could I be more organized? Absolutely, but the extra effort is not worth it to me. However, when it comes to getting my programs ready, I am meticulously organized. I write notes for everything I need and check off each item after I place it in the appropriate folder. Before I leave for an event, I triple-check to be sure I have everything. When it comes to my programs, I only accept excellent performance. However, I’m willing to cut myself a bit of slack with other things. This simple change in performance expectations is an effective means of achieving balance between work and life.
Combine Activities -Can you enjoy 2 or more important aspects of your life simultaneously by combining activities that you enjoy? For example, my best friend owns a business. Every week we have a lunch meeting and discuss how to improve our businesses. Then on Saturdays, my husband and I workout at the gym together. So, we get our bodies in tiptop shape while we enjoy each other’s company. Combining activities saves time and allows you to meet multiple goals with reduced stress.
Meditate and Exercise Regularly – You may think you cannot possibly fit meditation and exercise into your already overcrowded schedule. However, taking time to meditate and exercise regularly can do much to reduce your stress and improve your productivity. Studies have proven that people who exercise regularly are usually more creative than those that move little. This means that their ability to find creative solutions to their challenges is enhanced. They also have the energy to do the work that is required. Meditation also increases energy and creativity and reduces stress levels. Taking a few minutes out of your day to engage in relaxation techniques like this will pay off in big dividends.
Delegate and Then Delegate Some More – Take some time out to consider the things you do. Can any of those tasks be delegated to someone else? Could some of your team members develop some important skills by taking over some tasks you are performing now? If so, enable your team members to learn and grow by delegating these tasks to them. Is it possible for your family members to help you with certain activities? I used to make every dish for our holiday meals. Now other people help create the dinner by bringing something that they have cooked. We get to sample a variety of foods and I have the time and energy to enjoy my guests.
Learn to Say No – Just because someone asks you to do something, does not mean you have to say yes. I realize this is more difficult to do in your job or business, but we can often assert our power of no in our personal lives. If someone asks you to do something, think about whether you can really handle the extra pressure. If you can and you want to do it, then say yes. If it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, then answer with a guilt-free no. Do those things that are important to you and bring joy into your life.
Refer to these ideas to ensure that you are constantly trying to achieving balance between work and life. Not only will it help you to achieve a greater level of control, but it will enable you to feel more fulfilled while you perform your daily tasks and other endeavors.