We all know how demanding life can be, both at work and personally. And in truth, we will never have a perfect balance. Sometimes work will demand more attention from us and other times, our personal life will. And this is neither wrong nor bad necessarily. So, how do we make the most of it all?
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create”– Jana Kingsford
I hope that if you take away anything from this article, it is just that, you create the balance (or the lack thereof) in your life.
Habit no. 1: Routine
This habit, which may seem super boring but is effective, is to create routines that work for you. Good routines help you be more organized, and you will experience less stress because you effectively reduce decision fatigue, daily. Create routines, especially in the mornings and evenings, and include aspects such as meals, meal preparation, exercise, and sleep. Schedule these all into your diary and create hard limits around these.
Habit no. 2: Setting healthy boundaries.
Boundaries are limits or rules we set for ourselves, often based on personal values and they protect us. We need to identify our boundaries, communicate them, keep them simple (there is no need to explain yourself), and then explain what the consequences are if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries.
Habit no. 3: Time management and priorities.
Your priorities are those things that are important to you. You will have different personal and professional priorities and that is okay but even these can be ranked. Chances are your no. 1 priority is the wallpaper on your phone. Here is a question for you: Is your to-do list in line with your priorities? If not, what can you do to change that?
You may recognize this time management graph:
This is a great filter to manage your time. We all have a finite amount of time so use it wisely.
Habit no. 4: Effective communication
“Getting mad at someone for never meeting a need you’ve never asked for, is like getting mad at the server for not bringing you food you never ordered.”– Tom Bilyeu
This quote hit me hard a few months ago. We often assume others know our needs and expectations but if we don’t clearly articulate them, chances are they will never be met.
Habit no. 5: Self-care
This is simply taking care of oneself with behaviors that promote health. This is a daily and continuous practice. We cannot serve others when we don’t look after ourselves. It is no coincidence that on an airplane they instruct you to put your own mask on first before assisting others.
Habit no. 6: Being present
“Your presence is the most precious gift you can give another human being.”– Marshall B. Rosenburg
Whether we are at home or at work, being present with whomever you are with or in whatever task you are busy with, helps us to be more productive. This practice is also known as mindfulness.
Over the next few days, use these habits as filters and critically assess where you can make small, incremental changes towards creating the balance that you desire in your life.
This article was originally published in Purely Local KZN: March 2023 Issue