Take Back Control of Your Life
Think of a time you may have had to balance something physically, perhaps the playground see-saw. You and a friend sit on opposite sides. You must shift your weight forward and backward until you and your friend eventually allow the see saw to balance out.
Well, that see-saw is now LIFE.As adults, we seek equilibrium: that state in which all of the opposing forces in our lives are balanced. We desire to manage our time so that our career, family, friends, home, health, finances, spirit, self all get an appropriate amount of our individual time. However, with the endless beckoning of work duties from meetings to clients to reports, we often feel spread too thin.In fact, I hear it all the time: "I am at work all day. I don't have time to exercise, take care of myself, spend time with family, cook at home, hang out with friends..." Yes, the many hours spent at work can be relentless, but it isn't time to exchange your nametag for a clown suit and a set of juggling pins quite yet. When we say we do not have time for things, we are in fact acknowledging they are just as important as the job-related aspects of our lives. Despite our acknowledgements, we have not figured out how to manage it all without over-exhausting ourselves or feeling as if nothing can ever be accomplished. So, try to focus your energy and time on finding your own rhythm for life so that all of the important things do not always take the back seat to work.
Try these few tricks to help your juggling act as employee, parent, spouse, friend, self, etc.
We all understand technology's important role in our jobs, but this ever-evolving scientific development may just be serving as a double-edged sword for our lives. Workplace stress is a day-to-day state of being for many, and technology is one of the greatest contributors to this type of stress. But did you know, there once was a time when work was left at the office and could never follow us into our personal lives? Nonetheless, times have changed. With the invention of cell phones, laptops, and tablets, technology can be at our fingertips 24/7. Thus, we all feel the pressure to continue to enter this data electronically, return that email within a timely manner, jump on this teleconference, answer that phone call, schedule this virtual appointment...OH SHOOT there's that reminder for my report due tomorrow morning-do this-do that! Sometimes, we just need to unplug! Allow your mind and body time to unwind and focus on YOUR life outside of work. Leave the laptop at work, turn off the work emails on your phone, and when you hear the phone ring, remind yourself it can wait until tomorrow!
2. Schedule Down Time
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, our day to day lives often feel like they are scheduled for us without our own input! Downtime is just as important as work, making dinner for the family, taking the kids to school and sports practice, grocery shopping, paying the bills, etc. Downtime can be a way we retain our sense of who we are as individuals, so take back control of your life! When you plan your week, arrange certain times and days with your family and friends. Plan out doing things that you enjoy and even activities outside of your norm that help you recharge. I asked a friend where she had gotten her freshly painted nails done, and she explained that her husband pick ups their children from school every other Thursday so she can go relax and treat herself to a mani and pedi. She went on to say that she really looks forward to being able to unwind and just breathe! I challenge you to see how downtime can fit into your schedule. Perhaps you can schedule a date night with your spouse, a walk in the park with the dog, a weekend getaway with friends, a morning jog by yourself, or just time to bask in the sun. Do whatever it is that helps you feel revitalized and be you!
3. Slow Down
Assuming the average adult spends 39.2 hours per week on the job (18 to 67 years old), hours worked would total 92,120 hours within this 49 year career life. This of course may vary for you, but we all spend many endless hours consumed by our jobs and other responsibilities of life. So, perhaps it's human nature to take on work obligations and life responsibilities, but its also OK to slow down a little bit! Life is too short to let it rush by while you focus all of your energy on one, single thing. Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you. Try scheduling more time between work meetings, avoid making plans every evening or weekend, and take five minutes to do nothing or meditate so that your mind can refocus. Distance yourself from things that suck the energy out of you (in a bad way) so you have energy to focus on more important things. Basically, stop and smell the roses from time to time!