Balancing Personal and Professional Life:
In society, there is a large importance placed upon working hard all the time. You see it the most in Western culture. Being from Canada, we see that we should always be working hard for everything we have. It is desired to be looked at as a “workaholic”. But is that really the best choice for us in the long run?
There is nothing wrong with working hard. There is nothing wrong with doing your best. But sometimes we place so much importance on it that it takes away from the more important things in life. Of course, if you love your job and it brings you joy, it makes sense to dedicate a lot of time to it. But there are times where we need to step back and focus on the balance.
Working too much and not working enough is a tricky wall to be on. If you work too much you risk burning yourself out, not making enough time for yourself, and you even risk health issues. However, not working enough can lead to stagnation, a lack of discipline, and low levels of motivation. So how do we balance the two? How does someone balance their personal and professional life?
Ways to help balance your personal and professional life are to:
Prioritizing your time:
Depending on how you like to spend your time, prioritizing looks different to each individual person. Organizing your tasks into what are the most urgent to the least urgent. Then to add more leisure time after. Making sure you get all your tasks done so that you can give yourself some time to relax and do the things you love.
For an extra tip, try to make the things that are urgent into stuff that you can enjoy. For example, find a way to enjoy cleaning your house. Personally, I like lighting a candle, playing music and cleaning because it helps me find more joy in the tasks that I set aside for myself. That way I finish my priorities and also enjoy it.
Have set work hours and stick to them:
Setting boundaries is very important. Setting yourself up for success is easiest when you put aside time to focus on work. You need time to unwind, relax, go to sleep in order to set yourself up for success for the next day.
Take time for yourself:
In Western culture, people tend to put themselves down. No one believes they deserve a break sometimes. I’m here to tell you that you do need a break. You deserve a break every once in a while. Growing up I would tell my mom all the time she needed a break and she never took one. Over the years it’s been hard for her to sit down and relax. She’s a single mom with 4 kids and doesn’t think she has the time to take leisure time. I’m here to say you deserve it. Do something you love and enjoy yourself. Even if you only have time for a 15-minute break. Anything counts. It is okay to prioritize yourself sometimes.
Take care of your mind
Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. Everyone gets anxious, everyone gets sad. It’s important to take care of yourself and not let that anxiety take over. Make sure you surround yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down. A lot of the time people use distractions to avoid what they’re going through. You will never work through what you need to unless you acknowledge it and use it to move forward. Avoiding the problem will only hold you back. You deserve to grow.
Let go of perfectionism
This is something I am personally very passionate about. I used to be very focused on things being perfect and trying to make everyone happy. It is something I still struggle with but through hard work, I was able to let go of most of it. Things can’t always go the way we wanted them to. If you focus too much on the way you wished things went (the past), you will never learn to be grateful for the things that are happening instead (the present). Not everything will go your way and that is okay.
The world is how we perceive it
This is a fancy way of saying stay positive. We create our own perceptions of the things that happen around us. If you look at everything from a negative point of view, you will have a negative outlook on the world. There is a quote that says “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. Keep your mind at ease and try to look at things in a positive way. Although this is easier said than done, things like journaling, talking to people you love, and getting inspired are all ways to look at things more positively.
Working on keeping a balance between work and leisure is very important in order to ensure you are not overworking or underworking. The line is thin and does not look the same for everyone. Both are important in their own way. Working too much can lead to health problems, and can decrease life satisfaction. Working too little isn’t an option for many who need it to maintain their lifestyle. Finding the perfect balance for you and your needs is the key to ensuring you maintain a healthy relationship with both work and leisure.