By A. Yanina Gomez, PhD
“I want to dedicate more time to my family but I also want to grow professionally. It’s complicated! Between keeping up with the busy schedule at work, taking care of responsibilities and trying to be noticed at work, I just don’t have enough hours in a day to do this.”
Does this sound familiar?
Let’s start by clarifying what I don’t mean when I refer to a healthy balance.
To find balance between your life and work, consider these 4 suggestions:
1. Define What’s Important to You.
Before you conclude that this suggestion is self-centered, please hear me out. Most of us have tons of responsibilities and, at times, it feels that there’s not enough hours in a day to accomplish everything we need to do. But, if you take some time to outline what you do each day and how much time you allot to each thing you do, you’ll realized that often times, we spend time on things that aren’t important hence not making a difference in our life or in those around us.
Once you identify what is important to you (e.g., strengthening my relationship with a significant other, bringing food to the table, moving up in my career, etc.), then your actions and decisions should focus on accomplishing your goals. You begin to consciously choose to invest your time, effort and energy on accomplishing what is important to you so you may also allow time for others.
2. Be Gracious with Yourself
“What? I just told you that there’s not enough hours in the day!”
“What good will it do to have a sick and miserable you around?”
3. Focus and Be Selective
Let me start by saying this… It’s OK to say no! Whoever told you in the past that saying no is rude and unthinkable, don’t believe it! If you’re spending time doing things here and there keeping yourself busy, yet you’re neglecting yourself, loved ones and not living fully, that’s not balance.
Balancing your life and work isn’t easy. Again, it’s not about a 50/50 cut where 50% goes to investing in your life and family and 50% to accomplishing your professional goals. It’s about finding inner peace with how you’re handling and investing your life, embracing that each season in life has its own focus, and what’s imperative today might not be as important a few months from now. If you’re not focusing on what is important right now, balance is a wishful thinking.
As you begin to see time as an asset you will guard it wisely. This means that, you will not be saying yes to each invitation or proposition others present to you. You have to be selective! Measure the investment and benefits of each proposition. Will this proposition make me grow personally and/or professionally? Will it make a difference in other people’s lives? What impact will this proposition make in my personal relations? Is it worth it?
As you become selective, you’ll begin to differentiate between what’s important and what can wait.
4. Refine Balance Based on Your Life Seasons
Which of these tips is your strength? Share below!