How to Find a Balance in Life
Plan your year ahead
Life is not about planning and sometimes it is good to be spontaneous but for those of us who work and have a family, planning can be helpful.
Get yourself a diary or a schedule planner and take one night to go over your work schedule for the year. Have a look at where you need to be for the year ahead and also keep a little bit of space for the unexpected work load that you might be called in for.
Once you have established when you need to see clients or where you need to travel to for work, then you can make plans for family time and social time too.
It sounds easy and unreasonable but a planner helps you achieve goals and it is a guideline for you and your family to make time or take time out.
For most, work is challenging because there is always someone out there that will want to repalce you in your job and giving your all is important to feel secure.
It is also extremely important to spend time with the ones you love as they do not stay small forever and regrets are something that can be prevented.
All work and no play makes us all dull and miserable! Everyone needs time to escape too and if you are not happy at home then your work will suffer which would defeat the entire purpose of having a career in the first place. It would also be crazy to give all your time to work in order to get the "big bucks" if you will be going on vacation alone!
Plan your year ahead by mapping out what you would like to achieve in the year, who you would like to see with regards to clients and also where you would want to spend time with your family.
If it is a vacation that you would like to take them on, whether it is taking your spouse away for a weekend or even taking five minutes of your time to listen to your children's stories, you need to plan ahead.
Make it a rough guide that does not have to be accurate but you will know where you stand work wise and how much time and effort you will have to put in, in order to be able to spend time with family and friends.
A schedule can help you see visually just how busy you are and where there is a gap, you can add social or family time.
Making Time for Family
Children grow up so quickly and if you blink you could miss the entire process with regrets in your later years. How do you get to spend time with your kids, make your spouse happy, friends happy and have a succesful career at the same time?
Children just need at least a half an hour of your time in the day, whether you do homework with them, read a story, watch a movie or let them help you in the kitchen, they don't care as long as they get your attention at some stage in the day.
For dads that work until late, the morning is the time for you to spend with them, so get up and have breakfast at the table as a family.
For parents who do not have time at all and have to rush to work without breakfast, then come home to find the kids asleep, you need to take a day out of your weekend to spend with them. Whether it is playing with a soccer ball or going for a swim, give them your time. If you do not have time.....make some!
Half and hour is all you need to set aside and that will make them happy, so just do it.
Your spouse also needs time with you and if you cannot communicate then that is where problems begin as you start to drift away into your rut. She goes one way and you go another, leaving your relationship empty and meaningless. Don't make your relationship about kids, bills and domestic affairs as the both of you need time to enjoy each other romantically. For many men, this seems to go out the window once work, friends and kids come into the picture but it is important to keep your love fresh and alive.
Take one night a week to meet your spouse for a drink at the local bar or make a plan to go out for a dinner once per month just to catch up with your best friend.... your spouse.
It will keep him/her happy and it will rejuvenate your relationship too. For the extra time that you would need to work or for the hour or two you would like to watch the football game with mates, your spouse will be fine with it as long as you have made time for him/ her.
Social Time and Keping the Balance
With anything, everything should be done in moderation and that includes work too. Working harder and longer hours to get that promotion is wonderful but you also need to take time out for yourself in order to stay ahead of the game.
People who are stuck in a rut and can't balance their lives, usually have something missing eventually. It could be a spouse, your job, your kids or your friends that you loose but losing yourself whilst trying to get that promotion, takes a very long time to correct.
Burning the candle at both ends is also not the way to go because having a burn out could alter your life completely.
Social time is important and spending time with colleagues or friends is a great way to network yourself but having the time to do anything is very difficult if you are not well planned.
Busy lives need schedules and that is just the way it is, otherwise you will not have time for anything and trying to fit everyone in, will end up making you unhappy and misserable which could cost you your family, friends and even your career.
How to find the Balance
If you are a hard working person who spends a lot of time at the office then ask yourself where you could cut some of that time. Would you be able to put in late hours and extra energy in order to get a weekend to yourself? The answer is yes you can and we are supposed to work to live and not the other way around. Work is important and giving in the hours is also crucial but you need to find a way to cut some of the hours in order to spend some time doing what you love. The best career movers are the ones that can micro manage and allow themselves to cut off. If you are the person always willing to work the extra hours, then you will always be that person. Your boss will appreciate that you do have a family life too and he will respect you for letting him know that you need time with your family too.
Working hours should be working hours and after you leave the office....leave work behind.
As you drive out of the parking lot at work, switch on your music and unwind, knowing that work will be there again tomorrow.
It is a mindset that takes many years to change but it can be done and it makes life so much easier for you and the ones that you love, without having to sacrifice anything at all.
Step 1 - Cut the workload
Once you have planned your year ahead and you know more or less where you need to be workwise, you can see if you need overtime hours and you can also see where you can find a gap.
The most important thing to remember and this is for people who have their own business....Set yourself working hours and stop at a certain time because your work will still be there in the morning or after the weekend. In fact, it will make you fresher and wiser at work if you can relax on the weekend or after the work day is over. Nobody achieves much out of the office hours anyway unless there is a deadline.
Avoid leaving everything for the last minute and if you know something needs to be done within the week, then try to complete it before the week is up so that you have extra time for other things.
Be one step ahead of yourself every day at work and do not procrastinate, get it done!
If you are in need of a weekend off, get someone to help you with your workload so that you can take that time off and enjoy it too.
Step 2 - Exercise
Exercise is good for balance and without it, our bodies go into overload with no escape from any problems and no outlet for anger or frustration. If you cannot afford a gym or you do not have the time to go out for a walk....make time, because once you are out there it will make you feel good, healthy and it will create happy hormones and rejuvenate your brain capacity. It also helps with handling difficult people because exercise gives you a threshold for tolerance.
Wake up early in the morning and either buy an exercise bike that you can use at home, punching bag, skipping rope or anything to get you stimulated.
It makes a huge difference to your body and soul.
Step 3 - Spend Time with your Kids
If you do not have the time before work and you get home too late after work, then you need to take time out on the weekend to spend with your children. Even if it is reading a story for 15 minutes, you need to do it because it is important.
They need to know that you care and by listening to them or paying them at least a half an hour of your time, will make the world of difference to everyone in your household. They will not be agitated and temper tantrums will ease if you give them that time.
You can find a gap inbetween work and the weekend to spend time with them and it is doesn't take much of your time to make them happy.
Step 4 - Spend Time with your Spouse
Everyone gets stuck into a rut and it is so important to be able to communicate with your partner as well as let them know that you are aware that they exist.
This also doesn't take much of your time and all you need to do is either plan a dinner out once a week or once a month to just enjoy each other's company.
Your spouse will feel adored and you will not feel guilty.
Take the time to listen and show them that they are loved by giving up an hour or two of your week.
Step 5 - Make time for friends
Friends are important and you need them at some stage of your life in order to be a shoulder to cry on or a buddy to laugh with. Time is something that we often don't have much of but having a drink with a buddy doesn't take long at all.
Let people know that you appreciate them and that you are there for them, even if you are busy. They will help you network and you can enjoy some time out too.
If you do not have time to go uot and meet your friends then a barbeque at home is a good way to unwind and spend time with everyone around you.
Do you have balance?
Step 6 - Make Time for Yourself
This is very important in order to create a balance in life. If you are burned out and frustrated, then everything around you will seem like a big deal and a huge mission impossible.
Whether you find a hobby, go to the gym or just sit down and watch your favourite sport, it is important to make time for yourself so that you do not explode one day and loose everything that you have worked hard to keep.
So far you have to give up a half an hour in your week to your children
Half an hour to friends
An hour to your spouse
Hour for exercise
An hour for yourself
Which takes up a total of four hours a week out of your busy schedule. That is not much at all is it?
You can find those four hours somewhere when planning your schedule.
This will keep you happy, your boss happy and your family extremely happy!