Strategies to Manage Work and Life this Summer
All Work & No Play is an Exercise in Futility!
Practical Ways to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance
For many people, successful immersion in the work environment comes at a great cost. Work achievements can often overshadow other important components of one's life. When this imbalance occurs, something has to give. Therefore gurus advise that a healthy work-life balance regimen be implemented to avoid the complications that naturally arise from focusing too much on one aspect of one's life while neglecting other aspects. As a self-employed individual, or a highly motivated employee, it can be difficult at times to drag oneself away from the workstation to enjoy social and/or other activities.
It is the fear of not working and the fear of loss of productivity that weighs heavily on the minds of workaholics. But studies have shown that successful employees or entrepreneurs are those people who are capable of closing up shop for the day at the office and taking the necessary time out to recharge, regenerate and enjoy the other aspects of their lives. Step number one requires individuals to simply power down their workday, while powering up for whatever comes next. It is precisely this ability to separate oneself from the work side and the play side that brings balance to life. Once you're capable of doing this, every aspect of your life is enhanced, improved and enjoyed.
Are Schedules For Work Or For Play?
Most of us consider keeping a schedule for work-related activities only. We imagine that anything done out of work should be spontaneous and unplanned. However, once you do get into a busy work routine, it becomes difficult – sometimes downright impossible – to find the time to enjoy social activities. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who feel that they need to constantly work, or risk losing their clientele to overly eager competitors in the market. The fact of the matter is that it is imperative to set aside time in your daily schedule for these social activities. One of the most important things to do with your free time is to maintain a healthy body. It is a futile activity to continuously check your smartphone, tablet or PC until you close your eyes every evening. Constant on-the-job focus is unhealthy out of the work environment, not to mention a little obsessive. There is a time for work and there is a time for play, and then there is time for everything else in between – that's the human experience.
By availing yourself to your clients or employers at all hours, you're short-changing yourself in a big way. And don't forget that old idiom: A healthy mind is a healthy body. On this note, cardiovascular workouts, strength training, or simply walking the dog are essential daily activities that cannot be ignored. Things like planning get-togethers, family vacations, club nights, poker nights, time with loved ones etcetera are paramount. The importance of planning becomes evident when your work calendar takes up most of your days and evenings. By setting aside time on a daily basis to do things for yourself, or for your friends and family, you have already taken the first steps towards an improved work-life balance. Remember: it's a lot easier than you think to simply switch off your electronic devices and focus on other aspects of your life that require your daily attention. There is no need to be concerned about missing out on an important phone call, message, invoice or work order – e-mail and voicemail are there for precisely those reasons.
Do Things Differently to Make Positive Changes in Your Life
Everyone has a passion in life, or perhaps more correctly everyone can develop a passion in life. Your passion may range from working out to painting, playing musical instruments, going to the driving range, trading commodities at an accredited broker, or simply taking time out to spend with friends and family. There is an expression that states: If you want to get something done, then give it to a busy person. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, you should do it. Sometimes this will require you to try something new like enrolling in night time courses, reserving time to learn something new during the week, dabbling in a little bit of this were a little bit of that and so forth. Remember, that when you are doing non-work-related activities you should make yourself unavailable for your clients and your boss. This is time for you to kick back, relax and enjoy the things that you want to do outside of work. If you're the type of person who likes to earn income from your interest in the financial markets, you may take to trading currencies, indices, commodities and stocks in your spare time.
Quiz: Is Your Work-Life Balance Healthy?
Equally important for a healthy work-life regimen is the issue of nutrition. How you power your body and your mind is one of the most important components of the equation. The right fuels for your body will translate into better results from your work and social activities. Another important skill that we are taught to use in the workplace is delegation. However, delegation is just as important outside of work. This doesn't necessarily mean that you must employ somebody to do the work that you either do not want to do or do not have the time to do. You could for example delegate certain activities like taking care of the pets, childcare, grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry to friends, family members, roommates, boyfriends, girlfriends, or a spouse. When you delegate duties and responsibilities to other people, you free up your own time so that you can do precisely what it is that you want to do.
Indulge Yourself – Plan a Vacation – You Deserve It
Of all the things that busy people do a lot of, rewarding themselves is not always high on the list. Perhaps it is the fact that rewards for busy people do not feel deserved, or perhaps, or even perceived as wasteful. But the fact of the matter is that a life spent working all the time is nothing more than an exercise in futility. If you fail to reward yourself for your commitment, dedication and efforts in the workplace, you will never know why you've been working so hard in the first place. To this end, away time is equally important as downtime. When you're planning to unwind, few things compare to a well-earned vacation. Whether it's blue skies, crystal clear waters and palm trees, or the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas strip – do what your heart desires and feel justly proud of taking the time to regenerate your cells. If an extended vacation is out of the question, daytrip to the spa, or perhaps even a weekend away are ideal entertainment options to leave the hustle and bustle of work in your rear-view mirror. Most importantly, be aware of every moment and enjoy everything that you do because of all the resources available to you in life, the only one that you cannot get back is time. Spend your time wisely, and you will live a rich and rewarding life!