Why is today’s world SO BUSY?
We keep hearing people complaining that their life has become so hectic.
They say they have no time to spend on what they really like to do.
As a boy growing up in Bangalore, India, I never heard my parents complaining like this.
Once my dad came back home from work, it seemed like he had all the time in the world to spend with us. He never said he was stressed at work, and he never said he had to work overtime on weekends.
So what has changed now?
Why is everyone talking about ‘balancing work and life’?
Give it a minute’s thought and you will realize that the main change has been “technology”.
But of course, the ever-evolving technology sector has helped mankind achieve what it couldn’t before.
Man has gone to the moon and back, and now Man is thinking of setting up homes on Mars- things which were unthinkable a short while ago.
But with great innovations come mighty disadvantages.
Technology has provided a smartphone to almost everyone; it has given us access to unlimited data and content on the internet. We can practically access the entire universe with a small gadget in our hands. That is just so awesome!
But are we putting that awesomeness to “good” use, and more importantly, “limited” use?
Do not misjudge me and think I am against “technological advancements”. I am actually completely for it, and I understand and reap the benefits of this radical change every day.
But the point of this post is to take a step back in our lives and see how we can still make time to enjoy life to the fullest instead of having to repent at a later stage.
So I am going to list five important changes that you can make that will help you balance your life in an optimal manner. Take these as suggestions. Some may apply to you and some may not, but I do hope there will be a positive change in your thinking toward achieving this balance.
5 Tips On How To Manage A Work-Life Balance
1. Identify & Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities
If we do not plan our daily activities in an organized manner, we tend to spend a lot of time on unwanted and unnecessarily time-consuming activities.
- Do you always feel the urge to check your Facebook feed?
- Do you refresh your social media page every few minutes to see if there is anything new?
- Do you have your work email configured on your phone even when your company doesn’t need you to be available 24/7?
If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then you are wasting more than 60% of your time doing unnecessary activities.
You need to plan and organize your actions.
Make it a point to go online only to respond to all of your “online needs”. And when you have no more “needs”, shut down your laptop/cell phone.
- Nothing will be lost if you do not respond to your Facebook notifications a few hours later.
- The world will not collapse if you do not approve your best blogging friend’s comment on your latest post until you get to your “online time.”
For instance, I have a habit of going online only after 9 P.M. every day. That gives me enough time with my daughter to listen to what happened with at her school and help her with any homework. I also have quality time with my wife to discuss personal goals and activities.
After 9 P.M., I spend only 5 minutes per hour online, unless I am really required to do more. My downtime on my blog is in the evenings, as you can imagine from my schedule above. I am active after 11 P.M. for an hour to do my content writing and reading.
Once your kids turn into teenagers, you also need to instill such organizational habits in them, so they grow up understanding the value of their time. Such positive behavior in your kids will help them better manage their life goals and achieve results far beyond expectations.
But this post is not about parenting…
2. Be Among Constructive People
Take a minute to assess your surroundings; what’s happening at work, at home, and around friends and relatives?
Just observe what people have to say about a particular scenario or about other people. If you feel there is a lot of negativity around you when you are with a person, you will be better off without them.
We spend around 8-10 hours a day among co-workers. This is sometimes more than how much you spend with your family! So you can imagine how much their judgments and behaviors will affect your judgments and behaviors.
If you are surrounded by people who have a sense of optimism and share a constructive thought with you, you tend to think in a similar way. This will produce a positive feeling, and you will be geared toward achieving more by allocating more of your time in the right direction.
Your friends might be critics of your writing; they may have a say in what you write and how you project your feelings in your posts. This is good because you need both negative and positive criticisms to become a better human being.
But you need to shy away from a person who is always sarcastic about your work and whose thoughts and comments do not allow you to improve yourself.
3. Stop Procrastinating By Setting Priorities
“I will finish this post tomorrow.”
“It is Sunday tomorrow, and I can get up early and devote a couple of hours to finish my post. I will not have any disturbance, and it will give me the environment to get the flow of thoughts to write better content.”
This is what I’m constantly thinking, and it takes a lot of effort to overcome these thoughts.
In order to stop pushing your tasks to a later time, it is helpful if you can schedule your activities. There are many online tools and websites available that help you set your schedules and goals for each day.
If you need something to get started with, check out this productivity planner which helps you set goals and organize your weekly and daily plans:
Each day, I set goals for the next day that I have to achieve in my allocated time slots. These goals or tasks might be related to my blogging or even to my personal life where I have to perform certain chores.
For example, I typically devote my early morning hours for writing fresh content. I know that when I go to sleep, I will wake up and write.
I go about my day by checking off tasks as I complete them.
If I perform all my tasks for the day, and then achieve something unplanned for, I know that I am balancing my time properly between my work life and my personal life.
Here are a few hand-picked articles that you should read:
4. Introduce A Little Change In Your Daily Routine
If you feel that there is no balance in your life, or if you feel that you are not getting things done that you have planned for, or if you feel that your family needs more of your time, then I think you need a little “change” in your daily routine.
Change comes with a price. But not in monetary terms. It means that you will have to forego a certain activity or you will end up paying the price with your time.
Don’t take this lightly.
- Time is the most precious asset that you have.
If you think that you do not spend quality time with your family in the evening, try to reschedule your work hours. Maybe arrive at work a little early and come back home a bit early.
If you think that you are not achieving your work targets, you need to change the way you approach a problem at work. Think outside of your normal thought process and get into brainstorming sessions with people who do not share similar thoughts.
By re-adjusting your daily activities, you will be amazed at how easy it will be for you to find the right balance at home and at work.
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5. Relax Your Mind – Enjoy A Workout
Do not be caught up in a race toward “the goal”. Do not stress your mind with constant thoughts and plans for the future.
Today is the greatest gift you’ve got; now is the only time you actually have.
Ease your mind and take your thoughts away for a moment. Enjoy a ride along the countryside and bask in the scenic beauty that nature has provided.
Once you take your mind away from its routine ways of thinking, it gets re-charged, and when you get back to your task, you will be able to think faster and with more clarity than ever.
Meditation is also a great way to relax your mind and body. Try it out. Check out this article on how meditation can change your life.
For me, a good one-hour workout in the gym revitalizes me for the daunting day ahead. I spend half of that time doing cardio and the other half lifting weights.
There are countless advantages of keeping your body healthy, but that’s beyond the scope of this article…
I just want to say that if you take your mind away and focus on a completely different activity, you will get back to achieve more of what you want in a shorter amount of time.
Over To You: How do you maintain your work-life balance?
I can keep on writing about this topic, but I will stop now. I wanted to limit myself to only 5 tips, and I hope I have chosen the most important ones.
I want to know what you do to keep your life in balance. Do share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below.
This guest post is submitted by Praveen in ShoutMeLoud’s Lifehacks category. Want to write something original for ShoutMeLoud? Read our submission guidelines.
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