Today I am writing about one of the biggest problems, issues, conflicts or whatever you call it we have as adults. Balancing work and everyday life is a daily challenge, chore and task that at times can get the best of us. I have been working as an adult now for well over 35 years and have already transitioned through the various cycles we see in our life cycle as adults, parents, working people and all the other stages we enter and leave in our life. During all of these stages of life one monster was always in the way and that was finding a way to balance home life, work and play.
First lets define how I see balance in the parts of your daily life. Work-life balance is basically the concept or way that you prioritize your time, energy and commitment to work, family and fun activity. It is a way to encourage you to divide your time in a way that is best for you and the family. The benefits of prioritizing work-life balance include increased productivity, higher work engagement, reduced stress and more time to devote to leisure activities
As adults we are constantly busy with family, friends, work and community activity all designed to live our best and give our children the best possible life they can have. We spend so many hours working and sleeping that we often do not take care of the other most important part and that is how we play. We have to play, relax and just get away at times to reenergize, rebuild and find that balance we must have to stay healthy emotionally, physically and spiritually. I did some basic research and came up with five tips I can use to help me balance my home life, family life, faith life, work life and other interests I have and pursue.
- Limit nonessential activities- We often go to places and do things just to do it. I don’t know how many times I left work to attend a function, event, ballgame or activity just because it was a busy task. These are important events, but finding a way to limit them is important to balancing life. As an example, I am a career coach and teacher and have spend thousands of hours in gyms and at football fields watching and coaching games. As I got a little older and my priorities changed I learned that I did not always need to stay at school after a 10-12 hour day to watch every basketball, volleyball or soccer game.
- Learn when to say “NO”. This is huge especially if you are a service minded person that loves to give, help, support and serve others. Pour your time and energy into the community, church, outreach and other positive functions. But also know when to stop and say no. You can become over whelmed by all this activity and burn out fast. Do not take on more than you need and think of it like this. If you are pouring your heart and soul into 1-2 things instead of 3-4 things then ultimately your giving more and putting your all into it.
- Establish boundaries and unplug. Walk away from life sometimes to recharge, reenergize and rebuild. Tell the kiddos tonight is find what you can find to eat night. Use a delivery service for food, have groceries delivered instead of spending a few hours after work hunting the aisles for things. Send the kids to their rooms and give them a night of movies, video games or playing games. Go hide in your room and read, take a nap or just talk to your spouse.
- Consider your schedule. Communicate your needs. Take a hard look at your schedule and figure our what can stay or go. Are you doing things just to do it and stay busy. Do not waste that energy on a senseless activity, instead use it to be productive or relax. Can you cut back on work hours, change jobs, careers or possibly retire. Are you on too many committees at church, work, and in the community that are getting in the way of your goals. Take a few things off the plate and see the difference it makes.
- Communicate your needs. Make sure your boss, spouse, kids, grandkids, family and friends all understand where you are. If change is needed then make sure to communicate that to the most important people in your life. Do not try to do it alone and when you feel the stress, anxiety and other emotions rising up talk about it, go relax and let it out. Not communicating your needs is the worst thing a family can do, especially when dealing with a spouse.
I Hope these simple techniques can assist you in living your best life. Have fun working through the changes we face and the challenges they present. Work, play and live the best you and God Bless!