In today's world where we can work from our mobile phones and the barrier between all aspects of our life is so thin, it's easy to be constantly overstressed and not create a balance between all areas of your life. It can be challenging to set clear boundaries on communication, expectation, and efficiency; however, this boundary is vital to achieving balance and all-around success.
Do you constantly check your email, even during the weekend? Or check work notifications while eating dinner? Or do you find yourself constantly working after hours for months without making time for anything else? If so, you must consciously take steps to balance your life.
The Importance Of Balance On Your Health
According to Mental Health America, one in four Americans is "super stressed." Stress is our body's reaction to everyday demands and challenges. Stressors are things that cause stress, and an unbalanced life is a life full of several stressors.
Prolonged stress negatively affects our mental and physical health and is amongst the leading cause of health issues in today's world. Health conditions such as heart disease, pains, digestive disorders, and hypertension are common when a person has endured long-term stress.
Mental health issues such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression are also caused by chronic stress. The secret of managing stress in our lives is creating a balance between all areas of our life as an unbalanced life is simply a haven for stress.
1. Remove Distractions
Technology has merged almost all areas of our life, and while this is great, it makes it harder to separate other areas of your life when it's time to rest. While you can practice resilience and simply ignore all distractive notifications as they come in, a simpler way to enjoy your family time is to unplug. Switch off your work mail notifications when you get home, do not check in on that project until it's time for work.
2. Create A To-Do List Daily
A good way to create balance in your life is by setting daily goals spread across all areas of your life. Each day, create new tasks, clearly differentiating the high-priority tasks from the easier tasks. This list makes it easier to be grounded and put in the time to accomplish each task across all areas of your life. Once you finish a task, cross it from the list and pick a new task to get started with.
3. Be Efficient With Your Time
If it's time to work, work! Being efficient with your time would have you finishing tasks quicker and having time for other areas of your life. The tasks on your list will be completed in less time when you eliminate distraction and devote your undivided focus to whatever you're currently working on.
4. Manage Yourself
While time management is important, you must also learn to manage yourself and your activities. This reflects a feeling of responsibility in how you use your time and being proactive and making the right choice that maximizes your time.
5. Set Boundaries
Set realistic and fair limits on what you are allowed to do and what you must not do at every given time. Clearly state what office tasks are allowed to intrude into your family time and communicate these boundaries to your family, partner, and co-workers. An example is dedicating certain times to work from home; you might want to let your partner know, so you are not disturbed during the stated period.
Additionally, you can decide not to work late unless there is a genuine crisis. You can use a timer to let you know when the time allocated to each part of your life has elapsed, and you can begin carrying out other tasks.
While you might be tempted to toil on a particularly difficult task and not let off until you have accomplished your goal, the maximum concentration-time most people can sustain on a single task is 90 minutes at a time.
When that time elapses, any extra time spent on that task would likely be wasted as concentration and productivity levels are remarkably low. The wise idea is to take a short break to refresh before coming back to the task. This break can be used to carry out other low-priority assignments.
7. Music Is Life
According to research, listening to music can help clear your mind, lessen stress, and arouse creativity. Different music would have different effects on you. Find what works for you and listen to music that makes you relaxed, pumps you up, or calms you down. Doing this helps clear your head to segment tasks necessary to achieve balance and makes you more effective at carrying out said tasks.
8. Constantly Trim Your To-Do List
A frequent mistake most people make is taking on too many tasks that overflow and leave them unable to ever carry it out. It might be a request for help from your neighbors or co-workers in the office.
Taking on too many tasks leaves you forever unable to achieve balance. You'll forever be playing catch-up, ever trying to finish one task even as you accept new tasks. Learn to reject whatever isn't essential and would lead to an imbalance in your life.
9. Health Is Wealth
This research further shows the connection between wealth and health. The quality of work we put in is affected by our health, and we should consider our health a priority. Do not try to finish a project at the cost of your health.
This entails not getting enough sleep or not having breakfast because you're rushing to work. We are much more productive when we eat well, sleep enough, and are generally healthy.
10. Politely Say No
Receiving requests to take on more tasks is normal and would only ever increase as people recognize your skills and ability. Most times, we say yes to so many requests that create an imbalance in your life. Saying no makes you maintain balance and makes your "yes's" much more powerful.