Do you work to live or live to work? As for me, either variant is flawed.
However, while the first case means that you don’t like your job that much and just work to make a living; the second one is much worse as it implies that work has become the most important thing in your life. It’s risky as you may not notice how fast your life will pass by while you’re working on another ‘highly important project’. Is it really that important? I bet it’s not as important as work-life balance and I bet you’d like to lead a stress-free lifestyle. Let’s see what we can do…
In my opinion, no offence if you think differently, work is not an important part of our lives unless it’s work that makes difference and adds some value to this world. In this case you can say: “I work because I like my job” or “I work to make the world a better place and I enjoy it”. Work for the sake of success, fame, praise, acknowledgement, and material possessions is just a demand of our ego, it’s not a necessity. And ego, as I said in the blogpost on stress relief, can take away your peace and turn your entire life into a nightmare making you compete and rush through life taking part in a constant race. Here I suggest 12 tips that can help stop rushing through life: slow down, reconsider your goals, and find your true path. Also, read How to Relieve Stress Quickly.
Some people tend to attach too much importance to their work. It’s important to do your work well but doing it well doesn’t mean that you should work 24/7 and talk solely about your work everywhere. Relax, you are not the President! If you don’t want to burn out or look back at your life when you’re old just to find out that you missed so many things in your life because of that constant race for success, you have to master work-life balance.
What is work-life balance?
Work-life balance is a perfect balance between personal life and work. It means that you do your job well, you have time for proper rest, family, hobbies, etc. and your emotional health is stable.
If your job makes you cry or feel anxious often, you may not only lack work-life balance but also tend to attach too much importance to your work and are unable to relieve stress properly. If you’re constantly anxious, read Don’t Let Anxiety Deprive You of Happiness and How to Solve Your 99 Problems with a Proactive Approach to change the way you perceive and treat things that trigger stress and anxiety in you.
Why is work-life balance important?
Work-life balance is utterly important if you want to live a long and happy life and achieve success. It may sound weird to workaholics but to achieve success at work you don’t have to spend all of your free time on work. The less rest you have, the less productive you become. When stress and fatigue snowball, you become burnt out. Signs of that are poor emotional and physical health. At first, you can’t relieve stress, then you start feeling anxious too often, then physical symptoms appear. Do you want to get a heart attack in your 30s? What about a stroke? Yes, this happens to young people too. Your body is not a machine. It can’t work whenever you force it to work. Healing is the best gift you can give yourself and by healing I mean time for yourself: doing anything that takes your stress away whether it’s meditating, exercising or spending time playing with your dog.
How to achieve a perfect work-life balance?
Make time for yourself
The most important thing you must remember forever is that time for yourself doing whatever helps you relieve stress is the most important time of your day.
I hear that some people feel guilty doing, for example, yoga when they have a lot of “more important” work to be done. Nothing is more important than yoga or stretching or powerlifting (whatever type of activity you like). Health is not a gift, it’s an outcome. If you don’t dedicate time to your health (physical and emotional health are correlated), you can’t rely on it. Take care of yourself first, then do everything else. You can’t help anyone with anything if you are in trouble yourself.
Identify your priorities in life
Many people chase someone else’s goals without ever noticing. What are you working for? To pay your bills, to achieve, to become, or to acquire? Chances are you are working to meet someone else’s success standards. Read my eye-opening article on Success and Its True Meaning.
Maybe it will turn out that you don’t need to work that hard to live the life of YOUR, not someone else’s dream.
Make time for your priorities
Learn to be unavailable and say no to your colleagues when you have personal plans in your free time. Distinguish between work hours and free time.
Don’t work when you feel bad
Some people work even with a terrible flu, that’s not right. Give your body time to rest and heal. Don’t sacrifice your health for the sake of someone else’s business. You will never get enough reward for that.
If the business is yours, delegate tasks.
Accept the fact that you can’t control everything
Some things will happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them. You have no control over life. If you don’t trust life, you will get nothing but anxiety. Accept the idea that everything happens for the best. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first glance, you never know what happens next. Learn to trust life and the natural flow of events.
Turn off work-related apps and programs
Log out, disable notifications or just ignore notifications when your work day is over. Of course, some jobs like CEO require more presence, so you should decide whether this tip is appropriate for your job yourself. However, even CEOs need rest, so don’t skip it. Remember that it’s better to be a living dog than a dead lion.
In case you’re dealing with or are on the verge of burnout, read How to Recover from Burnout.
How to maintain work-life balance if I am very ambitious?
The following passage contains an affiliate link and as an Amazon Affiliate I may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you click on the link and make a purchase.
If you are too ambitious for the sake of fame, money, success, you may need to look at your life from another angle: how fulfilled does it make you feel? Does your life correspond to your image of a dream life? Keep in mind that time and health are our most precious assets, much more precious than money. Are you satisfied with the way you’re using them? Are you really doing what you enjoy? Do you have enough free time for rest? Do you spend enough time with your family? Won’t your older years be filled with regret? Think about it.
If you’re not sure that what you’re doing now gives you joy and is worth some sacrifices, you may need to suppress your ego. You are a simple person but your ego wants acknowledgement. Why? You need to find that out. Maybe it’s just in your nature but maybe it’s a psychological problem you need to overcome. Read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams – a masterpiece by Deepak Chopra that shows life as it is without illusions our ego likes to draw.
In case you are interested in mindfulness and living a stress-free life, read my article on long-term stress-relief that goes beyond using relaxing music and relaxation candles, where I suggest a lot of interesting literature on health and mindfulness and how they are correlated.
All in all, I wish you to find a job that will inspire you not only in terms of financial gain; a job that will be related to your purpose; a job that will give you positive emotions and allow you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and lead a stress-free lifestyle!
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