Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving

Albert Einstien

In the race to achieve a successful professional life,  people do not hesitate to compromise on their personal life to tackle the world full of high competition where the stakes are high. However, what they fail to understand is that they need to strike a balance between work and personal life. If you are spending your days buried behind the computer screen on your desk and over-working yourself while not socialising outside the professional sphere, then you are likely to have a terrible sense of balance, which defeats what you are trying to achieve in the long run. It’s because imbalance can lead to stress and ultimately affect your spiritual, physical, social and mental well-being. As Einstein said balance is about movement, it is also about having the will power to make a separation between the things that are urgent, the things that are necessary and the things that can wait.

Learn to say “NO”

It is not unusual for people to lose work-life balance. This happens when they are seeking to impress their boss and colleagues; they tend to be available 24/7, which gives the impression of professionalism. It is the inability to say ‘no’ that is the culprit. When you strive to excel, it reflects the display of your efficiency at work, but being available at the time means that increasingly unremitting demands will be waiting for you. This will result in overloaded and overwhelm.

This does not mean that you have to deny every task; it simply means that you will need to harness the power to say no when there is too much being asked of you. There are going to be situations, where you will be asked to compromise on certain areas; you should make a call about how and when you will respond though, rather than submerging yourself under a heavy load to meet too many work expectations. The Mental Health Foundation recommends that when work demands are too high, you must speak up.

Set rules

Set clear boundaries and be adamant about following the rules you set. There was a point in my life where there were no boundaries between work and home.  I brought work home and would even read notes in my bed. I got to work early and was often the last to leave the building.  I did this religiously until I realised that my work and home life seamlessly merged into each other. I will never forget that a friend told me that I was only as good as my last day at work. This advice was a rude awakening. I resolved to bring some semblance of balance into my life.

To create the work-life balance you need to create some ground rules. Rely on your intuition, and set rules that will keep you grounded. Rules that you set should be practised and not just lie in pages of your diary or on the bulletin board. Be strict with yourself. Here is an example, if you seek to attend fitness make it a point to wake up at least five days in a week to work out of go for runs or a walk. Take time to smell the rose.

Ensure that in your rule book you have mentioned dedicating time to yourself. Make a list of “dos” and “don’ts” and follow them rigorously.  Setting some general rules will give you guidelines, to follow. Making a set of rules is simply to make things easier for yourself and to bring the necessary balance that you need to create.

Make intelligent Choices

We all have the capacity to make decisions and choices about how much time we create for the various activities in our lives. Work is only one part of the whole.  Hence making a choice to control how much time you spend at work, with your partner, you children or with friends is a choice you can make.  The choices you make can either create balance or imbalance. It is certain that imbalance can lead to failure because you will be trying to be all things to all men. In the end, you might not achieve either. Make intelligent choices by looking at your day and planning how much time you give to any one activity. Consider the balance in each area of your life and if you discover that there is an imbalance in any one area take action to correct it.

Ease off the adrenaline

It is known that most people make mistakes when high on adrenaline. It is great when needed and used as a force to drive your inner self to reach your goals. Adrenaline helps us to make life and death decisions. This is known in Psychology as the fight and flight mode. You can fight when the stress is tolerable, but if it outstrips your energy, it can have a negative impact on your body in the long term become destructive. Remember! Too much of anything is not good. Thus you need to monitor your adrenaline at all times.

What happens is when you are under an adrenaline rush, is that it gives a buzz and a burst of energy. You can hop from one task to another. In between this transaction, there are chances of failing at some things. If you are operating on adrenalin all the time, it will take a toll on your body. Additionally, there are associated risks that will damage your health.

Forget about perfection

Stop chasing perfection because no human being is capable of being perfect. Only God is perfect. The idea of obtaining perfection is an illusion.  When chasing perfection, you are running behind an idea, which you have painted in your head. You are telling yourself that it is impossible to put the work aside, when it is incomplete or when the project you are working on does not meet the bars that you have raised or possibly that you boss has raised for you. However, let us suppose that you become ill, the work you could not put down would fall by the wayside, and your company would find someone else to fill the gap. When you are trying to be perfect in an imperfect work, it is easy to drown yourself in work and start blaming yourself for not being perfect.

Some people find it very difficult to let go of things, as there is a vast difference between good enough and fabulous work. At times when you end up over working yourself, be firm and explicitly remind yourself that is it okay to let go and not always reach the benchmark that has been set. To bring balance to your life, learn to take a break when needed. It is okay to eat a simple meal one day instead of putting laborious effort into a gourmet meal.  Creating a balanced lifestyle will help you to become resilient in all areas of your life.

Learn to separate work for personal life

A common problem amongst most people is that they do not know how to separate their professional and personal life. I wonder if this is a problem for you? Work can be pressuring, and it is easy to fall into the trap of prolonging your workday. This can lead to mood swings because of imbalance.  Once you are in a bad mood, it can dampen your spirit further, which will reflect in your actions and words and behaviour.

It can go the other way around too; any mishap or argument at home could affect your mood, and lead to low performance at work. Your outstanding performance at work should not be hampered due to something that has happened at home.

The key to having control over these scenarios is by focusing. Set the scores straight by focusing on the task at hand and the environment you are operating in. Acknowledge your current situation and then take a guided step to achieve your goal.

More than half of your issues will be resolved if you have accomplished the art of keeping work and personal life separate. It is not easy, but this can be accomplished with a little bit of determination and thought process.

Working hard is always suggested, and you should take that approach but do not forget to work smart. Smart work will pay dividends. Think practically not emotionally. Fortunately, things can be made easier with little help, which is easily available to you in the form of coaching which what we offer at Connected Life Coaching.

At times you need help to get back on track, Connected Life coaching will be at your assistance at times of need.

Feel free to contact me at Connected Life Coaching and take advantage of coaching that is concerned with matters from different aspects of your life.