Burnout is becoming a huge issue in the United States. The problem is that we are told we can do and have everything, but the reality is that we have a limited number of hours in a day to get our list of to-dos done. This unrealistic goal of having it all to feel happy, which is usually based on someone else’s version of what having it all means, is increasing the amount of stress we feel, and at the same time, increasing the burnout statistics further. This is why we need to STOP trying to have it all, and instead focus on the things that matter most to us. That means finding a work-life balance, or harmony, that works for you. If you are familiar with my work, you know that I cringe at the term work-life balance. We have many aspects of our life including spiritual, financial, physical, family, friends, work and fun! Instead of focusing on work-life balance let’s strive for ONE BIG LIFE.
In my blog Juggling Work and Life | Strategies for Work-Life Balance and Sustainable Success you will find more tips for balancing work and life.
To achieve a fulfilling work-life balance we need to start with ourselves.
Far too often, people who are stressed out, feel like they are stuck, or are experiencing a lack of purpose in their lives, have not clearly detailed their personal visions. Sometimes they may be operating under other people’s desires and mostly doing what other people think they should do. Partners, parents, friends, co-workers, family members and children are strong influencers, and they may be well meaning, but if they are trying to get you to operate in the way they think is best, very likely, you will not feel truly happy or fulfilled in life.
This is why we all need to go inward first. To do that fully, you must:
- Define your personal values
- Craft a vision that matters to you
- Detail what you want to accomplish professionally
- Describe the things you want to accomplish personally
- Understand what success and fulfillment means to you
Once you have these things you will be better able to form your strategies for balancing work and life. Decide which things are most important, set your goals, and then schedule the time in your calendar to make sure you are working toward the things that matter most to you.
Setting boundaries for work and your personal life.
Setting boundaries is a big part of achieving balance in your life. If you don’t set boundaries, other people will operate in a way that works best for them, which may not be in your best interest, or in alignment with the things you want to do.
To set boundaries:
- You must understand your goals
- Be clear on what you want to accomplish
- Be confident in your abilities
- Know how you want people to treat you
- Understand how much time you have to help other people
- Communicate your boundaries clearly
When discussing your boundaries with others, it’s important to remember that this can be done with kindness. It is also perfectly okay to say no to anything that crosses a boundary or doesn’t align with your values or vision.
Consistency is the key here. Once you set your boundaries, stick to them. By doing so, you will achieve the balance that matters to you.
Self care and support systems for sustainable work-life balance.
To consistently achieve the things we want in our lives, we all must make sure we have the energy to do what we need to do, and we must recognize that we can’t do everything on our own, especially when we have big visions. This is why setting up time for self care and building support systems are the only way we can create sustainable balance in our lives.
Self care is more than going to the gym or the spa. It is about the things that energize you, which will be different for each person. Self care can encompass many areas, but below are three that have a big impact on the level of fulfillment we feel in our lives.
Emotional self care requires a deep understanding of the things that lift you up and increase your energy, as well as recognizing the things that don’t. Achieving balance in your life in the things that matter to you, will necessitate doing more of the former and less of the latter, which may mean strictly limiting time with people and things that drain you. Emotional self care also encompasses limiting your negative self talk, using personal development tools to help you cope, and perhaps working with professionals on past issues or traumas, or on anything that is holding you back from living the life you want.
Physical self care encompasses exercise, sleep, nutrition, water intake, and personal hygiene. To keep yourself in the best shape, it also means regular check ups with your doctor and perhaps participating in other wellness modalities like massage, acupuncture, naturopathy, etc., depending on which are most appropriate for you.
Spiritual self care has different meanings for different people. You must know what is most important for your spiritual health. For some people, it will mean attending religious services or praying, for others it might be spending time in nature, meditating, practicing mindfulness, journaling, and so on. There are many ways to improve your spiritual wellness, you just need to choose the things that work best for you.
Developing your support systems is a huge step forward in your quest for work-life harmony. As I said above, we all have a finite number of hours each day to dedicate to work, family, friends, personal development and selfcare. The more you can enlist help from others, the more you will be able to accomplish and the faster you will be able to make your vision a reality.
Think about the people in your life who can help you personally. Maybe it’s a babysitter you could utilize more often or someone you could go and have coffee with to refill your energy reserves. It could be opting for grocery delivery, or using various services in your community to assist in other areas. Your personal support systems don’t need to be limited to family members and friends.
When it comes to your work support systems, consider:
- Who you can go to for help when the workload becomes too much?
- Who you can delegate to on your team or who can you hire to assist?
- Who you can ask for mentorship in your office setting or in your network?
- What resources are available through your human resources department, or if you are an entrepreneur, what might be available in your community to help?
The more support systems you have the calmer you will be, and the more balance you will be able to achieve in your life.
Work-life balance isn’t about constantly grinding to get everything done. That is not achievable, sustainable or remotely enjoyable. ONE BIG LIFE is about doing the things that matter most to you on a consistent basis. When you have that, even the most hectic days can feel fulfilling. That is when you know you’ve finally found a work-life harmony that works for you.
Learning from other successful people who have achieved great things in their lives is a wonderful way to get on a faster path to success. In the book Think and Grow Rich – Success and Something Greater, Greg Reid and I sought out multi-millionaires and asked them to share the Magic Keys to their success and legacy. Before reaching the last page, you will be more self-confident, more energized, more focused, ready to ask the right questions, and most importantly, ready to take action and realize your success, wealth and achievement. This will go a long way to assist you in your pursuit of not work-life balance, but work=life harmony and ONE BIG LIFE. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF THINK AND GROW RICH – SUCCESS AND SOMETHING GREATER NOW!
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