Striking That Perfect Life-Work Balance
As we grow older our day-to-day lives seem to be more consumed with work and obligations. It's pretty much a fact of life. Unfortunately though it makes life go by quickly and we look back wishing that we spent more time appreciating our lives outside of work.
I was guilty of that. Tremendously guilty. On top of the 40+ hours I put in at work, I spent probably another 20 hours working on projects at home. I did that for nearly 10 years. Sad part was that I thought it was going to get me somewhere. I thought it was going to help push my career further. Instead I missed holidays, and events. I lost friendships and didn't even have a real relationship for about 5 years. Was it worth it? I thought so.
Looking back, I have a lot of regrets. I know that having a job is important and you need money to survive. I am just realizing that there are other things that are important too. My health for one thing, relationships for another and happiness for a third.
So what happens when you don't have a solid life-work balance?
1- Stress related health issues
When we run our bodies into the ground our immune systems can only handle so much. We become more susceptible to illnesses. Headaches happen, blood pressure rises and exhaustion kicks in like an SOB.
All work and no play prepares you for a pretty heavy burn out. You start to hate work and quite frankly you don't want to do a damn thing. Chronic stress kicks in and sometimes it feels like you can't crawl out from underneath it.
3- Productivity goes down
Ironic, but true. When we try to complete it all, the less we seem to accomplish. We are not robots and we should not treat our bodies as such. Give our bodies a rest, that way our minds can recharge and tackle the problem the next day.
4- Relationships suffer
When you choose work over holidays, birthdays or events you put your relationships at risk. When you are too tired to give your people your attention at home, intimacy and communication suffer. That is not the way to have a solid foundation in your relationship.
5- Your Happiness suffers
One of the things we are willing to throw away first is what makes us happy. How is it when we were kids and teenagers we could handle school, sports and other extra-curricular activities. We made time for the things that interested us. We were more "well rounded". Now we're focused on moving ahead with careers and making money. What is the point of making all this money, if we don't use it on activities we can enjoy.
If we create our own rules when it comes to setting boundaries and achieving happiness, that life-work balance can become achievable. We can feel less stressed, focus on ourselves and others and realize that we should get as much out of life as humanly possible. Maybe then we'll be able to have more time for activities, creativity and fun!
Here are some of the rules I wish I followed in those 10 years. Maybe I would've been a lot happier. I would've at least enjoyed the hobbie I used to. Hopefully they help you out too!
Peace, love and creativity