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If you're finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone. If you spend too much time at work, feel that you never have enough time or energy for fun or find that your lifestyle has become one of unhealthy excesses -- you may need to find some balance.
Ask yourself: What is important to me? Is it my family, friends, career, leisure time, sports, volunteer work or hobbies? Because we all have different priorities, goals and values, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieving a balance between work and life.
Once you have taken a moment to assess your core values and reflect on your accomplishments and strengths, you will be ready to formulate a plan.
Here are ten tips to help you balance your life.
- Allocate your time properly
Delegate whenever you can and practice saying "No" when a proposed work project or social event will not advance your career or fit in with your core values. Prioritize your work assignments and leisure activities.
Create opportunities for relaxation and pleasure and take a break when you need one. Making time to watch TV is important if it's something you enjoy. Plan a vacation when you feel you need to refresh yourself. Just the act of researching and thinking about it will recharge your batteries and offset the stressors of your life.
Find a hobby. Working doesn't count. Try your hand at painting, writing or photography. You may be surprised at how relaxing it can be.
- Develop your support system
Have a "go-to" guy, a best buddy you can talk to who will not judge or criticize. Understand your long-term goals and create a plan to reach them. Celebrate your successes and you may find your life is more balanced than you thought.
- Make contact with people you care about
Create opportunities to connect with the people you care about. Call, send an e-mail or visit them. Send cards, clippings or photos or write letters, if that's something you find relaxing. The continuity of past, present and future will help you feel grounded and balanced. More secrets to balancing your life...
It's important to socialize, especially if you're single. Becoming a hermit because you spend too much time working and have no energy for other pursuits is not beneficial. Your employer expects you to be vibrant, enthusiastic and healthy.
Avoid working late or taking assignments home out of habit. Do it only when you have an urgent project deadline. It's not a wise career move to be a clock-watcher kind of guy, but it is a good idea to make plans after work a couple of days each week. It will get you out the door at a reasonable hour and refocus your attention.
If you feel ill or tired, do something about it. You're not doing anyone any good by turning up at work or football practice with a hacking cough. If you feel exhausted or are suffering from insomnia, remember that stress can manifest in physical symptoms and you may need some time off.
If you find that you've developed a habit of drinking or eating too much, commit to cutting back a little. It's not always necessary to make major lifestyle changes; even minor adjustments can improve your health and well-being.
Go to the gym or get involved in a sport. Take a walk in a city park, take a drive in the country or plan a relaxing weekend getaway in the mountains or at the beach. Turn the cellular phone off and enjoy the serenity. Breathe deeply and, for a few minutes, let go of all your worries. Exercising and re-energizing by doing something completely different will help you feel better.
Just a few small changes may be enough to make you feel more in control of your life, more relaxed and more fulfilled. For the good of your physical, mental and emotional health, assess all your needs and prioritize what's important to you. The benefits of achieving balance in your life will be worth it.
BUSINESS LOBBY TEAM.