You’re not alone if you feel balancing your personal life and professional goals is a high-wire act with a steep fall waiting on both sides. Ideally, our professional lives help us to create a fulfilling personal life for ourselves and our personal lives help us destress and reset. Realistically, it’s always more complicated than that.
In today’s article we’ll look at ways you can balance your personal life without giving up your groove at work.
It’s easy to neglect your needs when you’re busy putting out fires while staying on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. Whether that’s sacrificing sleep to make a deadline or something as simple as skipping breakfast on the way out the door, neglect adds up over time. At times, practicing self-care can feel selfish—but your body is a machine that needs love and care to keep running properly.
Examples of self-care may include:
- Carving out time for a hobby.
- Spoiling yourself with simple luxuries; a favorite lunch, or a trip to the bookstore.
- Going out for a walk.
- Exploring a new interest.
- Enjoying a quiet weekend in.
Sometimes, the right decision is canceling social plans at the end of the long week—but it’s important to be aware of what you’re giving up in your personal life because of demands at work. The opposite is also true. Sometimes it’s necessary to scale back personal commitments so that you have the energy to pursue professional dreams.
Always a healthy place to start. Our personal lives need boundaries, and so do our work lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the blitz of our day-to-day lives that we forget to take a minute to sit down and think about what the boundaries between those two should be. Creating boundaries means knowing how and when to say no. Let’s think about some questions we can ask ourselves to identify areas of imbalance:
- How much time are you spending on work, during off-hours?
- Is your work impacting your relationships with your partner, kids, or friends?
- Do you struggle to talk about topics other than work?
- Are you getting work calls on your weekends and days off?
- Do you find yourself stepping out of the office to take care of fires at home?
It’s important to be conscious of the limitations on how much you can take on at any given point in time. These boundaries don’t have to be set in stone. It is encouraged to change them over time to align with your needs and goals. Like a performer on a high wire, we need to be conscious of which way the winds are blowing to keep our balance.
Being aware of your limitations is important; coming up with a plan to delegate tasks is the next step in that process. While people often want to help, they struggle to know where to start. You can help by giving people specific tasks or chores you need help with.
Okay. You’ve got needs. You’ve got boundaries. Now it’s time to set expectations. It might be scary, but letting your boss know when you’ve got stress building up at home lets them know what to expect—and a good company values employees who come to them proactively. By the same token, letting your family and friends know when you’re going to be out of action helps them understand when you go missing for a few weeks because it’s the busy season at the office.
Helping other people know what to expect reduces natural friction and prevents miscommunication.
Reach out today if you’re struggling to balance your personal life with your productivity at work. Often, this struggle is driven by our background and beliefs—in anxiety treatment or career counseling, we can explore where those imbalances are coming from and find a way to heal them.