If trying to maintain balance in your work+life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus.
Sure, there will be seasons where we purposefully put all our energies and efforts in work mode, or all of our attention is on a family crisis. That’s okay and totally normally. Here we’re talking about overall, day-to-day balance.
Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants.
TRUE FALSE 1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself physically and emotionally.
TRUE FALSE 2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others.
TRUE FALSE 3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.
TRUE FALSE 4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.
TRUE FALSE 5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift.
TRUE FALSE 6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.
TRUE FALSE 7. Creativity nurtures me, too. I make time to what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit.
TRUE FALSE 8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends.
TRUE FALSE 9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful.
TRUE FALSE 10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment.
TRUE FALSE 11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with overactivity, so I stop and take care of myself.
TRUE FALSE 12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time.
TRUE FALSE 13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup.
TRUE FALSE 14. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me.
TRUE FALSE 15. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do.
TRUE FALSE 16. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy.
If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate something of its message into your life.
In my own experience, the three things that have made the biggest difference to my work+life joy quotient are:
- A solid morning and evening routine. I start the day with a morning devotional reading, making my bed and a healthy protein shake. I end the day with a cleaned off desk, lots of gratitude and a healthy dinner. Those are the pillars; I tweak the routines by adding in meditations and exercise, too. And I’m obsessed with Sleep Stories on the Calm app.
- A community of supportive friends and colleagues. We aren’t supposed to any of it alone! And, yeah, life and business can feel really sucky sometimes. Find supportive groups of like-minded folks, whether in a business mastermind, a spiritual community, or in active, caring Facebook groups (I’m a member of the Daily Calm community, a feng shui group and several women entrepreneur groups). It’s not about bitching and moaning; it’s about laying down what’s burdening you. There are rarely “answers” but something happens in just being real about your struggles and concerns.
- Prioritize what matters most. This often-cited tip is simple but effective. Whether it’s an unrealistic to-do list or multiple demands on my time from all corners of my life, sometimes you just have to put what matters most ahead of everything else. Yes, that means some things won’t get done. At least not that week/day/hour. The world won’t end. Promise. (Unless you’re a super spy saving the world and you prioritize a coffee break. Then we’re done for.) It helps to know what actually matters most. That’s where I find having a vision and intention can help create the touchstone for prioritizing tasks and projects.
Just bringing some thought and awareness to where your life needs a little more attention can do wonders. What works for you? Please leave a comment below. And, if you liked this article, please share it so other people can benefit!
Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications
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