We’re always told that balance is the key to just about everything, but we’re also told that multi-tasking is required. The reality is that less than one person of people can actually multi-task. Everyone else is just jumping from one task to another and with limited success.
Fortunately, there are habits you can employ to increase balance in your life, and it doesn’t always require a major sacrifice. Remember that balance is about ensuring that you don’t spend too much time in a particular aspect of your life—no matter how healthy it may seem. Obsessing over anything, from relationships to exercise, can have detrimental results.
Here are a few tips to achieve better work/life balance when our culture demands nothing but success:
- Start meditating daily. Meditation is at the core of yoga, but you don't need to include asanas and pranayama in order to enjoy meditation and all its benefits (although you can!). Meditation has been proven to help with a variety of ailments from addiction to stress and anxiety. Start with just one minute at a time and space that you can dedicate to just quieting your mind. A guided meditation or candle gazing can help if you find your mind is racing, which is very common.
- Write down what you achieved that day. Some people find it helpful to write out their to-do lists for the day, even down to the minute, but others find that stressful. Try writing down what you achieved instead at the end of the day. It can help you decipher where you need to spend more or less time and also soothe anxiety if you feel like not much got accomplished.
- Unplug from technology. At the end of each day, challenge yourself to unplug entirely. Put your phone on airplane mode, no mobile devices, and no television. We live in a time where we're constantly connected and stimulated, which is terrible for the body as a whole. It also induces insomnia. For at least two hours before bedtime, go tech-free, and you'll be amazed at how much more time for yourself you have. Spend it practicing good sleep hygiene such as enjoying a bath or reading a book.
- See a mental therapist regularly. You wouldn’t skip going to the doctor for years, but most people don’t see a regular mental health therapist. These professionals can help you navigate a life when we’re bombarded with images of other people who seem so much more successful than us. Even if we know that they’re just showcasing the reels, it can be hard not to compare and feel envious. A therapist can help you with the tools you need to be better balanced and less competitive.
- Exercise outdoors whenever you can. A healthy amount of exercise can be a daily practice. However, when you trudge away inside a gym, it can get dull and competitive. Instead, go outdoors. Try walking, cycling, or running. The benefits of the great outdoors are endless, and it forces you to slow down a bit. If you can, go without your music or phone. Make this your time to disconnect with the rest of the world and reconnect with your intentions.
- Prioritize your loved ones. Life is too short to spend it with people you don’t enjoy (especially when you’re not getting paid for it, like at work!). Loved ones encompass whoever makes you feel good. Friends, children, spouses, and so on. Ditch the idea that you “have to” fulfill certain social graces, and if you’re an introvert challenge yourself to reach out to people you know you want to spend time with. Isn’t that what life’s all about?
Balancing life and work is getting blurry since many people are basically working around the clock. Learn to set boundaries. Do you really need to answer that 2 a.m. email? Probably not, because it’s eating into your life—and it’s time to reclaim some balance.