Greater heights. Greener pasture. Bluer seas.
It seemed like our existence is eternally tied to our wish to make more money, achieve more dreams, and accumulate lots of properties. We were conditioned to work-work-work and build-build-build. Until one Saturday afternoon, we saw our once-noisy gardens now filled with painful silence, our little children were no longer sitting with us during dinnertime, the grand mansion was empty, we could no longer drive our favorite sports car and there were no friends coming by for lunch.
I would never deny that I, myself, am scared of not earning money, so I dedicated my heart and hands out to the companies I’ve worked for before. But there was a part of me that wanted to forget my responsibilities and not work at all. But how am I going to provide for my child’s needs, my monthly bills, my life, and my career goals if I quit my job? Looking back, those two conflicting roads both seemed frightening to me. “It is frustrating to be born poor…”, I frequently told myself.
Later on, I realized that my child needs a mother and my husband needs a wife as much as my boss needs an employee. I don’t need to be torn between being a great mother and being a great employee. I just need to weigh how am I going to split my time doing things I love, doing things that make me earn, and doing things that I am responsible for.
But this realization was hard to achieve at first. After giving birth, I started a small business. While taking care of my child, I sold preloved bags and clothes online. I loved it because I was able to spoil my child while doing what I love, but the business started to decline when the pandemic started. To frustrate me more, my spouse lost his job too. I had to spend my business profit for survival. While I was back to zero, I came to an epiphany that something has to change. At 22, I am now a business owner, a full-time mother, and a full-time employee of CVP. While I am a success-in-progress, I want to share with you a few good hacks for achieving Work and Life balance.
- Delegate or be late
It is natural for humans to want to be great at everything but this nature is a time-consuming beast. It’s great to be the jack of all trades, but later on, you’ll discover that you’re eventually turning yourself into a depressed and procrastinating master in a bottomless pit of self-pity. How do you get back up? Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest.
- Split time into priorities
Often, we find ourselves covered with so many tasks but with so little time. We want to get all things done immediately to catch up with time, thus, compromising the quality of our work. I know you knew this, but rebuilding a house made of substandard materials requires more time and money than when you start building a house from the ground up. You have to demolish the urge of accomplishing all tasks at once. Work according to urgency and importance.
- Never juggle time for work and time for life
Set a fixed schedule for your work and avoid mixing it up with life and play. This way, you will accomplish more during your work hours, enjoy more during your life hours, and avoid burnout and stress. Also, this will set you in a better mood to resolve issues whether you are working or doing the things you love the most.
- Use a system for your finances in place
If you settle with a system to manage how much you earn and spend, you will grow more comfortable working and enjoying a fixed schedule. You’ll have fewer reasons to render overtime and commit tardiness, and you’ll have less fear of enjoying life after work. You work to enjoy delicious food and comfortable shelter so don’t overwork and miss dinner or a good sleep. If you are being paid by somebody to build their dreams, enjoy your dreams too!
- Have a working workspace
Invest in a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, and a support stand and you’ll find yourself happier during work hours. It will also give you more energy and enthusiasm for doing things you love after work. What’s the guarantee? I’m sitting on my swivel chair right now, smiling while typing this whole article. If you don’t invest in your equipment now, one way or another, your computer or your body will charge interest.
- Utilize technology
If you are stuck in traffic while on the way to a meeting or you don’t want to be stuck in traffic on the way to a meeting, make use of teleconferencing tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skype.
Aside from that, it is also imperative to track your productivity and time at work. Invest in a time-tracking tool to help guarantee that you spend time with the maximum productivity that you can dedicate.
- Give your passion the time it deserves
Never lose your passion and identity in the process of making money. If you stay afresh and creative, you will find yourself more motivated and satisfied to make money and enjoy life. Spend time with people who share a mutual interest in your passion and you’ll be able to understand different perspectives in work and life better. In return, you can also help them achieve work and life balance.
- Work on your mental health
Cut ties with things or people that frequently cause you anxiety, stress, and fear. Read books that encourage positivity. Attract good thoughts. Spend time with people who boost you up. Once you start manifesting a positive and healthy mental disposition, all things will follow, and believe me when I say that a healthy disposition is contagious in the workplace.
- Don’t be ideal, be real
We frequently question ourselves for committing errors, but in reality, everyone is just like us, standing up every time we fall down, and learning the same lesson. As cliche as it sounds, nobody is perfect but it is only when we stand corrected that we learn.
- Let work and life meet halfway
Don’t always say YES when you deal with work and life for it will consume the best of you. Don’t always say NO, too, for it will keep you from becoming your best. Avoid leaving your family dinner for sudden overtime. Avoid leaving your paperwork out of nowhere, when a relative comes for a surprise visit. Be disciplined when it comes to dealing with family and life matters during work hours and vice versa. This way, you will not end up burning yourself out and getting a warning for delinquency.
We are all certain that maintaining work and life balance isn’t a bed of roses, but having a system in place prevents us from getting beaten in a vicious cycle. Settling with that 5 grams of work and 5 grams of life is not only about discipline with time for work and family. One can only unlock the bigger picture by seeing how our professional selves fall without the proper system. After all, a businessman without a family and a hobby is still a man on the verge of bankruptcy.
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