Work Hard, Play Hard: Find Your Work-Life Balance
“It’s all about balance.”
“Yes, you can do it all.”
Can you though? What do these headlines actually mean?
We hear all the time about hard-working entrepreneurs and people who we deem successful having these so-called perfect lives. And it sounds like they have it all. That is, until their divorce is front page news and we realize that they possibly didn’t find that sweet spot - the one where they get everything they want, the perfect marriage and the successful career.
Martha Stewart was at the top of her game - career-wise. Yet, she struggled to find her work-life balance. Her marriage fell apart, not unlike many other high profile celebrities.
So, is it possible? Can you work hard and play hard? Is the work-life balance real?
We are here to tell you that it is. But, it might look different from person to person.
Forbes examined how ‘balance’ might not technically be the right word. However, some kind of balance is necessary to excel. It helps with stress management in your daily life and stress management at work. Without it, you are well on the road to an inevitable burnout.
Look for Work-Life Harmony Over Balance
You are never going to be able to balance everything, all the time. Perfection is an unattainable feat - one that will set you up for failure from the get-go. So, don’t weigh everything equally. It isn’t feasible nor possible (unless you have superhuman powers that create an extra 40 hours or so in the week).
Perhaps one day we will figure out time-travel, but for now, prioritize your life. Sure, work might pull you one way this week. But, your recreational softball team playoffs might hold your attention the next. This is ‘balance.’ It is about having a variety of hobbies or activities that create happiness and fulfillment in your life.
One of the best pieces of advice we found? Forbes stated that “if you’re passionate about your job, practice self-care… If you’re not passionate about your job, find a hobby to get passionate about.” Again, assess your priorities - what are you passionate about? Find your meaning and purpose. This is balance.
For High-Achievers, ‘Balance’ May Not Be Possible… and That’s Okay!
This comes back to prioritizing. What matters to you right now? What are your dreams?
Steve Jobs didn’t exactly launch the iconic iPhone with a work-life balance. He went after his goals - his own vision. Everyone’s vision is different. If work-life balance isn’t your thing and you are happy where you are, don’t pay any mind to others’ opinions about how you should live your life. You know yourself best.
Concentrate on what matters to you. Most likely, everything else will come with time or when you are ready for it. Your priorities are allowed to change. It doesn’t mean these imbalances have to be permanent. In fact, most things balance themselves out in time.
If you are headfirst in this new work project or getting your career started, it’s okay for it to be your current focus. Really great things have come out of life imbalances - empires, products, success. The best thing you can do is set goals and go after them.
Constantly Check in With Yourself
Do you need something else in your life besides work? Do you need to take a break and have time alone? Check yourself - seriously.
If you aren’t doing what makes you happy and if you are exhausted all the time, find that balance or equation that does. Don’t spiral out of control. If you feel you need a mental health day, take it. If you want to spend the day doing nothing, go for it. In fact, maybe it’s exactly what you need.
Everyone needs stress management at work and in life. The trick is finding what works for you and your life. Again, we are all different. Check how you feel about your work, hobbies, and life - then, adjust where you see fit.
No one said you can’t change things. The biggest thing that stops us from changing is fear - fear of the unknown. But for most, taking that leap is the best thing you can do. Want to lead your best life? Embrace change.
Find Your Personal Work-Life Harmony
Ah - harmony. It’s that euphoric combination of musical chords and notes coming together. It’s that spot where everything feels right. Our minds look for problems. But in this spot, it’s hard to find one. It’s where we all want to be. So, how can you get started in finding your harmonic life tune?
1. Set Goals
Every self-help guide and happiness article or book recommends setting goals. It’s foolproof. Yes, you might fail. Again, welcome change with open arms! You can change and adjust your goals. But, setting goals gives you a purpose. It sets an intention. It gives you that drive and ignites passion. Don’t wander aimlessly through life.
2. Manage Your Time
This means finding the time and making the time for the important things in your life. If it matters, make time for it. Keep a calendar. Become a planner. If you really want it, go after it. You say you want to take an art class? Pick a class. Register for it. Make it happen. Schedule it in.
3. Leave Room to Fail
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss an art class. Your kids’ recital is just as important. Don’t dwell on that failed goal. Don’t expect a success to make ever-lasting happiness. It comes and goes. Think of life as a constant tug-and-pull. If it’s not going your way, chances are soon you are going to have a little pull. And vice versa - What goes up must come down.
4. Focus Less On Balance & More On Happiness
This comes back to checking in with yourself. What makes you happy? Are you happy? Why or why not? Get to know yourself. What makes you tick? What makes you excited? Become self-aware. Become more in tune with your emotions.
Don’t Overcomplicate It
Like a lot of things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all. And like a lot of things in life, if you think too hard about it, you might hit a mental block. Keep it simple. Avoid overthinking. Balance your time between doing things for yourself and others - balance your leisure time and work time in accordance with you and your life.
In terms of having it all… you can! “It all” means different things to different people. Chase after fulfillment - not others’ expectations. And ask yourself, what do you want your life to look like? What are you passionate about? What would your perfect day look like? These questions are your key to success in all aspects of your life.