work life balance

Balancing work and personal life

The barrier between our personal and professional life is getting ever hazier. With emails landing directly in our mobile phones, more integrated gadgets and apps, hubs or co-working spaces which reinvent the workspace, they all create a stronger blend between personal and professional life.

We live in a time when we can work from anywhere, when brunch can easily be transformed into a brainstorming session for the next project, or into a ‘break’ for organizing our inbox.

Having a lack of balance in our life can lead to unhappiness, no matter which side is biased against more. On one hand, focusing too much on our personal lives may lead to stagnation, or even professional regression. On the other hand, a lack of relaxation or free time leads to fatigue, frustration or alienation from family and friends.

Although there is no mathematical equation to strictly define the right balance between personal and professional life, each person can achieve this balance. Personal priorities, current status in life or career, these will always dictate the relationship between personal and professional life and which of them brings the greatest personal satisfaction. The most important thing is to prioritize sustainable decisions rather than make decisions in the spur of the moment or under external pressure.

One of the most important behaviors which help achieve this balance is letting go of needing to be perfect. In fact, not everything will work perfectly at the office, conflicts between people cannot be avoided and unforeseen situations or sudden changes of plans will always happen. Whatever you want to build will require time, patience, compromise and limit situations. Accept and learn from each occurrence.

The road to the perfect career or to personal happiness is a marathon, in no way a sprint. Experiencing new things, taking breaks to look at the whole picture, joining a team or another are necessary actions both to open your perspective and to achieve long-term goals.

Maintain an active lifestyle that includes exercise in your daily schedule. Practice sports, yoga or meditation, or just take long enough walks. Let your body and mind take a break from the – sometimes restrictive – everyday tasks. It may seem as an extra item on the already long list of activities you have to accomplish, but after a few days it will become a habit and effects of movement and meditation will have a beneficial impact. If you manage to sneak this into your program just before you start a chaotic day, the better.

Last but not least, prioritize! Whether it’s your personal or professional life, make sure you know your long-term goals and you know how to prioritize actions according to their relevance, importance and urgency. Dividing your daily activities into predefined timeframes – dedicated either for work, family, for rest or personal time, leads to better planning and facilitates fulfilling objectives from all aspects of life. Eliminate all those chaotic, disruptive activities and use saved up time to invest in whatever makes you feel better.

Nigel Marsh – speaker and author on business and personal life – believes that the balance between these two defining aspects of our lives is far too important to be left in someone else’s hands. In just 10 minutes he describes an ideal day in which balance is reached and offers practical tips. Follow the speech below and let yourself be inspired!

Read the other articles on the blog to improve your lifestyle.