Balancing act

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Vivian (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Vivian (Creative Commons)

No one can sustain an unbalanced life of all work for very long. It will lead to burnout, health  problems and lost or troubled relationships.

The key to being more satisfied is finding a balance between the things you have to do and the things that you want to do.

But that is easier said than done, right?

For some of us, it takes a conscious effort to create balance. I will admit I have workaholic tendencies, so I tend to throw myself whole heartedly into my work to the exclusion of most everything else. That’s great for being productive at that work, but bad for the other people and activities in my life. And when I take on several responsibilities, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.

So how to dig out? One way is to set limits, and use the calendar. As crazy as it sounds, sometimes I have to go overboard on the reminders I put on my calendar in order to create a little balance.

I’m learning to set a few boundaries. For instance, instead of trying to completely finish a particular project (which could honestly take all night to finish), I pick a reasonable stopping point and actually type the work “break” on the spreadsheet. That way when I hit that point, I have a reminder to stop there and either move on to something else, or call it a night.

It also helps to schedule “fun” activities. I have a weekly standing appointment with my mom to meet at the Farmer’s Market. It would be easy to just let that slide and get on with other errands or chores, but we both look forward to that so we are intentional about making sure that happens.

What tricks do you have to maintain balance in your life?