So, you didn’t read your favorite book as you had to work late in the office? You didn’t call your parents because you slept off tired after work? You didn’t travel in the weekend because you had to finish the piled up work? I often meet people who complain about not being able to pursue their hobbies because of heavy workloads. Most of them ask me how I manage time to write blogs, go to the gym, read books, travel almost every weekend and yet manage to do my office work on time. The only way to do that is having a ‘Healthy Work-Life Balance‘.
Recently, I posted a question in my instagram story asking people why they do not pursue their hobbies and I will share few replies I got:
- Long working hours
- Fear of loosing job
- Tight deadlines at work
- Unrealistic expectations at work
- Failing to plan things ahead of time
- No motivation
If you observe, most of these are related to lack of proper planning & prioritizing stuff in your life.
So in this blog, I will explain you how I maintain a healthy work-life balance. Hope the tips & suggestions are useful to you!
“Prioritization is the key to managing time between professional & personal life”
So to all those people who ask me how I manage to do everything I love? Here is the answer: I divide my priorities in below two categories:
My fixed priorities are long-term goals. These priorities ensure that I fulfill my dreams & hobbies without getting pressurized & demotivated.
Example: If I set a goal of reading a book in two days, I will feel more pressurized. What if I get an unexpected workload and hence, will not be able to complete reading the book in two days?
Instead, I set a goal of reading one book every month. This is less stressful because I know that I have 30 days to finish one book.
Below are the examples of my fixed priorities:
- I will travel to a dream-destination for every long weekend
- I will hike to one scenic place every month
- I will read at least one book every month
- I will pamper myself in a beauty parlor once every month
- I will learn swimming in 2019
My adjustable priorities are short-term goals. These change on day-to-day basis depending on the situation.
Example: I set a priority to finish writing my blog today. However, I had to attend my friend’s farewell party that was scheduled on the last minute. But that is okay, because I have a fixed priority to complete my blog in this week. So, I have a target of 7 days to complete it. So, I attend my friend’s farewell & same time ensure that I complete my blog in the week.
Adjustable priorities help me to attend to urgent & important events without sacrificing my hobbies. Hope you understand the trick!Divide your priorities into short term & long term categories and attend to them with slow pace.
“You can do ANYTHING. But, you cannot do EVERYTHING.“
Often, people tend to try to do everything and end up setting unrealistic goals and at the end of the day, they fail to achieve & get demotivated. Set your short term & long term goals realistically.
I can tell you few ways I use to manage my time. Hope you find it useful!
- Plan Ahead of Time – I do not plan my things on the fly.
Example: If I need to travel to a place, I do not go to that place & decide the itinerary on the fly. I have my itinerary planned at-least 2 weeks prior to my travel. If I need to finish my work by this Friday, I do not sit in the last minute & work on it. I divide my tasks from Monday to Friday and work accordingly.
- Multi-Tasking – Well, I know most of you out there might not be able to do this. However, this is one thing I do that saves me a lot of time. Example: I go to the gym and plan my to-do list on the treadmill so that I do not waste another 30 minutes of my day just to plan my to-do list.
- Make a To-do list – I always keep stressing on the fact to make a To-Do list. This helps to define the scope of your work each day. Maintain a realistic to-do list. You can even read about the techniques I use to prioritize my tasks in one my previous blogs.
- Stop wasting time on useless things – List out all the things that actually waste your time. It can be anything like cooking food for a bunch of people who can manage to cook themselves, watching Netflix series continuously, gossiping on useless topics with families & friends – these are simple WASTE of time. Stop doing these things. Rather invest that time on your goals & hobbies. This helps to maintain a calm mind; so you have energy to keep a healthy balance between your work & personal life.
Do not try to be a people pleaser
Live your life for yourself and for people who are worthy of your time. I do not say that stop doing things for your friends & family. But invest only worthy time. Focus on your goals & time.
“Sometimes the list of things you need to stop doing should be bigger than the list of things you want to do“
This is a real time example of how I screwed my mind & life trying to please people. Being a good cook, when I came to USA to do my masters, I tried to help my room-mates by cooking food. I initially cooked for around ten people and lastly realized that it was a waste of effort & energy. There was no appreciation, no gratitude, no help and I ended up loosing my value, time & energy.
You know why? Because, not everyone & everything deserves that time & energy. I was naive & stupid to make that decision. But I am happy to make that mistake, since it taught me how to invest my time ONLY in those things & people that truly deserve it.
Develop Good Habits
Trust me, your daily habits affect your lifestyle in ways you cannot imagine. I follow the below mantras in my life that have truly helped me maintain a healthy work-life balance:
- Sleep for minimum 7-8 hours – I listen to my body. When it wants rest, I give it rest. Most of the people waste time at night browsing facebook or watching movies. Then they find it difficult to complete a proper sleep and hence affect their performance the next day.
If possible, switch off all gadgets, including TV, social media, and internet at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
- Wake up Early in Morning – Being a morning lark has helped me pursue my hobbies as I get more time to invest on myself. This habit will turn your life on a complete positive route. Try it.
- Go to the gym & workout – Exercise is an effective method to reduce stress. Reduction in stress levels will help you focus more on a balanced lifestyle.
- Eat Healthy – Healthy food plays a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. Pizzas & burger are tasty, but they suck your energy levels and leave you tired, obese & lazy. Consume healthy food like salads, proteins, fruits, etc.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog & found it useful. I would love to listen to your feedback on my blog. Please leave comments & let me know your thoughts. Cheers..!