These days we’re all overworked and striving to find balance. You’ve probably heard the phrase work/life balance thrown around often. It sounds ideal! It seems to encapsulate what we all strive for: having a successful career and ample family time, opportunities to pursue your passion or hobbies, cultivating a healthy body and mind, keeping a tidy house, etc.
But is this realistic? Rather than striving for a balance, perhaps we should instead strive to shift our perspective. The phrase work/life balance often evokes a need for perfection in all aspects of life, rather than a more realistic idea of a push and pull between shifting priorities.
Instead of aiming for the coveted “work/life balance,” try these tips to find peace at your own pace:
Define Success for Yourself
Everyone has a different definition of success. Take some time to reflect and determine what is most important to you. This may mean climbing your career ladder, in which case you’ll spend more time working. Or it could mean that family is first, in which case you can draw strict boundaries between work and family time. Instead of striving for the both of best worlds, focus on what matters to you more.
Learn how to be adaptable. Forgive yourself for mistakes and forget about perfection. If you need to let chores slide to focus more on your work for a few days, or you let a few emails idle so you can attend your daughter’s recital, then don’t worry about it. Instead of a static balance between all aspects of your life, think about balance as a push and pull. The scale will always be tipping to one thing or another, that’s life!
As you grow, your priorities will likely change. What may have been the most important thing in your life can completely shift over time. Always check in on yourself to keep track of where you should focus your energy and time.
Have A Sense of Humor
Try to cultivate a healthy sense of humor so that when you get overwhelmed you can always see the bigger picture. When you can see the humor in a tough situation, it can help you deal with it in an effective way without getting panicked.
Shift Your Perspective
Sometimes work can be rejuvenating, and home life can be taxing. It’s not always the other way around. Find what energizes you at work and at home, and then make it your goal to focus on those things.
If you feel like the frenzy over achieving “work/life balance” is just stressing you out, step back from the phrase and look at what the word “balance” actually means. To really have balance, you need to be constantly adjusting your tension and moving with your weight. Don’t look at balance as something you can reach, rather think of it as a constant ebb and flow of shifting priorities.
Has your career been one of your priorities in life? How do you think about work/life balance? Help others learn about your type of job by sharing your story on UltiCareer.
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