Posts Tagged ‘balance’

If you are a busy volunteer and trying to find balance in your life, it can be difficult. It may not seem as if you have enough hours in your day to get your “work” done, let alone find time to relax and de-stress. And what about friends, family, your children? Overworking and not achieving a healthy balance can be extremely tiring, not to mention, draining. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Turn off those devices

Being connected 24/7 can be tiring in itself. When did you last switch your phone off so you could do something uninterrupted? Those constant notifications and pings can distract your thought processes and your relaxation. Turning them off will allow you to enjoy the moment – even better when you are spending it with those you love. Give them 100% of your attention without the need to check your device constantly. Everyone will benefit because of it.

Everything does not have to be perfect

We are always surrounded by perfectionism – on television, in magazines and in the books we read. But keeping up with those standards of measurements can be difficult. Life is complicated and busy for a start! So if you have to let things slide for the sake of your sanity, then do it. Leave the dishes until tomorrow. Clean the bathroom in a day or two. Whatever you need to put off, it is truly okay. It will still be there tomorrow (unless someone kindly volunteers to do it for you!)

Schedule in exercise

Exercise is one of those things that we constantly tell ourselves we will do later. But the truth is, there is always an opportunity to exercise; we just need to make it a priority in our life. If you have time to sit down and watch a television program, then you have time to commit to a short exercise schedule a couple of occasions a week. Whether you enjoy yoga, want to job, go for a walk, or cycle, then schedule it in. It will not only make you feel less stressed about your busy lifestyle, but it will also improve your energy to get you through the day.

Take it one step at a time

Marathon runners don’t get to where they are without attempting small runs first. It is the same with making any changes in your life. You don’t aim to lose 20 pounds in a week and nor do you try to find 3 hours of “me time” in one go. Take it slowly and snatch moments here and there. Once you begin to see that giving yourself permission is kind, not selfish, then you will be keener to make changes, so it happens on a regular basis. Like exercise, scheduling it into your daily movements will help.

Create boundaries

It is not acceptable for people to call you at 11 pm or 7 am. It is not acceptable when you are asked to forego your lunch break to help out in the office. Create boundaries so people know when you are available – anything else can wait until you are available. Unexpected things happen regularly in life and the office, but your time is sacred and needs to be respected as well. If you don’t want to be interrupted, then turn your phone off and shut the door. People will soon understand when you are open to conversations or wish to discuss their requirements. Saying no is something you have to get used to saying more often.

Plan your holidays in advance

Plan your holidays in advance, so it gives you something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be an all-expenses paid cruise to unwind. Even a staycation (a holiday at home away from work or volunteering) can be great for the mind and body if you plan it right. Once you know your dates, then you can delegate as necessary. That will give time for a volunteer to step up to take on your responsibilities. And don’t forget if you do plan to go away, arrange for someone to water your plants and check on your home, to give you one less thing to have to worry about.

Join a group

While joining another group when you are time limited sounds counter-productive, it can do your mind a world of good. It allows you to concentrate on something else other than volunteering or the mundane chores at home. It also provides you with an avenue where you can spend time talking about something you like with other like-minded individuals. Do you have a hobby or wish to take one up? This is your chance to join a group and expand your knowledge.


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DeathtoStock_Wired1It is said that you can’t have it all. Something’s got to give.

Is that really such a bad thing?

There will always be times when work wins over home, or life in general, and at other times family comes first. Instead of fighting the work life balance battle perhaps we should just accept it and reduce our stress in a different way. Feeling like you can’t have it all and are somehow failing just makes matters worse. Accepting that there will always be a level of imbalance could be just what you need to take the pressure off.

If you have just been promoted or hope to be, begun a course of study, opened your own business or have taken on extra hours or even another job to save for something special, work is going to have a higher priority in your life. All of these events have an end point, are a means to an end and are hopefully worth the sacrifice or the imbalance they create. With appropriate communication and coping strategies the people left at home whilst work takes over will be there to keep the wheels turning and support you until the balance tips in their direction. But it is essential that the work focus doesn’t take over and becomes the new normal. When the goals are achieved, the holiday taken or the study completed those who made the bigger sacrifice need to be rewarded with your time and attention. Don’t keep working the extra hours or take on more study because it becomes a habit or an expectation.

There can also be times when family or home takes precedence. For example welcoming a new baby, moving house, enjoying the well earned holiday you took a second job to save for, or less joyful events such as illness or relationship break down. These things can be out of your control and sometimes occur at the worst possible time, if there is such a thing as a good time. But you’ll find that as important as you are it is unlikely you are indispensable and the job or task will go on without you. It may not be the same and even lack a little something but if it can’t wait then it will go on regardless of your input. Organisations and managers accept that their people have lives and other responsibilities, and like the situation when work takes over, these times don’t last forever. When the crisis or illness is over, the boxes are unpacked or the baby is home then your attention can be diverted to make your work a higher priority once again.

How about embracing ‘intentional imbalance’ instead of work life balance. When you stop feeling guilty about the time you are devoting or not devoting you have more energy and focus to the task at hand. But there still needs to be a clear plan and defined goals. Be sure to record your aims and timeframes and share them with the people around you who will be most affected. If you get carried away or steer off course they will be the ones to remind you and drag you back.

It’s ok to stop worrying about achieving work life balance. You can do anything. But not everything.

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