The Messy Art of Balance

I like to think that humans are becoming more like robots everyday. Imagine, most of us have a routine of waking up, eating, getting kids ready (if you have any), working, eating  (again) and sleeping (maybe). It’s the same thing every day. Clock in and clock out. It gets redundant. Some people work so hard they lose sight of their family and friends. Some party too much forgetting they have responsibility. From what I’ve witness and was born into, people especially Americans have the mindset of living to work while Europeans think more along the lines of working to live. Which is a mantra I try my best to follow. Spending your whole life in the hopes of blinding success and money will only leave you feeling empty. You push your family and friends to the sidelines. Although it can be hard trying to balance work and play it’s not impossible. I will warn you that there are going to be time when you mess up. Which is okay as long as you remember to come back to reality. From the self-help videos I’ve watched and articles I’ve read finding a balance is possible. I’ve narrowed it down to four steps which I do by the way follow…for the most part…

SCHEDULE WHAT’S IMPORTANT FIRST

This is my top step that I follow religiously. I always get the most important work out-of-the-way. Whether it’s a discussion for class, editing a video or when I’m substituting a class. I get their most important work out of the way that way the rest of their day can go smoother. Another thing I do is that I try to plan for two days. I write down what I can get done that day and what I can leave for the next day. That way I don’t kill myself with stress. I also give a hard deadline for when certain things have to be done.

LEARN TO SAY NO

I know. Oh I know. I know exactly what you might be thinking. You might think, “That’s easy,” or “I know I should.” But should and would are opposites. You keep saying “I should” how about saying “I will.” You can’t keep saying yes to everything. I put way to much on my plate because I’m constantly saying yes. I guess you could say I’m the Yes Man (great movie by the way). But you can’t. You’re going to wear yourself thin and you’re going to be regretting it a lot. Stand up for yourself. It’s okay to say no. You don’t have to do everything. No one is Superman or Wonder Woman

SCHEDULE DOWN TIME AND FOLLOW THROUGH

This might be one of the hardest things to do. Scheduling downtime is easy but following through with it is hard. Why is it hard? Maybe because we use our downtime to get work done instead of kicking back with a glass of wine. But downtime should just be for downtime. You need to let your brain rest. We all know that when we lack proper sleep our body becomes sluggish and our words can slur. We are incapable of being functioning humans when we don’t let our body relax. So plan a day once a week where you’ll lay on the couch watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, do a face mask and take a bubble bath. You’ve earned it. And for those saying they don’t have a day (yes I hear you parents of children) try to give yourself at least 2 hours to decompress.

TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS

This is harder said than done. When you have things to do, put your phone on silent (or vibrate let’s be real), turn off the TV and focus on what has to get done. We can lose ourselves for hours scrolling through our Instagram feed or end up on the weird side of YouTube. You need to cancel those things out. Our brains are wired for high stimulation nowadays and sitting down to focus on one thing has proven difficult. We have to train ourselves to leave the phone down do what as to be done. Remember the days you didn’t have phones? Try to remember that.

Balancing work and life is like juggling balls. It’s hard at first but with practice and determination it’s possible. You’ll make mistakes occasionally. And that’s okay. Balancing life is like walking on a tightrope. So be your own star.

 

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Dolly Parton

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