Many people are frustrated with their lives. Frustrations many times comes from different segments of life. Some people seem to have significant breakthroughs in terms of money; yet, their lives still experience unparalleled frustrations. Some who have gone to some lengths in their spiritual lives also seem to have it very tough in other areas.
I do believe that hard work is good for us. However, if we don’t include periods of rest, quiet contemplation and recreation, what are we working so hard for? We must also make time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
They say “a woman’s work is never done”, but this holds true for men also. Work in general is never done – which is a good thing really, because if there is no more work to be done, there is no more progress to be made.
But constant work without play makes for a very dull existence. Life doesn’t have to be all frustrating. It can be very exciting. In fact, this state is desirable. But few things are central in this pursuit. The key is balance. It is a difficult thing to achieve for many, myself included.
So how do we create balance in our lives? I believe there are four key areas of our lives that require (yes, require!) daily attention. By the way, they are listed in order of importance.
God / Spirituality
All people have an in-built desire to connect or fellowship with the divine. Everywhere you turn you’ll see that everyone is either engaged or still searching for that place of feeling fulfilled spiritually.
This is the part that makes us human, it is essential that in our pursuit of work-life balance we give necessary time and effort towards attending to and satisfying this part of our lives. Taking time to center yourself and commune with God (whatever your interpretation of God may be), is crucial.
Prayer, meditation and quiet contemplation are so important to our overall health. It doesn’t matter what religion you practice, it matters only that you make time to honor your spiritual self and your connection to the Divine, every single day.
For many of us, we care a great deal about helping others. That is good in itself. But, in these efforts, many have often, regrettably, overlooked themselves and their well-being. To really achieve a sense of fulfillment, it is essential to ‘love thy self’.
Each of us needs time every day to work on our physical and emotional wellness. This is time we can use for exercise, journaling and self-exploration, and hobbies. Again, it doesn’t have to be massive amounts of time, but at least some time for exercise and self-care is necessary.
When you’ve cared for yourself and love yourself, helping others becomes enjoyable. You cannot fully give to someone else when you are empty yourself. Make yourself a priority, and make time to care properly for yourself, physically and emotionally. Trust me, you will be a much happier person and be able to give that much more to those you love.
Spouse / Family
The significance played by family in granting us peace of mind cannot be downplayed. It is vital to ensure that relationships with our significant other are nourished and life will be very rewarding.
Time together as a family is so important, and it is something that is sadly beginning to happen less and less in our hurried society. Here are some ways to help that. Make it a priority to have dinner together every single night. Have a “family day” or “family night” where you spend one evening or perhaps one weekend day together doing something fun as a family – and this doesn’t include camping out around the television.
Time spent together having fun is the most important thing. This goes for you and your spouse also. Have a weekly “date night” where the two of you spend time alone together, without the kids, and without distraction. Relationships require maintenance to keep them strong. Make it romantic and rekindle the flame that once brought you together.
Work / Business
Are you surprised I put this last? Most people today put work first and forget the rest, but doing so creates a sense of constant duty and drudgery. Work is important, but it’s not the most important thing in life.
If you make the other three categories your first priorities, your time spent working will be much more productive. You won’t feel so burned out and stressed out, and you will accomplish a lot more than you would otherwise.
Try focusing only on one task at a time, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much more you can get done, and with less fatigue at the end of the day. Your mind may want to keep wandering, as it is used to doing. That’s okay, simply bring it gently back to what you are doing right now, and continue on. With practice, you will be able to master this and feel much more centered and calm throughout your days.
It is very important that all these areas receive due time in order to lessen the occurrences of burnout in the workplace or in life in general.