Recently in one of my columns I discussed employers with appreciation, or lack of ..., but what do we do when our job becomes our life? It’s accepting for entrepreneurs to put in time in order for their business to grow, but for those of us working for others, beyond a 40 hour work week (which may be mandatory, especially if salaried), balancing your personal life can be challenging. This is not a new topic; however ... with the economy lagging, there aren’t many options when it comes to choices with employment. If you’re lucky enough to have employment, most likely need to stick it out. What you need to ask yourself is “how happy are you?” Reality is this; those that love their jobs don’t mind going to work, making it easier to balance everyday life. Clearly it is a positive state of mind. Improving the quality of your life should be first and foremost. Employers are not obligated to make your job rewarding or pleasant, so it is important that you make the right choices for what works best for you.
First you need to be able to identify what areas of your life need improvement. If you are unsure ... unable to pinpoint what’s making you feel unbalanced, there is a “life wheel” used by many personal coaches that you may refer to for help. I found several sites that show you this wheel in order to identify; www.macoach.com , www.success360.com, and of course one of my all time favorite sites which is www.mindtools.com .Mind tools has all kinds of subjects ranging from positive thoughts to stress management, including leadership skills and self-tests. This life wheel can be found on mind tools, letting you draw your own wheel and then printing it out.
It’s not enjoyable when we find ourselves living for our jobs without the time to actually live our lives. In this case we need to create a balance. In last July’s issue by the Mayo clinics’ staff they discuss the importance of restoring harmony, along with strategies to implement mental and physical exercises, while finding a healthier balance and lifestyle. Reclaiming our lives is what we need to do in order to be happy. We become overwhelmed when we lose ourselves in our jobs, creating stress that is unnecessary. Setting limits and boundaries between work and our personal life is very important. We need to set aside time for ourselves to do what pleasures us; whether it’s reading, taking in a movie, going for a massage or anything else, truly you are worth it. It’s like making a date with you. Defining what matters most and how you want your life to be is something you need to understand in order for this to happen; “a vision for your future ... if you will.” Some may want a career change, however it’s just such a tough time economically that you will really have to plan for this. But in reality, work is a part of our life and it’s half the battle to finding happiness, among balance. So clearly it might be something you need to consider, or maybe finding a life coach to help direct you in the correct direction. Don’t be afraid to discuss it with your loved ones, because your unhappiness affects them, as it becomes damaging to ourselves.
Ultimately, how we live our lives becomes our choice. You need to pay close attention to things that drain you, while keeping in mind those that bring you happiness. Basically you need to assess your life and make decisions that will benefit you. Keep it simple. Dance as if no one is watching and laugh as much as you can.
Remember ... it’s your life, and every minute of every day counts.