One of the toughest parts of modern society is the drive to have it all. You’re supposed to have a great career, a perfect family, and an outstanding personal life. Unfortunately, there are only twenty-four hours in a day and it’s easy to let things slip if you’re not careful. The struggle for the perfect balance between home and work life is something that people have been struggling with for generations and it’s not a problem that can be solved quickly. Below, however, are four things you can do to make the process a bit easier than it might have been in the past.
Unplug from Work
One of the best ways to ensure that you can find a balance between work and life is to unplug when you are not at the office. This doesn’t mean giving up technology – you need to keep up with your blogs about life in your 30’s, after all – but it does mean refraining from checking your work email or replying to any messages that concern your job. Unless someone’s life is literally on the line (or you are on call for another reason), those messages can wait until the next morning.
Make the Most of Your Time
The way you structure your life can play a huge role in how you balance things out. It might be a good idea to start moving some things around so that you’re better able to be in the places you need to be when you need to be there. If you know that the kids usually have a soccer game on Saturday, for example, you’ll probably want to work with your place of employment to ensure you aren’t constantly working over the weekend. If you know that you’ve generally got early meetings on Tuesday, on the other hand, you might want to move some of your social engagements around so you aren’t worn out by the end of Monday night. Taking control over your schedule can really help you feel like you are in charge of your time.
Knowing your limits is another great way to make sure that you are balancing work and life correctly. There will simply be things that you don’t have time for, so don’t try to make commitments thinking that you’ll magically figure out a way to honor them later on. When you know what you can and cannot do, you’ll be able to spend more time working on those things that are within your capabilities. Don’t expect yourself to be superhuman – doing so will only throw your balance further off.
Know Your Priorities
Finally, take some time to figure out your priorities in life. As sad as it is to say, having it all is often impossible. If you are dedicated to climbing the corporate ladder without any obstacles in your way, it might not be time to start a family. If your priority is spending time with a spouse and children, on the other hand, you should acknowledge that you probably won’t be making CEO by forty. Instead of trying to force yourself to have it all, allow yourself the luxury of prioritizing what you find most important. Not only will this help you find balance, but it will also take a great deal of stress off of your shoulders.
Balancing your personal life and your career won’t ever be easy, but it does get easier. If you’re willing to take steps to keep the two worlds separate and to be fully present for both, you’ll have an easier time than if you try to do everything all at once. Prioritize, pull back, and be willing to be flexible – the more you’re willing to be honest and embrace change, the better things will work out for you. In time, you’ll find the balance that will make your life work.