A great deal has been written over the years regarding the topic of maintaining a work/life balance. Although not a new topic, it’s valuable to reflect on this idea from time to time, if only to get a pulse on where you are in your own life. Here are some of my own reflections:
- The definition of achieving a balance in life will vary from person to person. People are all wired differently, and all have vastly different needs, priorities, and perspectives in this world. What seems like overkill to you may be exactly “what the doctor ordered” for a typical workday for someone else. Strive to know your own limitations and your own needs, rather than mimicking someone else. Understanding yourself is a key towards finding a good healthy pace for your life.
- Plan for the unknown in your schedules and routines. The author C.S. Lewis once wrote about the “tyranny of the urgent” in his life. Realize you can’t control everything around you. Life is not about what does or does not happen to you nearly as much as it is about what you do in response to what happens. Allowing yourself a little room for flexibility can make a big difference in your day.
- Laugh often, and don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a proper time and place for this, to be sure, but in general I often find that people have the ability to generate their own stress, simply by forgetting to carry along their sense of humor. Laughter, or more specifically, having a reasonable sense of humor in your approach towards life, can really help in maintaining a healthy balance.
- Listen to those that know you best. Sometimes we can get a little off track and not realize it until it’s nearly too late. Some have already “crashed and burned” in regard to their life’s pursuits. Use those around you as a sounding board and appreciate the insights they provide. There’s great wisdom in seeking a little counsel from those who know you well.
- Enjoy the moment. Probably one of the greatest common denominators we all share is a finite amount of time on this planet. Your time here, my time here – it’s all valuable to us because it truly is limited. Live with that awareness and you’ll be inclined to make better choices about how you spend your time.
“Carpe diem,” Horace once wrote, telling us to “seize the day.” This phrase was used again in the film Dead Poet’s Society (1989) by the character John Keating, played by Robin Williams, in a quote that inspires us to make choices that reflect our life’s aspirations: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your life extraordinary!”