In society today, most people either work extremely hard or are masters of procrastination. You may think the latter is the most crushing and depression causing, but working too hard can have just as challenging effects.
I will mostly be focusing on working too hard or ‘burnout’ because I relate more to this feeling and it’s much more of a less-known problem for people.
Yes, working hard is good and you get things done and accomplish tasks at paces that you have worked to penetrate in the past. But how far can that go? If you work too hard, you won’t be able to appreciate the pace in which you’re accomplishing. Or, even worse, you’ll pack your schedule so full that it will become unmanageable causing procrastination and depression. So, balance is a key factor in your life and something we all need to be aware of. Here are some thoughts to better understand balance in your life.
What is being ‘busy’?
Being ‘busy’ has become the norm in life, it creates a sense of purpose and success to your life and your life to others. But what does busy mean today? And why am I putting ‘busy’ in apostrophes? Well, being ‘busy’ just meaning that you have stacked your schedule so high that you have no time to go to an event or hang out with the person who is asking to hang out with you. You have completely put your focus on matters in your life that are considered work. But, you haven’t considered putting aside time for things that you desire to do. Things like: Grabbing a coffee with a friend, going to out for drinks or even having a good night sleep. If you have found yourself feeling burnt out or losing sleep even though you’ve been doing so much good in your life, you may need to ask yourself why?
Is this way of life serving you?
Relating directly to the last point, in a time of pure frustration and a low willingness to work, you may be asking yourself “why I am doing all this?”. Well, this is where you need to look deep into yourself, with brutal honesty. Is it because you’re running from some sadness? Or you feel like you have to be busy, otherwise, you’re failing?
Fundamentally, these feelings and self introspective questions are normal. It is easy to be busy. Wait, hear me out. All you do is have to say yes to any work that comes your way. You do this because you don’t want to be seen as lazy or antisocial — so you fill up your schedule. The truth is, by accepting all this into your life, all you’re doing is avoiding uncomfortable feelings. You’re numbing your emotions, and being busy is a great way to do that. Even your mind thinks it’s doing the right thing but it is just a clever way to turn a blind eye to work that you scheduled for yourself.
Now because you have so much going on throughout the day, you begin to multi-task. There are two main misconceptions to multitasking that everyone should be aware of. Firstly, Very few people can multitask, most people are just quickly switching through tasks. Two, multitasking saves time. It does not, it loses you time. Oops. All you’re doing when multitasking is leaking time, energy and focus. If you don’t have enough time throughout your day to get the days’ tasks done, you need to revaluate your schedule. You need to find balance
What should balance look like?
To have balance, you need to have an equal amount of two or more things. Now, to me, balance is between work and play. As I’m sure it is for many people. But, to get from one to the other, you should start to become mindful. Now, this is the key. Mindfulness involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts. If you’re soaring through your schedule and suddenly feel too tired and stop, then, you’re going to feel low and depressed. Equally, this feeling evolves if you’re being lazy. Mindfulness will allow you to acknowledge what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and being aware of your progress as you go. So, when you do complete a task, you can feel pride and gain motivation from this. Then, before you know it, you will have completed all of your work for the day and be able to move onto the play part of your day. Whatever that looks like to you.
Being mindful is a job. But, practising it will make your work easier. That’s the problem, the idea of having to sit with your thoughts is uncomfortable; but, if you start to use this method of meditation to push you through your day, you will accomplish goals and feel good. Finding your priorities throughout the day and then completing them is what balance is. Balance is a moving target. You get to decide what you need to do and how you can do it.
Truthfully, when we accept the fact that we have to apply a method to our work to get it done, we will find peace. Everyone has to do this, the most successful people in the world have a method for everything, and just because you haven’t yet, doesn’t mean you can’t.
You deserve the time to see friends or watch a movie at night without worrying about the amount of work you have to do the next day. The only way you’re going to get that time is if you manage your schedule to fit your needs, set your priorities straight, be disciplined with your schedule and put in moments of mindfulness where need be. Once you start doing this, you will take the wheel of a life that feels like it’s flying off the track.
In modern society, the world has created an idea that if you’re not working every second of your day, you’re failing. So many people work extremely hard and question why they aren’t progressing or are unsatisfied. Its because this idea of being ‘busy’ is not how we as humans should be living. We’re all different and all have different needs. Start listening to yours. Get your priorities straight, be disciplined and play hard.
Thanks for reading,