Have you been complaining how your life is stressed out and how you never have any more time for just enjoying yourself? Do you realize that you have been working hard and deserve a break, but just cannot afford one?
The age-old work ethos stating reaping what you sow, and hard-work getting you there is all too familiar. In fact, it is the very essence which drives you and motivates you to get up every morning, take that coffee every 2 hours and keep churning, giving out performance that puts you at the top. The important question is how long does it last. Forever? Not likely.
We all realize that our lives grow incessantly busier and busier by the day. A kid of 12 years has to get up in the morning, eat breakfast (but that he can just skip or grab on the way), attend all his classes, keep his focus, socialize at lunch and during outdoor activities and then get back home. He then may have to throw out the garbage, do his homework and help his siblings with theirs, get some physical exercise playing games outside or just waste his mind with the addictive computer games. This goes on until he gets called to go wash up (shower preferably a second time, if I was his mother) and come for dinner. After which he can be allowed to watch a little TV or be sent straight to bed, or he may have to change and refresh his playlist on his iPod.
Whew! Imagine if that’s what a child’s day is like, what yours must be… a single parent or a family person attending to old ailing parents, helping plan a sister’s bridal shower and assisting the surprise event team on your best friend’s birthday party. This and remembering that as a grown up, you have to look after your own laundry and cook your own meals, along with tending to the grooming of your dog and paying your own bills, while constantly trying to get that promotion by being ever winning at the work place. Juggling multiple deadlines, arriving early at work and staying late would mean missing your work-outs and hitting the gym, probably for which you are already too tired.
In between all this you may catch the flu or get a case of stress-induced hives (okay, that could be tad dramatic but I have been there and done that), does it really make your life any easier? Ever stopped to wonder why it is that you are going all cross-eyed over the whizzing tasks flying around your demanding life?
The key to understanding what is required to maintain the balance in our lives is organization. As simple as that, it is about personal management, and accepting change. People often say, “I need a vacation.” Personally, that’s my favourite line but when I reflect on it with a nice smoothie in my hand on a Sunday afternoon, I see that it has flaws. Great big flaws. Vacations are an excuse, you run away from responsibilities for a while and think you are having the time of your life in a tropical shirt, beach shorts and sandals, whilst really all you are trying to do is experience life in oblivion for a few days. Once you come back from it, you will realize, sadly that not only has the work not been completed, it has piled on even more.
Unlocking your happiness more frequently and channelling it to give you productivity is different from the fleeting moments of relaxation from your cruises and skiing trips. It is found in the little things you do every day, in no rush, at your own pace and enjoying yourself. It stems from the fact that to enjoy your time, you have to plan it. Making the most of your weekends whilst being able to check off all your weekly chores needs discipline and organization. Most of us feel like we have no time, on the contrary, nobody is short of time. We just need to prioritize, learn to say no, tune out distractions, pull in happiness and build ourselves an active and simple work-life balance plan to get started.
(Image via here.)