Even with all of the technological improvements over the past few decades that are supposed to make our lives easier, millions of people around the world still struggle to “have it all.” Now that we are essentially tied to our jobs 24-hours a day by smartphones, we find ourselves immediately locatable by bosses, clients, and co-workers by the sending of a simple text message, email, or Tweet.
How do we make it stop? How can we build the life of our dreams, complete with a fulfilling career and a social life that allows consistent quality time with our families? The first step is to take back control.
Setting boundaries is essential for a balanced life, but establishing and maintaining these boundaries is often a difficult challenge. The hardest part is finding the ability to say “no.” But once you learn this important skill, the sky’s the limit. Schedule downtime that includes playtime with the kids, a date night with your significant other, and a little alone time now and then for yourself. Here’s an easy one – at work, consider posting a notice on your door stating that you do not take interruptions or phone calls between the hours of 10-10:30 AM.
Let go of the guilt
When you do say “no,” don’t feel guilty about it. Guilt is a wasted emotion. It causes us to self-sabotage. It slows us down, paralyses progress, and can completely immobilize us for long periods of time. Quit dwelling on the past. Substitute logical thinking for those needless feelings of guilt if you want to enjoy a balanced life.
Let go of this idea of being a perfectionist. There’s no such thing. Life isn’t perfect. Perfectionists tend to avoid delegating responsibilities to others, no matter how insignificant. They always feel that they can do it better themselves. But is doing it better providing any increase in real or intrinsic value?
Some people thrive on being the go-to person in the office, but this addiction can be devastating to your family life. Learn to delegate, at work and at home. Ask your co-worker to take that extra meeting on Friday afternoon so that you can attend your kid’s soccer match. Take turns with your partner cooking dinner for the family throughout the week.
Is it really possible to have it all? Sure it is, but you probably have to adjust your definition of what this means. Take the time to schedule your life as you would any business enterprise. But don’t be afraid to be spontaneous either. Instead of constantly feeling overwhelmed and guilty, focus your energies on being the very best that you can be with the limited amount of time that you have available for any specific task.