Creating balance in your life means understanding your needs and knowing when to cut back on your workload. Learn how to make time for rest and relaxation no matter how busy you are. (Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”— Alan Cohen
Can you relate to this sequence of events that many people experience at the end of a long day at work?
Your mailbox is overflowing and your cell phone is beeping with a messages from instant messaging apps.
After finally leaving the office, you encounter rush hour traffic.
While stuck in traffic you have racing thoughts in your head about all the things you have to do at work the next day.
When you reach home, you’re tired and exhausted, wishing you had more energy and drive to tackle the next challenge.
In today’s fast-paced life, we’re busier than ever and overwhelmed by the demands in our life. Like an overloaded memory disk on a computer, we crash by either burning out or falling sick.
What most people don’t realize is that illness is our body’s way of telling us that we have lost our balance and that the only way to regain our balance is to slow down and take care of ourselves.
One of my favorite books is the Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese scripture that teaches a profound yet simple philosophy on how to approach life. The central concept of the “The Way” is living a life of balance and moderation.
“When you stand with your two feet on the ground, you will always keep your balance.”
-Tao Te Ching
When we live in extremes we waste too much energy on trying to maintain or get over those extremes. For example, if you became ill because of overworking yourself, you will need to spend time and energy recovering from the illness- visiting the doctor, going on medications and taking time off to recover.
If you’re more tuned into your body, you’ll become conscious of your work load and cut back when you overstretch yourself. Your focus will be on creating a work-life balance that give you time to rest and relax.
How can you ensure that you’re living a life of moderation and from a centered place of being, as described in the Tao Te Ching?
Here are some ways by which you can accomplish this:
1. Prioritize using Pareto’s Law of Efficiency: Pareto’s law, also known as the 80/20 principle, is a concept that states that 20% of one’s inputs produce 80% of the outputs. By the numbers it means that in your life there are certain activities you do (your 20%) that account for the majority (your 80%) of your happiness and outputs. Focus on activities that bring the most happiness and outputs.
2. Get rid of time leaks: Search for the “time leaks” in your current schedule that represent the 80% that is not producing significant results or outcomes in your life. Are there any activities or people who are just taking too much of your time and don’t bring anything of value to you?
3. Plan for self-nurturing and fun activities: List down all the things you love to do for fun and a self-care routine which helps you relax and unwind. Plug those in throughout your weekly schedule.
4. Make time for reflection: Choose times during your week (I like to do this on Saturday mornings) to plan and review your schedule and progress. I also like to do monthly and annual reflections to make note of the milestones that occurred, such as the wins and challenges.
Everything in nature has been designed to exist in a state of harmony and balance. When we are able to connect to that natural way of being, we’ll experience a deeper connection to the sacred, both within and around us.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Is creating balance in your life a challenge? What shifts do you need to make in your life to handle them with ease?
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