I know that in the past I have been neglecting one of the other subjects that I get to discuss over here in elsua.net every now and then. Actually if you look into its own category there are not many weblog posts in it, compared to others, so I guess it is time now to do some catching up. Yes, I am talking about the ever challenging Work / Life Balance that, specially, remote workers, whether at a customer location, or while travelling or while at home, we tend to ignore every now and till it hits us big time. Yes, indeed, one of the main challenges that distributed knowledge workers face nowadays, considering how pervasive access to the Internet through broadband has become, is to actually be able to separate successfully life from work. Yes, I know, not easy. I am sure that most of us out there have been facing a number of difficult situations in this respect and we could always do with some more tips on how to strike that balance, right? I know I would be one of those. So that is why a couple of days ago, while going through my daily dose of RSS feeds, I bumped into this particular weblog post by Allen over at Life is a Journal or Self Help and Personal Development for Lazy People and thought I would share it over here as it has got some very interesting points: 10 Tips on Leading a Balanced Life.
As I said, in that particular weblog post you would find lots of wisdom and different tips on how you can master that balance between work / life and I must say that from the whole list of them there were a few that resounded loud and clear at home. So I thought I would list them over here with a quick commentary on my own experience trying to look for that beloved balance:
- Go home from work on time: This is certainly difficult for those of us working from home all the time, but I have learned to appreciate the value of a home office door that gets closed at a certain point of the day and which will separate your work from your private life. A big thumbs up for the home office door! Thus use it!
- Don’t be a yes person: To be honest this is the one single tip of the whole lot that I haved struggled with the most in my recent past. I know all about the Power of Saying No (I am getting very good as mastering it nowadays although I still need to get a PhD on it) and how gratifying it may become at some point in time, but I am finding out that sometimes it is not as easy as what people think. So the sooner you start working on it the better off you would be. Just say No! (Already feeling better?)
- Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday: Oh, yes, this one was also another big hitter with myself till it actually got me. I was just getting too little sleep (Yes, I know, too many things to do, to read, to digest, to dive into …) and all of a sudden my body complained. Ever since then I make a conscious effort to sleep, at least, 7 hours a day going to bed and getting up at the same time and I cannot stress out how much better you actually feel about yourself and the things around you. So go and get some sleep!
- Slow down: Oh dear, it looks like someone was reading my mind on this one. I must say that I was very bad at doing this back up to not long ago, but for the last two and a half years things have changed dramatically in this area for myself. And for the better. I tend to appreciate more the little tiny things around us, and appreciate those little precious moments that otherwise would go by unnoticed. And if you have had a chance to check my Flickr account you would be able to see some of that. Thus, like a good old friend of mine would say, "piano, piano, arrivamo lontano".
- Don’t buy into the culture around you if you don’t want to: "I am a human being and unique with my own feelings and needs". Amen to that! Be yourself and stick to it!
- Create your own sub-culture involving your friends and family: Ahhh. those nature rambles! Oh, remember, you only have got one family and a bunch of friends, treasure them!
- Recognise you have the right to be healthier than those around you: This is just so true ! You cannot imagine what inertia can do to you in this respect. Your own health is perhaps the most precious gift we have all been provided with, so why waste it, right? I remember the times when my eating habits were completely different than those I try to stick around with nowadays. Sticking to regular eating times and exercise on a daily basis can do miracles, I tell you. They did with me, which is probably why I am sticking around with them till today. Just do it!
- Do something meaningful with your spare time: "Find out what skills you have (everyone has them!) and see how you could use those skills to help others." What are you waiting for ? Put them to the test and dive in!
- Let go of the need to buy the next big thing: I didn’t realise about this one till I actually read that particular weblog post and it is just so true. I succumbed to that temptation a couple of times already and it wasn’t easy. Thank goodness it has quieted down a bit now and it will be a long while before I would have those cravings despite all of the different gadgets that are flowing around, like the latest Sony Mylo. Somehow I just feel that this time around I will pass. Why bother, right? What is the point?
- Develop compassion, patience and tolerance for your fellow people: This is just so true ! And something that I have mentioned already a few times already. It is all about nurturing relationships with others, work with them to become better at what you do. I know, not an easy thing, but if only we would all take a few minutes a day to do this I am sure things would be a whole lot better. In every single aspect, nurture who you are and who you connect with. For your / own good.
As I said, mastering the art of striking a good balance between work and life is not an easy thing, we all know that. But with tips like the ones Allen has put together I bet that the challenge would be less so. If you would want to, that is, because after all it would be up to us all to reach it and continue with things as is. So what would it be then for you ? Reached that balance already or are you still struggling?