Written by Belle Hernandez
“Work-life Balance” is an idea that is coveted by countless individuals who desire to achieve a calm between career and personal goals. While there are numerous factors to consider in the balance of two things – work and life, there are a couple of habits you can make in getting there more efficiently. Take your creativity to the next level and decipher the habits that will make you a wiser remote goer and entrepreneur.
Drill the idea in your mind that achieving a balance between work and life doesn’t mean obtaining full results of a perfect score. Remember, slow progress is still progress. There’s no use in neglecting the efforts you’ve made in stepping up to achieve your goals, be it personal or for your career. Shift your perspective towards ideas that deserve your attention, like your mental health, your monthly savings, or the passions that you’ve set aside while you attend to the responsibilities your corporate job requires.
“Diversifying your Daily”
With ongoing high restrictions for health safety, working remotely can be another challenge. However, it may also be seen as a window of opportunity apart from singling it out as a challenge. If you think about it, working from home or working anywhere else other than the traditional office, can get your motivation at a high. Say you decided to work in a hut at a local beach near the Metro, instead of spending the money you saved for that one-time-big-time online shopping spree, your work-life just got spiced up.
Think out of the box! If you’re bored of your regular same-old desk, and you’ve already maximized every inch and corner of your home, perhaps you can try using a coworking space. Why would you consider this alternative? A coworking space has all you need in 1 monthly bill; it has a collaborative environment where you can learn from others and it comes with certain freebies and perks for its members. The best ones have HVAC filters that clean and purify the air, considering the pandemic.
The idea of working remotely is anchored on diversifying your daily. Seeking new practices that motivate you to move closer to your goals. It could be writing, reading more books, starting a blog, getting into med school – anything! As our traditional routines have evolved, our adjustments must coincide with making things more feasible for us. Not just in terms of convenience, but in characteristics of obtaining a balance for our overall health. One of the most popular sentiments from the Ignatian teaching says “choose the more loving option.” In layman’s terms, this means that if you are faced with two appealing options, choose the one that best fits your goals and aligns with your values – in life, in the corporate setup, in school, or in daily decision making.
Plants don’t grow and blossom or flourish overnight, and neither do people. If today you decide to jot down the goals that you seek to achieve in the next month and expect results when you wake up the next day, then you are being awfully cruel towards yourself and unrealistic with your expectations. The next thing this will lead you to do is mope and sulk in being a “failure.” This is where most people get it wrong. Not achieving results does not equate to failure. Perhaps this is an idea we coined in our early years when we were back in grade school. Standardized education has accustomed our mindset to believing that check marks are good and encircled marks are incorrect, bearing no merit at all. Upon growing up, when we get an answer incorrectly, we were taught to believe that we are insufficient. But if we score high on an examination of Math, Science, and other academic subjects, we were “smart,” and definitely leaning on the good side.
You see, the habit of consistency doesn’t mean exerting your full force and exhausting yourself on a daily for 365 days and 24 hours. Consistency means abiding by your schedule and sticking to your priorities. Like that thing you’ve been saving up for, instead of splurging on an upcoming payday sale, you stare them in the eyes and say “not today.”
It seems quite unfamiliar and obscure, but seemingly a large number of individuals find comfort and recognition in not sleeping, overworking, and exhausting themselves. It seems that unhealthy habits earn people awards and social recognition when it isn’t supposed to be normalized or condoned.
Rest and recreation are two necessities for human beings to effectively function. Despite being caught up in a daily hustle at work or on our own projects, knowing when to rest is a must. Overworking ourselves to prove a point or earn validation from others is no habit to be encouraged. Instead of missing out on drinking water, sleeping, and taking care of our health, establishing the discipline to recharge lies within respecting our bodies. We cannot work effectively and produce excellent outputs if we haven’t slept for 72 hours and we’ve been solely dependent on the effects of caffeine. You know yourself more than anybody could tell, you know when you should rest and when you’re about to get burned out.
Don’ be afraid to ask for help
It’s not an interrogation, nor a sentence to walk the plank, it’s just asking for help. It’s like asking “hey, can you pass the ketchup.” Ask for help, when you need to. It could be from your friends, the people you’re close with, the people you trust, or your workmates. Asking for help isn’t a disease that should be avoided, it’s neither a practice that should be shunned. Rather the normalization of asking for help should be promoted, to encourage openness among people, eliminating ignorance and indifference.
You could say that you’re used to working individually and getting things done by yourself, and carrying everything on your shoulders like Luisa Madrigal from the Disney animation “Encanto.” Luisa felt as though she had to be strong, that if she couldn’t carry donkeys on her shoulders, she’d be worthless. To Luisa, asking for help meant that she wasn’t strong or capable enough, and this is where people, in reality, make the same mistake. Asking for help does not make us weak versions of ourselves, asking for help and recognizing that we can have the burden on our shoulders lifted is a joy and a test of pride when we know when to set it aside. Later in the film, a message was relayed to the audience saying, your worth is not defined by what you can do, rather it lies within who you are.
Everything In Between
Often times when we work on our responsibilities, we get caught up in the uprise of frustration when things don’t go our way, with bills to pay, and the matters we need to work on personally. It almost seems like we can’t catch a break, juggling everything at once. Keep this in mind, remember that it’s okay to take breaks, to take walks, to drink a glass of water, to take a breath in the midst of all the buzz. You owe that favor to yourself. You don’t want your head to throb on a daily because you’re on the top tier of stress, reward yourself and own the credit of your work. At the end of the day, we need to establish within ourselves the importance of our mental health. All our day’s worth of work is meaningless if we lose sight of ourselves.
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