We all seek to find the perfect balance between our work life, our personal life, and everything around us.
We want our jobs to take us less time. We want to have time to rest, spend time with family, explore the world, or just do things we love. And we want to have money to do it all.
The balance between all these elements: work, friends, family, and love relationships is pretty unsteady.
Sometimes, work will take over everything else. At another time family will take an important place and it’s totally normal.
Having a perfect balance is complicated or even impossible.
But it’s possible to tend to it.
And it’s what I managed to reach by adopting a slow living lifestyle.
Slow living is about taking the time to do things you love and stop running around. It’s to take control of your time and your calendar. It’s all about quality over quantity. So we disconnect from the virtual and reconnect with the real.
Depending on what you want in life, your work-life balance won’t be the same as mine. And that’s ok. I’ve decided to live a slow living lifestyle. Maybe it’s not what you want, and that’s ok too.
But if you want to find a balance in your life, even an imperfect one, you first need to ask yourself: “what are my priorities?”
When you want to create a balance in your life, you really need to prioritize. But first, you need to know what your priorities are.
What are your priorities?
You know that your actual life is too busy; for example, your work takes you too much time and energy. I totally lived this. I came back home, and I looked at my phone to see if I had any news from this unit or this one for my project. And I also bring back some work at home. Sometimes, I also stayed later, even if my work was done, because I wanted people to see that I was working.
And then, I said stop. At this moment, I decided that my job wasn’t my priority. My priority was my rest time and what I was doing with my free time. I wanted to enjoy the present moment.
Now, when my work day is finished, it’s finished.
A few months ago, I also decided to reduce the number of hours I work in my current job. I know that I will not have as much money as before, but it will be sufficient to live and have some extra. And the number one goal of this decision is to have more time for what I really love. I realized over the years that anytime I started a new job, I worked too much, and I had no time for myself. It’s not what I want anymore.
So if you have the possibility to do it, go for it! It’s the best decision of my life! Having some work days free is such a good moment. During these days, I can do whatever I want and have the planning I want. For me, it’s true freedom.
What really helped me in the past few months to have this balance in my life is that when the work is done and when my to-do for the day is done, I simply stop working, and I can have a clean rest.
At the beginning of each week, I made a huge to-do list with the number of hours or minutes I would do each task. For example, editing a video would take me around 3 hours. So I do this every single week, and I put all my tasks on my google calendar. I try to be as flexible as possible if an unexpected event occurs within the week, I will be ready.
And when my day is finished, even if I have plenty of time, I just close the windows of my computer and take some clean rest. I don’t want to add some work in my day because it’s endless. You always have something to do, and if you don’t stop, it doesn’t end, and you have no time for yourself.
I also like to work depending on my energy. Of course, it’s not really possible when I’m in my pharmacy. But the other days, when I’m at home and when I’m working on my Youtube channel or my blog, I like to do the task depending on my energy. I know, for example, that on Monday, I like to prepare my week and create content for the week. On Tuesday, I’m more prepared, so it’s when I film my video or my reel for Instagram. And sometimes, I don’t have energy at all, and I don’t force myself to look at a blank page for hours. Most of the time, it’s at the beginning of the afternoon, I don’t have energy after lunch, and I take some time to take a nap, watch a show on Netflix, or whatever. I made peace with my productivity, and I know I just can’t be productive 24/7. And it’s not what I want for my life.
With my slow-living lifestyle, I prefer moments of calm. I don’t force myself to see people when I don’t feel it or do things by obligation.
If you want to find a balance, your big mantra will be “less is more”.
Less is more
You don’t want to have more things on your plate. The second best way to find a balance is to reduce.
Reduce the number of hours you spend in your kitchen (except if it’s what makes you happy), reduce the time you mindlessly spend on social media, or even reduce the obligations of your life like being present for people who are not present for you or, seeing people you don’t particularly want to see or even cooking a fancy meal every single night.
Finding balance is learning to say no.
And finally, finding a balance is to create routines.
It’s like waking up at the same time every single day. It’s to create a morning routine that you love and in which you feel great. It’s like deciding to read for at least 30 minutes every single night before going to bed. It’s to go to the gym at least 3 times a week.
Even if I don’t particularly work on a certain day, I will get up early. By doing this, I don’t feel like I’m wasting my day. It’s clearly in the morning that I’m the most productive. I know that in the afternoon, it will be more complicated to work. I don’t have to wake at 6am every day, but I wake up at 7 and that’s ok.
Don’t seek perfection. Everyone is different, and your definition of a work-life balance would be different than everyone else.
I hope these 3 ideas will help you to find more balance in your life.
I’ll see you in the next one,