In today’s fast paced life tempo, the question of how to find balance has never been more important.
This topic is usually discussed in the context of achieving work-life balance, as this is a common challenge for the modern generation. Overworking yourself by compromising the time you set aside for yourself, self-care, and spending time with the people you love leads to burnout, and, from that point on, it can quickly snowball: the negative effects of stress further impact productivity, which stresses us out even more, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle.
Achieving balance can be hard — it can even seem unattainable for some people. And that’s because balance is so much more than simple time rationalization. It begins with setting up a positive mindset and progresses to better organization and life satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll share with you everything we know about finding balance in life.
Internal vs External Balance
First, let’s introduce some tools for thinking about balance more analytically. There are two types of balance: internal and external.
By internal balance, we mean everything that refers to you alone:
- Mind (thought processes, cognition);
- Health (mental, physical);
- Emotions (control, expression).
External balance, on the other hand, refers to your interactions with the outside world:
- Work (professional goals, the level of enjoyment at work, relationships with colleagues);
- Friendships (nurturing your relationships with the people you like and satisfying your needs for socialization);
- Family (fulfilling your responsibilities towards your family as well as enjoying spending time with them, plus setting healthy boundaries in your relationships);
- Fun and hobbies (me-time, participating in activities that are exciting to you and have nothing to do with pleasing others).
Leading a balanced life means finding time to satisfy your needs in each of these areas: hobbies, family life, work tasks, healthy habits, etc. The first step is learning how to balance our inner world, which will later help us balance our external needs.
Tips on How to Find Balance in Your Life
Finally, the “how-to” section of the article. Depending on how you feel and where you are in life right now, think of these tips as a framework for addressing the aspects of your life that tend to overwhelm you the most.
Differentiate Between the Process vs Goal
Achieving balance isn’t a one-time goal, but a never-ending process. Finding balance is a life-long project, a new way of thinking, socializing, working, and enjoying leisure.
It requires re-assessing your values, changing your mindset, and focusing on personal growth.
Build a Growth Mindset
What differentiates a growth mindset from a fixed mindset is the certainty that you can always improve as a person. Building a growth mindset means valuing your personal and private life equally, learning from your mistakes, and learning how to enjoy the journey instead of obsessing over the result.
Set Goals and Plan Ahead
How can you achieve balance in your life, if you don’t know where you’re headed? People that have clear goals in life tend to be more resilient to stressful events in their environment and less inclined to waste time focusing on negativity. They aim towards achieving their goals, thus preserving a positive way of thinking.
What are your goals at work and in life?
Have you set any precise, elaborate, and achievable goals for yourself?
If this concept is new to you, feel free to browse our blog for more resources that should help you towards goal fulfillment. We recommend you start with the following:
When the workday is over, it’s really important to switch off from work. If you keep responding to emails, phone calls, or returning to double-check your work, you’re not allowing your mind and brain to rest and store all the day’s information, which is necessary for a productive next day.
This is particularly important if you’re a part of a remote team working in different time zones. Just because your colleague in Australia woke up when you were preparing to sign out for the day doesn’t mean you have to respond right away.
Let your brain and body cool off and engage in something that makes you happy. Check out how Mimi and Alex Ikonn spend their after-work evenings and notice how one of the most important moments of their unwinding evening routine is to put their phones on airplane mode and indulge themselves in self-care.
Seemingly simple, but often difficult to accomplish in reality, saying “no” is by far one of the most desired skills of a well-organized person.
A lot of human beings struggle with rejecting other people’s offers, regardless of the nature of the offer.
This leads to a variety of negative outcomes:
- Participating in activities you don’t enjoy;
- Receiving even more offers (since you are a “yes-person”);
If you decide to be honest about your schedule and desires, you’ll make a stronger connection with the other person while respecting your private space and time.
Delegate and Automate Everything You Can
If you’re the type of person who feels like they have to do everything by themselves, especially at work, achieving balance in life will turn into mission impossible.
Two words you’re looking for here are delegation and automation.
Although technology is a major source of distraction and energy-drain, it also offers solutions to these problems. You can automate a variety of apps you use for work, like calendar, email, social media posts, and so on. There’s a variety of techniques for getting to inbox zero every day, designed to help you waste less time responding to emails.
Furthermore, task delegation doesn’t reveal incompetence, it promotes trust and cooperation. It means accepting that you can’t control everything and allowing someone else to assist you.
Delegating tasks has various benefits:
- Mutual support during demanding projects;
- Teaching another person how to do things;
- Reducing your workload;
- Creating a meaningful bond with another person.
If you recognize a tendency to do everything by yourself in your behavior, consider delegating some of your tasks to someone else. Free up time to do more of what’s really important to you.
Re-assess and Reflect Each Day
Reflection is perhaps the most important part of learning how to find balance in your life. If you just live day by day without reflecting on your experience, you can easily lose track of how you feel and how productive you are.
A solid planner or a journal can help you do this every day. The Productivity Planner, for example, has a small section for daily and weekly reflection, designed to help you understand what you are doing well and what can be improved.
Use this information on your work-life patterns to figure out how to find balance in life.
The best way to make everything stop for a short period of time to focus on yourself and “reset” is to meditate every day, even if it’s for a couple of minutes.
Meditation helps us achieve our inner balance, which in turn helps us be more mindful, present, and better organized.
Take a couple of minutes to meditate as part of your morning and evening routine. You can also make your workplace more mindful by meditating for 5 or 10 minutes between longer productivity sessions.
Meditation makes us more conscious and calm in our everyday life, which is the recipe for achieving balance.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Another positive activity to implement in your morning and evening routine is keeping a gratitude journal.
It’s so easy for us to become victims of our own mind, which is naturally wired on negativity. Living a life without balance makes us even more susceptible to negativity and anxiety.
Keeping a gratitude journal gives you a healthy dose of positivity the moment you wake up and before you fall asleep.
It teaches you to appreciate the little things and observe the good that’s happening to you, even on the most challenging of days.
When was the last time you said “wow, that was fun!”? It could have been anything: playing board games with your friends and family, doing something childish and joyful with your friends, or maybe laughing out loud at old and fun memories.
Having fun balances our stress neurotransmitters (adrenaline and cortisol) with the feel-good ones (serotonin, dopamine, endorphins), which further impacts our emotional well-being.
The joy we feel when we’re having fun makes us more approachable and interesting to other people, less stressed out, and more satisfied in life.
Nurture Your Relationships
When you start losing your work-life balance, it usually means that you’re neglecting your personal life for the sake of work.
Research after research is showing that people who have committed relationships tend to experience less stress, judged by their daily adrenaline and cortisol levels.
Finding balance in life is about bringing all aspects of existence into harmony, and part of this harmony is to build, deepen and nurture meaningful relationships.
That means being truly there for your loved ones, having some deep and moving conversations with your friends, taking long walks as a family, going on a date with your partner, spending precious quality time with your children, visiting your parents, and so on.
If you’d like to get some additional tips on how to spend quality time with your loved ones, feel free to visit our blog.
Take Care of Your Health
Good health is the cornerstone of living a balanced life.
Paying mindful attention to your physical health is the key to achieving the harmony in day-to-day life, and implementing healthy habits can be not only easy, but fun, too.
Today, there are apps for everything, and we recommend considering using them to your advantage. Counting your daily steps, measuring your water intake, preparing simple and healthy daily meals has never been faster and easier.
At the same time, activities like keeping a gratitude journal, socializing, talking to other people, spending time in nature, and engaged in physical activity can do miracles for your mental health and inner balance.
Prioritize “Me Time”
When was the last time you turned off your phone and social media and simply spent time with yourself?
Reading or rereading your favorite book, cooking for yourself, decluttering your space, listening to soothing music, unwinding in the hot tub... what’s your favorite way to spend some quality me-time?
Spending time alone with your thoughts allows you to reconnect with yourself, settle down, distress, and reflect.
If you’re prone to cutting down on me-time, make sure to prioritize it in your Productivity Planner and put it on the calendar. In the hectic world we live in, we can sometimes easily forget to prioritize ourselves.
The Bottom Line
Do you feel like you’re ready to make some changes in your life?
Become more grateful, say “no” when you mean it, commit to others that you love, and engage in self-care?
Achieving a balanced life will lead to you feeling happier, and what’s more important than that?