While there is little doubt that working hard is a proper virtue, even the most professionally fulfilling work can easily become tedious when it begins to overshadow your social and personal life. The focus is good and perseverance may get you to the top, but without the emotional fulfillment from a healthy private life to level you out once in a while, losing sight of the deeper meanings of life amidst the hurly-burly of the workplace is an inevitable consequence.
Knowing what you work for is a good reminder for when you find yourself suddenly asking what you’re doing in a cooped-up cubicle in the middle of the day, or what’s gotten into your head that you even though caring for a sick stranger is an actually a fulfilling job. Having a goal that involves the important people in your life will help you get through those idle moments at work when you begin to question the reasons behind it. There are three points you need to keep in mind to keep yourself from falling into a rut: People, Time, and Self.
Do not let yourself be buried too deeply in projects and paperwork that you forget there are other human beings around aside from yourself. Hoarding assignments and tasks may be a good way to show off your skills and undying dedication, but it is also a sure way to get burned out. Before accepting or volunteering for a job, know what you can do, how much of it you can do, and the amount of time that is allotted for you to do it. Sometimes it is absolutely okay to say ‘no’ if in exchange you are protecting yourself from getting overworked. There are other people who can better do the jobs you can’t do.
The same advice can be applied to the life you come back to at home, especially when you are married and with family. Delegating house chores is just as important as assigning tasks to relevant people at work in achieving a balanced work and family life. In fact, doing house chores together is a good way to spend time with the family during the busy work days. Your day off from work should be spent with family and friends, if at all possible. If the work week has taken its toll on you and you would rather rest than go out and make merry, make an effort to let the important people in your life know that you remember them by sending them notes or simple messages through phone or social media.
Prioritizing is a good habit we first learned about and practiced well in school. Or if not, then it’s about time to know its advantages, if you are to survive a day at work. Doing first things first will keep you from missing deadlines, or rushing to work with sloppy results. Make a list of all the things you need to do in order of their deadline. Then do the one on top of the list first, and work your way through your list of tasks. Listing the projects you currently have will also serve as a good reminder—a wake-up call—for when you feel compelled to say ‘yes’ to every single project that is shoved into your desk.
Doing the most important things first and keeping track of your progress will further help you take appropriate times off in between doing your tasks in order to spend time with your family and friends. Taking note of time can also decrease, if not eliminate, your need to take your work home. You should set a clear boundary between the time for work and the time you need to spend for yourself.
You are at the core of your work and personal life and taking care of yourself should be a priority. Take a little time off during the idle hours at work and stretch out or do something you enjoy doing, like reading or checking up on your friends online. Once in awhile, set a few minutes to congratulate yourself on making it through another month at work and reward yourself as you deem appropriate. During setbacks, take some time off to evaluate and then motivate yourself to overcome your weaknesses. Pampering yourself and indulging your passions once in awhile and will help keep your morale and sanity intact.
Keep these points in mind to help you cope and survive a well-balanced work and personal life.
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