I’ve been grappling with ‘balance’ for a few months now — juggling between creating, studying, working full time and leisure. It’s still a work in progress but as this is a common problem (from what I’ve heard) I thought I’d share what has been working for me so far.
1. Acceptance Of The Situation
First thing to realise — take it easy. If you’re trying to balance things, it means things are, well ‘not in balance’. The acceptance of this situation is a good start.
With all the responsibilities on your plate, you’re just adding more pressure. By accepting your situation, you’re able to see things for what they are.
This is life. There are stressful things, but nothing should have power over you to make things more difficult than they are.
As Oliver Burkeman puts it, “The effort to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable. And that it is our constant efforts to eliminate the negative — insecurity, uncertainty, failure, or sadness — that is what causes us to feel so insecure, anxious, uncertain, or unhappy.”
2. Slow Down To Go Fast
In the pursuit to achieve everything, we don’t stop. This is a shortcut to burnout. Not the most ideal way to slow down. By slowing down, life is sustainable and joyous.
Let’s take some practical examples:
1. Runners don’t always run fast when training. There are runs where you intentionally run slow.
2. Cars aren’t always accelerating at top speed — unless they want their engine to overheat and blow up
3. Even a steak has to rest before it’s consumed 😄 (not sure if that’s an abrupt analogy but I cooked one this week so it’s fresh in my memory :P)
How does one slow down?
- Take a break. Go do something you wouldn’t on a typical day.
- Plan a trip or go shopping in a brand new location
- Spend a day or two doing nothing. Literally.
I spent half of this week doing nothing. I went cafe hopping, wrote a LOT (with pen and paper), read a couple of books that were stimulating but my work laptop was out of bounds (on purpose).
As of today, I’ve been productive — that’s because I slowed down.
Being productive is important, but taking breaks is important too. Finding that ‘balance’ is key and this is subjective to everyone. In a culture that promotes ‘hustle’ and criminalises ‘leisure’, the truth is both are important.
Whichever you choose to do, be in that moment and give it your all. Have fun, get things done and be kind to yourself. Reminds me of another line from Oliver:
“[Life] is a dance, and when you are dancing, you are not intent on getting somewhere. The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”
The beauty about all of this is, that we learn from experiences. Sometimes we learn from friends, family, people we look up to, or our own lives. To document my journey and share my experiences (mistakes, wins, losses, ideas etc) I’ve started working on a podcast. The trailer, once released will be notified to you via email -> sub here if you haven’t.
There is no release date — why add pressure? :) That said, I hope you got some value from this. Remember that it’s okay to not be okay. We’re all figuring it out :)
Until next time,
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