It doesn’t matter what you do or the place where you work, everyone is always looking for the perfect blend of work and social life. And it’s understandable. Because in the present digital age, it is now incredibly difficult to achieve that balance.
I’ll just go out and say that we have an elephant in the room. Almost always, when there is an imbalance in work-life relationship, the former is to blame. And why?
Performative workaholism has become the order of the day.
Personally, I think it is alarming to see this present-day obsession with work. People from different modes of life around the world are now embracing the hustle culture. I’ve listened to so many TEDtalks and motivational speakers yell to their crowd about working 18 hours every day.
The end result is a current generation of overworked, fun-starved and social media obsessed individuals. I also think that it is worse that people do not realize how miserable their lives currently are simply because they have bought into the exploitative and incredibly brutal lifestyle of work.
How come we no longer value social outings with friends? Quality time with family, picnics, visiting a library to read something new? Our lives have become so linear-based on work, work, and social media.
Good news still exists, however. Because it is never too late to find a way to infuse enough of your social life into work and to find the right balance.
Thankfully, all it takes for you to change your work-life dynamic is to engage in the few tips I’ll share below. Walk with me.
Use your mornings wisely
I wake up every morning by 5:15, and the first thing I do is to inhale the morning fresh breeze. It’s absolutely therapeutic. Then I grab coffee and begin to sort out my itinerary for the day. I follow that up with light exercise and by 7:30 a.m, I feel ready to conquer my goals for the day.
Think about it; how much do you utilize your mornings? It’s seriously a game-changer. It can literally make or mar the rest of your day. I watched a very motivational video on YouTube recently where a Navy seal admiral talked about making your bed in morning as the first accomplishment of the day. And that simple act becomes the extension to enable you to perform the next task and then the next. You can check out the video here.
Likewise, mornings set the tone for the rest of the day and if you can start them on a positive note, you’ll have enough time and the right mindset to finish your tasks early and engage in other social activities of your choice.
Create a productivity hack system (you know, like Elon Musk)
When one of the smartest and most successful men on the planet gives a productivity lesson on how he has amassed so much success, I think we—average mortals—have to sit up and listen.
Just like I had earlier stated, Elon Musk starts off his day utilizing his mornings. Curating emails and filtering the garbage. Similarly, he arranges tasks based on the order of importance and begins to address them from the more prominent ones down.
Whilst working on jobs, Elon Musk uses first principle reasoning to find solutions. The idea here is to find the root cause of problems and then try to solve them from there. This way, there is little or no chance of another head of the hydra springing up and biting him from the back.
Finally, the Tesla CEO is a master of communication. He thinks the right communication can save you a lot of time doing unnecessary work. Applying these productivity tips could be the game-changer for you to cover tremendous ground at your workplace and achieve a good balance with your social life.
Sure, to afford the best things in life, you have to work extra hard but, man, you also need to catch a breather from time to time. If anything it is even a lot better if you do. Numerous research has shown that taking breaks from work and difficult tasks helps your brain to relax and manage your stress levels.
Curious though that may seem, we are actually at our productive peak after we take breaks. So, why aren’t you doing that more often?
If it seems so hard to do, I’ll like to recommend the following to help you monitor your work levels and remind you to take breaks
- Set an Alarm—nothing beats the good old phone reminder to harass you off your desk for a little social break.
- Employ sticky notes—paste them all over your workstation. Reminders to complete tasks, reply emails, and, most importantly, take breaks.
- Plan for your breaks—it doesn’t help if you have nothing to do when you take some time off. An efficient way to utilize break time is to schedule activities that can help you relax at that period
Family Time is family time
I’ve met many people who somehow think it is a skill to be able to multi-task and I still cannot wrap my head around the concept. I think when you’re doing something, either work or having quality family time, you should be doing just that. This way you can achieve excellence and actually enjoy doing them. It is not uncommon these days to see social gatherings with friends and 80% of the time, people are on their phones. It is ridiculous.
If you’re going out with your family or having some fun time with friends, switch off your phone and other gadgets and just enjoy the moment. That’s the way it should be. Unplugging from distractions and the noise is the only way to enjoy breaks with the people you care about.
Eat healthy and Exercise
Absolutely no chance that you do not already know about this, right? Exercising has massive physical benefits for your body but do you know it also helps your brain?
Working out helps you deal with stress, anxiety and mental fatigue, all major culprits that cause unproductivity in people. When you exercise in the morning, your body is refreshed and energetic, ready to glide through the tasks you will set out to do during the day.
It is endorphins. They are called the feel-good factors of the body. When you exercise, your body releases a constant dose of endorphins to help you cope with stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling renewed and full of life.
Eating healthy food also gives your body all the nutrient it needs to function properly.
Look, I understand the cult of the current hustle culture. I understand the need to rise and grind. However, I don’t think achieving a great level of productivity has to squeeze out every ounce of social life you have, and vice versa. Like, Thanos graciously said, it can be perfectly balanced—like all things should be.