We all have someone in our network who could easily serve as the spokesperson for the Perfect Life Council. Someone who seems to glide through the challenges of the day, who always seems well rested, and who tackles 10 responsibilities at once with flawless execution and no apparent hardship. This person maintains a high-level job, raises well-adjusted kids, clowns around lovingly with his or her spouse, and still has a smile and a friendly word for you every time you talk. In fact, this may be the very person who swoops to your rescue when the ordinary challenges of your own life threaten to take you down.
How does this happen? Is this person eating some kind of magical breakfast that gives them 10 times the power of a normal human being? Are they just better or smarter than the rest of us? Maybe. But there are also a few simpler answers that might help you follow the same path.
October is National Work and Family Month, and in honor of this occasion, we offer a few considerations that can help you find a better work-life balance.
Work-Life Balance: Secrets that Aren't Really Secrets
- The One Day Rule
Here's a simple fact that the superstars in your life already know: The elusive balanced life isn't an entire life. It's just one day. It's a Wednesday or a Monday. It's one day that works well, a day in which your ideal rhythms fall into place and you really do get up at six, complete your yoga stretches, dress the kids, and get to the office on time. Each day offers its own opportunity for harmony, balance, health, and a sense of accomplishment. Tomorrow doesn't matter. Neither does yesterday. If today is a win, life is a win. And if today is a train wreck, no worries; by morning, you'll start again with a clean slate.
- Watch and Learn
As you observe your friend Superdad or Wondermom over there, swooping through the day and making the most of every moment, don't hate. Jealously and resentment will take you absolutely nowhere. Don't put them on a pedestal either. Just watch for a while. Make note of the obstacles and challenges that do and don't fluster them, and you may be surprised by what you actually see. More often than not, polished Facebook photos don't tell the whole story. For example, your friend may appear to crush every obstacle because they chip away at a small portion of a challenge rather than tackling the entirety of it head on. Molehills are molehills, not mountains. They may also be leaning hard on a support team that you don't see. Asking for assistance is an easy way to make even the most intimidating hurdles more conquerable.
- Be Kind (to everyone, including yourself)
Kindness lies at the heart of every major religion and every successful life philosophy, but can this simple word actually help you get to work on time in the morning? Can kindness help you make money, stay in shape, and be a happier person? This might sound counterintuitive (especially in a culture that tends to place kindness and success in opposition to each other), but the answer is yes. We don't have a thousand pages to explain the reasons why, but it is. Kindness means living in the present and working to see the world from other points of view. And it starts when you treat yourself with the same respect, love, firmness, and honesty that you give to your own children (when you aren't sleep deprived and cranky).
Eating vegetables instead of cheeseburgers is an act of kindness. So is turning off the TV and going to bed. So is forgiving yourself when you make a mistake. So is walking away from a toxic job and finding a better one. If you think of things this way, you may have more fun doing what's wise instead of what's easy.
Love yourself and show respect for your time, your body, your bank account, and your general well-being. You may be surprised by the efficiency this brings to your progress throughout the day.
—And when you're in over your head, reach out for help. Use the tools available on MyPerfectResume to get the most out of the time you spend on the clock and away from the office.