“Govern a nation as you would cook a small fish. Don’t overdo it.” – Lao Tzu
This saying is very true and applies to us when it comes to governing our lives, too. Society these days is extremely stressful and moves at a breakneck pace. We want more, we want it faster, and very often, we want it yesterday. We want to be the best and have the most in the least amount of time.
Our expectations of instant gratification and our constant need to outdo ourselves have taken a toll on millions of people who are stressed out and lead unbalanced lives.
Mental health issues are at an all-time high. With the advent of technology and this era having the most conveniences available, you’d expect life to be easier… and yet it’s more difficult and burdensome than ever before.
The key to achieving work-life balance in this insane world will be to adopt a few tips and abide by them as your life depended on them.
Stop Aiming for Perfection
There’s a saying that “perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order,” and that’s undeniable. With social media so prevalent, people often feel a need to appear perfect to others. They seek validation like never before.
Filters are used for photos. Extreme measures are taken to portray a glossy lifestyle that’s worth a magazine cover.
Yet, reality is often dull and dreary. Once you stop trying to please the masses and expect to be perfect, you’ll be less stressed out and be able to achieve some balance in your life.
While it’s good to challenge yourself to do the best you can at work, aiming for perfectionism will stagnate your progress and leave you feeling drained.
Trying To Do too Much
There’s only so much you can do. Trying to have a million dollars in the bank account, washboard abs, a beautiful supermodel as a wife, and fame all at the same time is highly unlikely to happen for most people.
Very few people achieve all these goals, and yet, these outliers are held as the paradigm of success instead of being treated as exceptions to the rule.
Most people struggle to control their eating habits. Just keeping this one habit under control will be a Herculean task.
So, go slow and try not to do everything at once. Consistency and slow progress will get you better results than going hard until you’re on the verge of breaking down.
Don’t be a victim of unrealistic expectations. Write down your goals and make plans on achieving them, but give yourself a reasonable amount of time.
Want six-pack abs? No problem. Try and get them over eight months instead of three. If you’re overweight, then give yourself a year. What’s the rush?
You have time. Don’t mess up your work-life balance by spending hours at the gym and neglecting other areas of your life.
Break Them Down Into Bite-Sized Chunks
Like they say, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. In the same way, break down your goals into micro-goals with multiple checkpoints along the way until you reach your destination.
Taking on more than you can handle today will deplete you of energy for tomorrow. If you experience burnout, you may lose all interest and end up in a slump for weeks, which will set you back further.
Slow and steady wins the race. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. Approach life the same way and remember to rest and relax in equal proportions to your work.