Yoga is all about balance mentally, physically, spiritually. And one of the things that can throw us off balance is a lack of cohesiveness between our work and personal lives. Most people report feeling a negative pull between their work responsibilities and personal responsibilities at least some of the time, and many of us strive everyday to find some kind of work-life balance.
If you’re striving to find work-life balance in your life, here are five ideas that may help you succeed:
1. Determine where your imbalance starts. What is causing the lack of balance you’re feeling between work and personal activities? Is it your overburdened schedule? Or your long commute to work? Or are you lacking energy or feeling sluggish at work and at home? Take some time to analyze your personal situation and determine where your imbalances are and what their root causes are, and then make a plan to correct those imbalances.
2. Find extra time. One of my favorite clichés is the idea that there are 24 hours in every day. How are you spending those hours? Can you rearrange your time usage to create “more time” for yourself in other areas? For example, maybe waking up 30 minutes earlier every day will help you fit in a yoga routine each day (and lucky for us, My Yoga Online will always have a class scheduled whenever we want one!). Think about what you could do with an extra 30 or 60 minutes each day, and make an effort to find that time.
3. Try a more flexible schedule at work. More companies are open to the idea of allowing employees to work from home at least one or two days each week. Companies are also warming up to flexible schedules which allow employees to start or end their work days at different times, or to work odd hours that better fit their personal lives. Approach your boss with a detailed request for a more flexible work schedule, and be sure to tell them how this will benefit the company as much as you. Studies by Stanford University and the University of Michigan have proven that people with flexibility at work are more productive!
4. Use your personal rhythms to your advantage. If energy is your problem, the simplest solution might be to adjust your work and personal activities around your natural energy highs and lows. Most people can easily tell whether they have more energy in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. If you’re a morning person, for example, block periods of time each morning to tackle important, but energy-draining tasks. If you leave those for your more sluggish times, you’re less likely to accomplish them, further throwing off your balance.
5. Try changing your office setup. One very simple solution is to switch up the environment in which you spend most of your time. We get used to (and bored by) our typical office arrangements, so take an hour to move your furniture around, rearrange your decor, or even add new life through plants, pictures, and pops of color. It’s amazing how much more energy we can gain by altering our environment to keep us alert. Try this monthly and see how much more motivation and energy you find.
Just as when practicing yoga, there are certain ways to find balance between our work and personal lives, including mindfulness, commitment to the task, making small but important changes, and even the willingness to let things go and stop trying to have control over everything. That last one tends to be the most difficult, but by trying these five rather simple ideas, you just may be able to maintain your balance after all.