Whether you’re fresh out of rehab or actively working your recovery plan, there will come a time when things seem to go out of whack and you find yourself spinning your wheels. With so much on your plate and only so many hours in the day, it’s easy to get off-kilter and become discouraged that you’re not accomplishing as much as you’d like.
There is a way out of this circular madness. Take a few proactive steps and see how quickly you’ll be able to put more balance into your work and life in recovery.
You Need a Plan
As with most endeavors, attempting to achieve work-life balance requires a plan. Without a plan, you will find yourself ceaselessly repeating actions and getting less results from your efforts.
Call it a template or a guideline or a general overarching vision, but do take the time to figure out what it is that you want in your life and put together a plan that allows you to realize that goal.
Life isn’t all about work. Work also isn’t all about life. While you can’t have work without life, you can have life without work. For most people, however, work is necessary. The key is to make work actually work for you. In other words, make it something that you find fulfilling and worthwhile.
Again, it all goes back to having a plan. When you are the architect of your work-life plan, you have a vested interest in the outcome. You will be much more likely to exert whatever time and energy is necessary to see your dreams and goals materialize.
One of the surest ways to become overwhelmed and subsequently disappointed is to have too many plans floating around and never getting down to doing anything about them. Inaction is as bad for imbalance in work and life as too much action.
It helps to check your plan regularly to ensure that you’re taking the appropriate action at the right time. No sense doing something that’s better attempted later in the day (or earlier) if you keep finding you’ve spent the time unnecessarily or with minimal results.
As for actions that don’t pan out, instead of tossing them aside and never revisiting them again, do a little analysis to figure out what part of the action caused things to go awry. When you can determine where your action may have gone wrong, you’ll be better able to revise it to make it more workable another time.
At the end of each day, go back over the steps you took toward achieving the goal you were after. Pay special attention to the successes, as well as how long it took you to accomplish the task, project or activity. Seeing some successes at the conclusion of your day will add to your sense of self-esteem, fulfillment and make your work and life balance seem a little closer to reality.
Make Time For ‘Me’ Time
Feeling burned out and listless? Spending too much time doing work-related activities and projects or ever-ending tasks at home can leave you feeling frazzled and exhausted. The antidote to this may be as simple as scheduling a little time for you.
What you do during your “me” time isn’t as important as that it means something to you. It could be taking a hike in the recreation area or wilderness trail near where you live (if you are so fortunate), or even a brisk walk in the neighborhood. Other personal pursuits could include reading your favorite book, going out to a movie with friends, shopping just because you find it enjoyable, trying out a new recipe, doing something with loved ones, family or friends, or just caring for your garden.
Does meditating in your favorite place (or anywhere, for that matter) also count as “me” time? Of course it does, as long as this is something that you want to do and it makes you feel better.
Another important point about taking a little time for you each day is that it is not selfish. You actually recharge and clear your mind so that you are better able to resume work or other projects and tasks afterward.
Turn Off Tech Devices
While it may seem anathema to the constantly-connected among us who feel compelled, literally, to check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, one of the best ways to restore balance to your life is to turn off all tech devices.
No, this doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them completely, just turn them off for an hour or so each day. And this also includes computers, so don’t think that you can still sneak a peek at emails and IMs coming in.
What’s the point? Life will go on perfectly well without being tied to tech devices. While they are definitely convenient and have saved a lot of time in certain areas of our life, they have also contributed to a tremendous time-suck as we’ve become obsessive users.
Go To Sleep Earlier – And Get Up Earlier
Remember the old expression, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” There’s a lot of truth to this saying. Turning in a half hour or an hour earlier than your normal bedtime will allow you to catch some much-needed ZZZZs as well as helping to maximize your performance during the day.
What’s enough sleep? Experts recommend at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. One way to help ensure this peaceful sleep is to keep your cellphone in the other room. Definitely don’t take it to bed with you or place it on the nightstand next to the bed.
Going to bed earlier also makes it possible to get up a little earlier. You’ll be surprised and delighted at how much more you’ll be able to accomplish simply by getting enough rest and being ready to go the next morning.
Besides sleeping well, it’s also vitally important that you eat healthy. If you’ve been prone to gulping a quick coffee as you dash out the door or skipping meals altogether (working through lunch, for example), it’s time to put a stop to this unhealthy pattern.
In its place, set aside 10 minutes at least to sit down and consume something that provides adequate nutrition, tastes good, and allows you to communicate with loved ones and family members or, at work and school, with co-workers and classmates.
What we often fail to recognize is that everything we eat and drink has a direct effect on our energy level and performance. Need help figuring out healthy, tasty and simple meals? Go online and research. In no time you’ll find more than enough meal plans and suggestions to get your eating regimen in better shape.
Bottom line: If you try these tips for 30 days, you should see a difference in the balance between work and life. Since we only go around once in this life, it’s important to make every moment count. With commitment and practice, you’ll find what works best for you to balance your life in recovery – and feel fulfilled and happy in the process.