Life is about more than just accomplishing the next task on your to-do list.
Work is, of course, an important part of life, and building yourself a career doing something you love is something for which we all strive. Work is not, however, the only thing that matters.
I’m often guilty of spending too much time on work and not enough on myself and my relationships. My typical work week is between 60-70 hours, and now that I’ve started studying for the LSAT, I’ll usually dedicate an additional 8-10 hours to test prep. That leaves anywhere from 80-100 hours per week. Factor in 8 hours of sleep per night (which doesn’t always happen), and I’m left with approximately 24-44 hours per week for myself. In that time, I have to eat, shower, get ready for the day every morning, go to the grocery store, take care of my pets, maintain my house, and make time for friends and family. Some weeks, I have to prioritize what gets done, and my priorities aren’t always perfect.
Obviously, basic human needs have to come first, so usually what gets left behind are my relationships. I’m that person who tries to make plans but constantly has to cancel or reschedule. With the restrictions in place from COVID, I thought I had finally broken that pattern, but it turns out that doing everything virtually just made me feel like I was better at multitasking. If I’m on a Zoom call or FaceTime, I can be making dinner, playing with my puppy, and spending time with friends all at once. In reality, though, I’m not actually giving my relationships the time and energy they deserve.
Creating balance is hard. It’s hard to juggle your career, your personal health and wellness, and your relationships. I wish I had the key to living a perfectly balanced life, but the truth is that I simply don’t. They say the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. Lately, I’ve been more conscious of how and with whom I spend my free time, and I’m working on finding a good balance.
It’s okay to be busy, and it’s okay to be focused on advancing your career. But it’s also okay to take the time to focus on yourself and your relationships. Happiness and wellness can’t come from exclusively one place. It’s important to feel fulfilled in all aspects of your life, and sometimes all it takes is a little adjustment and time management to make that happen.
Stay healthy. Stay balanced.