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Can We Have Meaningful Jobs and Balanced Lives?

Topics: Career Advice
balanced lives
Eric Ward/Unsplash

These days, it’s not just common to feel stressed and overworked, it almost feels like it’s encouraged in many industries.

The cult of overwork isn’t for everyone, though. Some of us would like to have a job we enjoy but also be able to balance working with other aspects of our lives. In an era when a typical professional job hardly feels like a simple 9-to-5, how can we build the balanced life we really want?

Remember That Passions Matter

Our jobs can afford us the stability and space to explore our interests and passions. The trouble is that work often takes up so much of our time and our head space. So, we need to keep in mind, all the time, that our interests and passions matter.

Part of the reason folks get carried away with their jobs is that they put them first. Friends and family, not to mention self-care or personal interests, get pushed to the back-burner. We have to consciously decide not to follow that trend.

Our passions and interests matter. Our work matters too, but it’s just one part of our lives. It’s essential to cultivate and nurture this attitude regularly in order to have a chance of maintaining some balance.

Make Plans

It can be really draining to go to work all day. Too often, we struggle to muster up the energy for much activity in the evenings beyond chores and TV. If we leave our evenings and weekends open, we’re likely to default to occupying all our time with the business of life, not the living of it.

Instead, we need plans that inspire us, ones that are so exciting, we look forward to them during the workday. Then, we’ll be sure to get to them in the evenings, as planned. We may even save a bit of energy, since we know what’s on the calendar.

The bottom line is that if something is important to us, we need to plan for it and make those plans a priority. If we leave our “free time” unscheduled, we’re far more likely to waste it.

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Keep Work in Perspective

Everyone has a different dream for their lives. It doesn’t matter if that dream involves pursuing a creative passion, enjoying a hobby, or simply having plenty of time to spend with friends and family. No matter what the case may be, it’s important to hold that dream and vision as a central focus in our lives in order to make it a reality.

Our jobs matter, and oftentimes they hold great meaning for us. But, if we want to nurture other aspects of our lives too, it’s important to see our jobs, at least in part, as a means to an end. They can help to provide us with the ability to live the lives we always dreamed of — as long as we don’t let them completely overtake us.

Remember the Career Benefits, as Well

Having balance in our lives helps us be healthy and happy, and that could do wonders for our careers. Science has proven that happy workers are more productive, for example. There are plenty of ways that happiness helps us be successful.

Ultimately, taking care to create lives that are balanced and fulfilling should pay off in all kinds of ways.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you strive to create a balanced life? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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