Admit it. Someone has said you need more balance in your life. You’ve heard ‘you work too hard,’ more times than you care to remember and it’s become as easy to ignore as your lunch break.
Truth is, balance is a necessity. The best bit? The truth doesn’t have to hurt.
Here are 4 habits you need to adopt to help you achieve success through a balanced life:
1. Taking a lunch break
Probably the easiest to avoid for the hard worker, taking a break has seemingly become synonymous with lack of dedication. It isn’t. Too many of us are skipping lunch in favour of dining al-desko, despite tons of evidence suggesting a break is good for you.
Putting aside the fact it avoids a crumb-laced keyboard, escaping your desk improves your productivity. You’ll be far more susceptible to procrastination if you stay glued to a monitor all day, so if you really can’t afford to take an hour, take 20 minutes.
Over half of the successful women surveyed in Eventa’s study fit a lunchbreak into their daily routine, so there’s no need to feel guilty for doing the same.
“I never dreamed about success I worked for it” – Estee Lauder
2. Watching television
We can’t advocate hours spent spaced-out in front of the box, but the way we watch TV has changed; making it a healthier – and easier – habit to fit around a busy lifestyle.
Television has been blamed for obesity and laziness, but the miracle of catch-up TV now means we are not slaves to the screen. We no longer have to commit to a specific time, for a specific period; it’s easy to fit small chunks of entertainment – thanks to Netflix and Sky+ – around your schedule.
Evidence has also emerged watching a crime drama is good for your brain as it challenges audiences to keep up with complicated storylines and aids memory by encouraging you to remember cliff-hanger endings from the episode before.
With shows like The Following, True Detective and The Killing all proving popular at the moment, it’s as good an excuse as any to take time out in front of the television.
3. Booking a holiday
Reportedly, 40% of Americans aren’t planning on taking all of their allocated holiday. More concerning, is their reasoning is often fear of being replaced. A holiday is your legal right.
Holidays are necessary for recovery. When you relax, your brain focuses on embedding skills you’ve already learnt. So lying on the beach could be an effective way of understanding that new process you were struggling with in the office last week.
Day dreaming is great for creativity and problem solving too. Since the typical hard worker isn’t likely to be doing this often, a relaxing holiday, full of new cultures and cuisines, will provoke fresh ideas.
“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life” – Hillary Clinton
4. Starting a hobby
Picking up a new hobby is a great way to inject something enjoyable into your life and give you a break from work.
The routine of committing to a regular task or attending weekly classes aids time management skills. Depending on the hobby, you’ll also meet new, likeminded people, or have the chance to spend more time with friends wanting to join in.
If it’s exercise related, the added health benefits can’t be ignored, and most hobbies are excellent for stress relief . By focusing on this, your mind gets time to enjoy something new.
Still adamant you can’t commit hours a week to a hobby? Start with half an hour every few days – we know you can find this somewhere – before building it up.
Next time you’re stopping yourself taking on something new or enjoying a break, because you think it’ll impact your likelihood to achieve, think again. Success is all about balance!