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How To Have It All: Tips For Balancing Work And Play

A balance work/life routine can be hard to maintain. Read further for tips to have both without sacrificing either.

Max Salk Photography | Banff National Park

In today’s swiftly moving global economy, many young professionals are juggling ever-increasing work demands, side hustles and additional monetary tasks, passion projects that drive meaningful expression, and a balanced role within society. With such extensive expectations to conquer each multidimensional aspect of life, and pressure created via the overabundance of multimedia outlets streaming depictions of the “perfect life”, it is only natural to feel totally overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible need to “have it all”.

However, with a few small lifestyle tweaks, this idea of maintaining success within various aspects of life doesn’t have to feel forlorn. In fact, “having it all” in today’s cultural lexicon merely equates to being able to successfully pivot between work and play, and devote appropriate amounts of time to each endeavor, enjoying the process along the way. By developing a streamlined plan, with meaningful commitments, everyone can feel like they truly “have it all.”

Streamline Your Life

Many professionals enjoy a robustly rewarding career experience, and devote their daytime hours toward gaining valuable growth within their chosen profession. In addition, there is also a human need to maintain some semblance of a social life, and delve into hobbies that drive our creative spirit. Within these large-scale endeavors, there are also countless to-do lists, things to remember, deadlines to consider, and other complications that may arise, which can add to feelings of stress and general chaos. By streamlining some of these seemingly unexpected “surprises”, we can create a feeling of achievement, and avoid spending extraneous time on tasks that aren’t conducive to overall long-term growth.

In my own career, I often find myself working on many different assignments simultaneously. Thus, in order to maintain control over the nuances associated with each task, I quiet my mental to-do list by setting calendar reminders for myself via smartphone. By creating a pop-up reminder to complete each task, however large or small, I no longer need to exercise the mental strain needed to remember said task every few minutes. Not only does this tactic help to streamline my thought process, but it also aides with time management, as it allows for a dedicated time frame for each task to be completed.

Outside of the scope of work, I tend to lean on technology to streamline my daily responsibilities. From ordering food online, to utilizing various subscription services that ensure I don’t run out of household necessities, technological advancements have taken mundane tasks, and a constant addition of “to-do list” items, and automated them without skipping a beat.

Find Something You Love

There’s an old adage that states the notion that if one loves what they are doing, one will never work a day in their life. While this may initially sound somewhat trite, the essence of this statement holds true. Whether it be a particular pivot in the scope of your career, or a desire to learn a new instrument, finding something that motivates you deep to your core is vital toward maintaining the drive needed to succeed within each endeavor.

Throughout my undergraduate studies, I followed market news flow as best I could, learning the intricacies of the global market, researching and investing in stocks independently, and following the development of various companies. I was genuinely enthralled by the idea of choosing, recommending, and analyzing investment opportunities on behalf of clients. Through introspection and self-awareness, I recognized that pursuing these curiosities and interests were what drove me professionally. By remaining motivated, driven, and interested in my professional field, I have been able to maintain the level of dedication, perseverance, and stamina needed to succeed without feeling burned out.

Pursue That Hunch

A large part of “having it all” simply comes down to knowing what you want, and pursuing it. Many times, small clues pop up intrinsically in the midst of partaking in a particular activity, indicating potential interest in further pursuit. Just as easily as this fleeting excitement occurs, we are sometimes hasty in dismissing the feeling, countering it as “silly”, or otherwise not worthy of our pursuits. However, these seemingly small interests and curiosities can lead to more meaningful pursuits that are personally fulfilling.

During my undergraduate education, I spent a semester abroad in the Netherlands, and discovered my passion for landscape photography. Whilst exploring the beautiful country, I often took morning walks along the docks of the city. On a particularly foggy morning, I was struck by the seemingly stark landscape, and subsequent feeling evoked by the heavily grey aesthetics. I began snapping pictures, and captured photographs that parlayed my feelings even after I returned to the United States. During this trip, I gained a deep interest in pursuing landscape photography, and decided to listen to my intuition, and foster this growing interest.

Combine Activities To Fit Multiple Needs

For busy working professionals, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish a multitude of professional, and personal endeavors can be a familiar feeling. Thus, in the spirit of “killing two birds with one stone”, one can ponder ways in which to combine multiple agendas into meaningful experiences. With crossover potentially already occurring within life’s many arenas, the idea of combining various agendas not only works toward streamlining activities, but to accomplish more meaningful tasks.

In my own personal case, I have learned to combine my growing passion for landscape photography, along with my existing love for travel, and my desire to spend quality time with friends. By combining all of these activities, I am able to gain multiple meaningful experiences simultaneously, and feel more wholly rewarded in the pursuit to juggle my professional life, interpersonal relationships, and personal interests.

Through a series of well-thought-out life adjustments, it is possible to curate a balanced existence. By taking inventory of ways to streamline life and de-clutter the modern existence, individuals are reclaiming control over their headspace, trading in to-do lists for meaningful creative expressions. By engaging in motivating professional and personal endeavors, people are actively pursuing their best existence through meaningful work. Through combining multiple agendas, the professional who feels spread too thin can essentially have their cake, and eat it too. Through careful examination, young professionals are able to leverage the skills needed to excel within various aspects of life, achieving the feeling of “having it all”, which is a mindset every hardworking individual deserves.

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