Many people have something they consider to be very valuable in their lives. For some, it may be their home, their car, their clothes, and even the experiences they’ve lived. But what is most valuable for humans is not what they own but rather something they use. It is time, and it is the only thing in life that is truly yours.
It doesn’t matter whether your time is taken up by your job or by taking care of your family; the truth is that the decision of how to use it is strictly yours. And it is extremely important to strike a good balance when deciding where and how much time to invest in your work, your family, or yourself, both for you and for your health in numerous ways.
How much to invest
Until the 1920s, it was common to work 6 days a week, sometimes over 10 hours a day. Work at that time was more physical, which was characteristic of the Industrial Revolution. We are now in the Digital Revolution. Many are already engaged in processing or transforming information through their minds. But habits from the industrial era still remain in modern times. One of them is the belief that the more hours you put into work, the more you achieve.
In the digital age, the mind is the organ that is used the most and consumes the most energy. The mind’s function is to make decisions, ranging from what to eat to more complex ones, such as analyzing a situation to determine the best plan of action. Every decision consumes energy, which causes your mind to become tired and can lead to mental fatigue.
It is very important to be able to recognize when you are becoming mentally fatigued. Some signs include noticing you’re reading the same thing 3 or 4 times to understand it or even making the simplest decisions takes a lot of effort. This can affect your performance at work, your family life, and your health.
Vacations are essential for your mental health. Best of all, you can take daily vacations that can last from 15 minutes to 8 hours, or you can take long vacations that last weeks or months. The bottom line is that you should take them.
One way to start is by creating the habit of taking micro-vacations (15 minutes) after every two-hour period of total concentration. You can close your eyes and meditate or get up and take a short walk. Do something completely different that won’t involve having to make a lot of decisions. You will notice you are returning to your tasks refreshed and with a much clearer mind.
The other type of vacations are a little longer: 8 hours a day. These are the most important for your productivity, since they are time you will dedicate to your life, either to your family or your hobbies, such as reading, exercising, listening to music, watching a movie, etc.
You are in control of your most precious resource, so here are some suggestions on how to manage it better to improve your balance and happiness at work and in your life.
Every morning, make a short list of what you want to accomplish that day. This will help you focus and reduce the number of decisions you have to make. You will be more efficient.
If you are more productive in the morning, do the tasks that require more effort earlier and leave the others for the afternoon. This way, you will work more effectively.
Procrastinating uses more mental energy than doing things right away. Get those tasks out of the way and free yourself from having to think about them.
Respect your own schedule
Now, with the pandemic and being able to work from anywhere at any time, it has become more difficult to achieve a good work/life balance. Allocate hours of your life for work and hours to be with your family or doing things for yourself. This will help you always be more refreshed and without the guilt of “abandoning” an important part of your life, such as your family or your wellbeing.
The mind is a wonderful thing
The best solutions to problems you have been analyzing or evaluating often come to you when you are not even looking for them: in the shower, driving, doing exercises, etc. Sometimes it is good to “feed” the mind with all the information and possibilities and then do other completely different tasks to let the mind work in the “background.” Remember that overanalyzing always leads to paralysis. Distribute your time well, and you will see that all aspects of your life will improve.