Striking Balance between Working and Earning
What is the ideal balance between working and earning money to live a good life?
Naturally, this question is one that is not just valid, but it could torment us at the best of times. The ideal work/life balance will not just vary from one person to another, but will also change in different stages of our life.
When you consider your responsibilities to yourself as a single man or woman, vis-à-vis your commitments as a married couple or as a parent, your priorities change. So does your balance between working and earning.
So how should we tackle situations when we feel exhausted and disenchanted with our working life? How will we seek to address the feeling that there are not enough hours in a single day to get everything done?
This post today is written to inspire you to re-assess your balance between working and earning. We will look at the impact that imbalance can have in our life. And we will discuss a few key points to help us strike a balance.
What is an Ethical Balance between Working and Earning?
How often have you heard yourself say “I’m stressed”? Or heard your partner make excuses about you with sentences like “he/she is under pressure”? Work can take over our lives. Although it is great to read pretty posts about how important it is to strike a balance between working and earning, we do get caught up on or work and careers.
Competition at work, our own healthy sense of ambition and the need to provide all point us to work harder. It is the people that we spend the most time with and whom we treasure most, who enjoy the benefits of our income but suffer from a shortage of quality time with us.
It is this lack of balance that builds up stress like a pressure cooker. At best case, we cope. At worst cases, our relationships suffer.
Here are a few reasons that should prompt us to Re-assess the balance between Working and Earning.
- If you feel exhausted on a daily basis you are probably suffering from an imbalance. This can happen not just due to working and earning but raising a young family and still needing to go to your workplace and earning a supplementary income.
- Your friends complain that they hardly see you anymore. Although, this may prompt a classic retort of “I’m too busy working”, it should be a barometer to make us listen and address the balance.
- Your work has become your life. In some cases, achievement, ambition, and competitiveness turn us into workaholics. In some cases, life is only made up of work. It can creep over us innocently but ends up being the fierce vortex that defines our life.
- Alternately, if you feel a sense of dread when you wake up in the morning and getting ready for work
- Having the “Sunday blues” just planning your week ahead.
- Wishing you have more time to dedicate to your hobbies or passions, or plain spending time with your family
- Feeling unable to cope with life or simply not enjoying life anymore.
Tips on Improving the Balance between Working and Earning and enjoying life
For the majority of people, work is just a means to an end. It is an inevitable part of life that helps us achieve our lifestyle. To a few of us, it is the bigger part of our life because we are fueled with the ambition to achieve more. At some point, this is likely to lead to a burn-out.
Here are a few tips that can help us achieve the work/life balance that we aspire for
#1 Improved Time Management
Time is of the essence. Life can look like it is a long journey. In truth, time is very limited. Every day past is a day closer to the finish line. Time is by far not just our most valuable asset, but it is also one that we manage least well.
When we consider that we need to spend some 8 hours on the job, another 7 hours sleeping, and at least 2 hours traveling we are left with a precious seven hours of quality time.
Knowing that we have these precious 7 hours, we need to use them constructively. This does not include
- Wasting time texting garbage and snooping around social media
- Replying to work emails during our “family time”
- Start one job after the other without finishing anything at home.
- Staying later at work because going home is too “demanding” due to unfinished jobs “c” above and a nagging partner
- Sticking to sound sleeping habits at roughly the same time.
- Allowing at least 30 minutes for exercise – whichever type suits you best. This could be a morning or evening walk with your partner or kids to a fast cycling trip. Whichever exercise you decide to do, use the time to clear your head. Alternatively, use the time to spend time with your loved ones.
- Work Smart. Prioritize tasks. Get rid of jobs that bug you first – especially if they are important. Leave the fun jobs for later on in the day when your energy is depleting.
- Have a good break. Grabbing a sandwich on your work desk does not amount to a good break. A break means, leaving your desk and diffusing with work-mates. It helps build better working relationships.
- Plan a family holiday in good time. Short breaks work wonders too. The anticipation of planning a good holiday is savored better than the holiday itself sometimes and brings the family together.
- Consider changing jobs. If you are unhappy with your working life, you should consider your mental health as your top priority.
We have a few articles that can contribute to imaginative ways of finding a better balance between working and earning:
#2 Making Proper Plans
In order to make a proper plan your need to first identify your priorities. Knowing how much time you have at your disposal as explained above is the first step. Understanding what you would like to do best with your time is your next step.
If you are not sure what your priority is, just asked yourself the question “When all is said and done, and I look back at my life, what am I going to be proud of?”
It is likely that you will not look back and regret having spent an extra day chained to your office desk. Nor is it likely to be that you missed out on the new series of “House of Cards”.
Whatever is precious to you, as long as you are aware of it, is your priority in life.
So make a plan to reach your priorities without fail! Remember that there is such a thing called “weekend” and it should be used constructively and solely for your priority target. Planning anything that is fun, will give you a good dose of fuel for the coming week.
#3 Don’t Let Technology be your Ruin Instead of Your Salvation
We often speak of “How did we manage before cellphones?” A very pertinent question. It is true that technology has greatly improved our life in one aspect. However, it has destroyed it on another level. Life is much faster with technology and we end up doing double of what we did prior to cell phones and high-speed internet.
But a more serious challenge to our existence is the “waffle” that we crowd our head with, due to social media. Trivia, Apps, messages, hit us from all directions. Be it Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, Messenger, or regular phone messages. Sometimes all the odd noises relative to different media make it difficult to know where a message has arrived from into one device.
How often have you sat at a restaurant, and saw entire groups of people with their face in their phone instead of communicating with the person next to them? Have you been one of them? Has your family or friend lost you to the “great escape”?
Such questions need to be put to us, in order to bring awareness. Missing significant moments due to the alienation of technology could be a challenge to our life balance.
The Risk of Not Striking a Balance Between Working and Earning a life!
Earning is not restricted to money. Earning extends to respect, health, family and friendships. It also means getting yourself a good quality of life.
Your working balance needs to be effective in terms of how many hours you put into vis-à-vis the financial reward you receive. The financial reward is the means to the end. However, given that we dedicate a substantial part of our adult life working, it needs to be rewarding on its own merits.
If your working life has taken over your real life, and you are not happy with the balance, you may want to have some hard talk with yourself.
Do not let stress dictate emergency measures to modify your life. It may be too late.
Leave us comments about how you feel your balance between working and earning is determining your happiness. We love to hear from you.
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