112416_2Ask someone if he or she wants to “have it all” and the likely response would be a resounding, “Yes.”

But what does it really mean to “have it all”?

It could be argued that having it all means striking a healthy balance between work and life.

That’s challenging during tough financial times when many people feel the need to put in more hours at work in order to retain their job or keep a business afloat. More hours spent working means there is less time available to spend with family and friends or on hobbies or leisure. This puts work/life out of balance.

Also, there was a time when the lines drawn between work-life and home-life were obvious. Now we often bring work home or work from home. If you feel out of ‘balance’, try combining the strategies below to help restore the balance in your life.

‘Underbook’ your day. Instead of cramming appointments into every last minute, leave time on either side of those commitments. That leaves time to deal with the unexpected or enjoy the occasional free time that shows up.

Get help. It can often feel as though you are the only one capable of performing a task or completing a project, but that’s rarely the case. Enlisting the help of others helps lighten the load and lowers stress levels.

Let it go. Will the earth stop turning if that one email goes unanswered at the end of the day or a dish doesn’t get washed until tomorrow? Unless you’re in the health care profession, rarely are the things we do at work a matter of life or death. Know when to prioritise the important tasks and let go of those things that really don’t have much impact on your life.

Choose your cliché. Stop and smell the roses. Life is too short. Remember, clichés are clichés for a reason – they contain pearls of truth. At work, take time for the essentials – drink water, eat healthy meals, take breaks – but also take time to talk to your co-workers for a few minutes, take a short walk outside. Remind yourself that is there more to life than work.

Find a new job. Sounds drastic but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of changing careers, find a less demanding job in the same field. That could mean more free time and less stress. Or why not ask for a demotion? Finding a new position within the same firm but with fewer responsibilities could be a win-win situation – you get more balance in your life and the company saves money on hiring and training.

When it comes to having it all there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. But it’s also true that finding that elusive balance between life and work can be accomplished if one is willing to make the effort.

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