One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves is, can we really have it all? Is it possible to work, have a family, a social life, hobbies, be healthy and work out, have side hustles, all while not burning out or living in a constant state of being overwhelmed? These questions are why we are always so focused on trying to achieve some semblance of work-life balance. We are always looking for that special trick that will help us have it all. Or, we simply give up the idea of having it all and might even get discouraged from trying.
So how do we find that elusive balance? It all depends on your lifestyle and what your priorities are. In order to find balance in our lives, we have to make sure that we have clear ideas of what we want and what our goals are. But even before that, there are a few things we need to do.
First, we need to define our idea of what “having it all is”. What does it look like for you? In other words, what are your priorities? Make a list so you can actually visualize them and see what all the important areas of your life are. If you were to visualize your ideal life, what does it look like? Got the image, great! Hold on to it while reading.
Next, think of all the tasks and projects you're working on. Is there anything that isn't helping you towards that ideal life? Can any of those tasks be removed without having any real effect on anything? Basically, anything that you do in your life that isn't leading you to your ideal situation or that doesn't fulfill you, needs to be reevaluated and possibly even eliminated. That's going to help you feel less overwhelmed because when you aren't focusing your energy on something that isn't necessary.
Focus most of your energy on the tasks that lead you to your ideal life
Once you get rid of the unnecessary tasks, you have more time and energy to focus on what really matters most to you. This is the part you can start to apply different techniques to find balance in your life. Think about the different areas of your life that make you happy. The problem with multi-dimensional lives is we tend to lose sight of taking care of ourselves. Whatever you like to do to de-stress, whether it's going to the spa, hanging out with friends, maybe reading a book, make sure you schedule that time in. You are more likely to feel balanced when you feel fulfilled and happy.
You are more likely to feel balanced when you feel fulfilled
Another important thing to remember is ALWAYS to keep your ideal life in mind. Always ask yourself, “Is this going to help me reach my goals in any way?” If the answer is no, then ask the importance of actually doing that task. Unless it makes you happy or brings you closer to your ideal life, then you shouldn't waste any energy on it.
The best way for you to find balance in your life, no matter how many tasks or projects you have going on, is to know that everything you are doing has meaning. In order to have it all, we need clear ideas of what it looks like and how to achieve it. Even when certain tasks aren't fun or seem very time-consuming, if it brings you closer to your ideal life then it will be worth it. Most importantly, don't forget about working in some self-care to keep you energized and balanced.
Taharah Saad is a TEDx Speaker, serves as the President of the Arab American Women's Business Council and also a full-time engineer in the automotive industry. She is the Producer/Creative Lead/Host for the “Her Path to Success” series. Taharah specializes in topics of professional development, diversity & inclusion, work/life balance, and many more; however, her favorite titles are wife and mom. She is also the founder of @glassceilingbreakers and @detroit_bloggers on Instagram. Everything she does furthers her personal mission of helping to inspire, motivate, and empower women to achieve their best selves and success!