In the last post, we discussed the concept of balance and how to identify the priorities that would help you achieve it. We also looked at how to make changes in the way you manage yourself so you can give your priorities your best attention.
Making these changes won’t come easily. After all, you have probably spent years building the work and life habits you currently have. Breaking these habits, which stop you from achieving work life balance, will take thought and energy.
The top 5 balance-wrecking habits and how to break them
High expectations: When you first take on a new job or role, it’s natural to have high expectations both of yourself and the job. While it’s exciting to have high standards to aim for, it’s unrealistic to expect them all to be achieved. Sometimes near enough is good enough.
Perfectionism: If ever anything is guaranteed to ruin your life balance, it’s perfectionism. Why? Because nothing is ever perfect and no matter how long or hard you work at it, it will probably never be as good as you’d hoped. While you spend all your time and energy on striving for perfection on one task, many others are being neglected.
While we’re on the topic of perfectionism, it really isn’t good for your brain, either. It places a heavy load on the it, making it function poorly. A report says, “Basically, the more demands you place on your working memory capacity, the less efficient your brain is”. Perfection is impossible to achieve so give up the chase and let your brain work properly on your other tasks.
Trying to do everything: If you’re to-do lists are getting longer and some days it feels impossible to get everything done. That’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you are facing one of those days, look at your list and choose the top two most important things to be done and work on them.
Do something not everything. By knocking over those two key tasks, you ease your burden and can go home with a feeling of achievement.
Complacency: This is one of the worst habits to get into and it’s probably the sneakiest to arrive. It slips in unnoticed, but it stops you from paying attention to what you’re doing. When you’re comfortable, you don’t need to think. You can coast along doing what you’ve always done. Balance isn’t about being comfortable day in and day out. It’s about being happy and excited about life; feeling energised and satisfied. Complacency is dull and it stifles change.
Are you too comfortable where you are?
Lack of self-forgiveness: Breaking a habit is hard work so you won’t be successful straight away.
When you think about it, you aren’t just breaking a habit; you are forming new ones. That’s twice the amount of work! A study showed that it can take between 18 to 254 days to form a new habit and, on average, it took people 66 days to do so. Give yourself time to make the changes and if it takes you longer, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are aware of what needs to change and you’re taking steps to make it happen.
What are the habits you need to break so you can achieve work life balance?