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Working a full-time job can often extend past the hours of 9-5 and can often spill over into the weekends too. When the pressures of your job take priority, it’s easy to let all the other aspects of your life slide into the background. When you’re starting to feel the pressure, it’s easy to skip your early morning gym session and head straight into the office, am I right? Have you found yourself cancelling plans with friends or family to prioritise work? How often are you cooking at home? Ready-made meals become more and more convenient and health and nutritional value begin to look like a luxury for those who work less pressured jobs. While most of us will, from time to time, have to work through periods where the pressure of your job lead you to nod your head at those questions, it is when these periods become routine that it’s worth re-evaluating your priorities and focusing on how to maintain work-life balance.
I will be the first to admit that it is only in the last two years that I’ve managed to establish a routine and focus on living a more balanced lifestyle. I would be the first to cancel plans and skip gym sessions to focus on work. This is a bad habit that started while I was at university. I would bury my head in the sand and not come up for air until all my exams were done. I would sit at my desk in my pyjamas all day long while I studied furiously, trying to maximise every hour of the day. It eventually came to the point where my dad would beg me to at least walk around the garden! When it came time to start my articles and prepare for board exams, I did exactly the same thing. Looking back, it was simply: eat, sleep, work, repeat. This can only last so long before you realise that people are out living their lives and enjoying every moment and so should you.
Ryan has always spoken about the importance of living a balanced life and, I have to say, he does it in a way that almost looks effortless (although it does actually require organisation). He’s always made time for the gym, plays basketball, is extremely social and really prioritises spending time with family while being a final year medical student. The way he manages it all, without a time turner, is simply by planning ahead.
The trick to ensuring that you don’t skip your early morning gym session is to prepare everything the night before from meal prepping your breakfast, lunch and snacks for the day, laying out your gym kit and packing your office wear for the day. By doing this, you ensure that you don’t fall behind time first thing in the morning. No need to skip a gym session ever again. A healthier body makes way for a healthier mind. Once you’re feeling more in control of your day, you are able to knock of things on your to-do list with confidence. In turn, your productivity will increase and you’ll need less time to complete the tasks at hand which is good news for those precious “zzz” that are always sacrificed when you aren’t maintaining work-life balance. It also means time to do more of what you love, whether that is reading, walking your dog, baking or whatever you love to do the moment you have a chance to. Maintaining work-life balance means more time for friends and family. This truly is the most important change for me. I’ve realised that I shouldn’t be compromising time with the most special people in my life because life is so precious and it should be cherished as should the people you love. I would far rather make a few adjustments to your work-life balance to ensure that I can be out making memories with these wonderful people that I will treasure forever than be pouring over my computer stressing about things that in 10 years time will not comfort me.
It’s quite a revelation when you realise that your life needs a little bit of “spring cleaning” but it is so worth it to feel less stressed, more organised and generally happier with the way your life is unfolding. Maintaining work-life balance has become a central focal point of my life and I’m truly smiling from ear to ear because of it.