When Google “work life balance” it returns 157,000,000 results. In my opinion this sounds like a hot topic of conversation around the globe. For me it’s actually “work, life and grad school” balance. I have really been working toward regaining balance in my life over these last few months. I would say that the first few semesters of graduate school, launching a startup and working my day job, has put my life out of balance. I can only give so much energy and effort on a daily basis. Sometimes when life is out of balance it’s not that easy for us to see, but it is certainly easy for friends, family and coworkers to see.
For me when I am feeling stressed out, I know the signs and I can slow myself down to reestablish balance. As I mentioned before when we are out of balance, people notice, they can feel our tension. Not if but when life gets hectic and I started to feel agitated, rushed or irritated, I do what I can to exercise patience and get some rest ASAP. Now that I have established that I am a human being and do get stressed out, let’s cover what I do to alleviate stress and remain productive.
- Take time every morning in quiet to reflect and relax, this helps me focus on the day ahead with clarity. Some people call this relaxing, meditating or praying, I keep it simple, I have no name for it. But I do it every day. Even a few minutes of peace and quiet goes a long way for the day.
- I do my best to eat healthy food; the body and brain need good fuel. If we expect maximum energy output levels, we need to eat right. It’s very easy to get “too busy” and not eat right. It’s very easy to get stressed out and not eat right. Almost anyone I have talked with has mentioned how tough it is to eat right when life is crazy busy. I am subject to these challenges too; I have put on a few pounds while finishing grad school. It easy to stop and get fast-food when its 11 pm and you are on your way home after being gone since 7 am, I am guilty of it. I combat this situation by preparing my meals ahead of time. This allows two things to happen, first my body gets the fuel that it needs to go 12-16 hours and I don’t have to waste time thinking about what I am going to eat. Remember every minute counts in a busy day. I usually plan my meals (mostly) two or three days at a time.
- I work out three times a week, no matter what. I personally like to work out with a trainer. It helps me stay motivated and accountable to my personal fitness. I workout at F.A.S.T. (functional athletic sports training) in Reno, NV. I needed a dedicated team of people to help me reach and maintain my personal fitness goals. The trainers at my gym are very dedicated to my personal success; this makes a huge difference in my life. I am a very busy guy; I don’t have a lot of free time. An hour with my trainer is an efficient use of my time, more efficient than working out on my own. It doesn’t matter what activity you decide to do walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, yoga or any other exercise you like. What does matter is that you take time to clear your mind and body of stress. I enjoy cycling and hiking also, but these activities are for when I have more free time.
Go have some fun or just relax for a few hours. It will make a huge difference in your quality of life. That is the main point of balance, it goes along with happiness. If you are really stressed out take a day off, unplug for 24 hours. It’s the hardest thing to do sometimes, but in the long run it will be better for you and everyone around you. Trust me the world will not end without you for one day. You will actually come back refreshed and renewed. I know I am planning to do some relaxing when I am complete graduate school in five short weeks. Until then I will maintain my routine which gives me peace of mind, focus and balance.
It’s the 4th of July weekend and I am planning a trip to the mountains. I am leaving my laptop at home. I will bring my hiking shoes and my camera, I promise to post some of my photography on my next post stay tuned.