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Busting the Myth of the Career-Life Battle

Aha Moment: All the things that matter in life don’t have to be in competition.

Balancing your career with the rest of your life doesn’t have to be a constant battle.

As long as the tension between the two exists, you’ll always struggle to get ahead.

Changing the equation is the key to finding harmony and striking a balance between all the varying elements of your life.

When you accept your choices in the moment and own them, you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing your work for your family or giving up quality time with the family to get ahead in your career.

Your goal is to always be moving forward.

Accepting what you have to do in the moment helps to realign your thinking so that you don’t feel that your life is a constant game of tug-of-war.

Here are some tips to help you find a new way to look at your work-life balance.

Recognize that moments matter more than a philosophy

Remain in each moment.

Maybe you have a rule that you won’t deal with any work emails after 9 p.m. The truth is there are times that a situation requires your attention, even if it’s after that cut-off time.

You have to make a choice at that time and accept it. Learning to do this will keep you from looking at the different parts of your life in terms of one against the other.

The various aspects of your life are all on the same team.

Living in a state of constant tension isn’t good for your physical health, and it isn’t good for your career either.

Understand what’s important to you

Always be focusing your attention on what’s important and then take action.

If you go through a period in which your job requires you to be away from home more often, use that time to do some extra things that show your family you care.

Make the most of the time you do have together.

Think about this example:

You’re very committed to your workout routine, but you’re away on a business trip and your hotel doesn’t have workout facilities. You’d probably find a way to get some physical activity in, even if it involves running in place in your hotel room, right?

Apply this principle to other areas of your life. If you’re away, be intentional about making time with your family.

And the truth is, sometimes you have to make tradeoffs!

All too often, people don’t realize what’s truly important until they’re suffering from the adverse effects.

Be intentional about your career development

Don’t forget to continue to invest time in your career development while you’re executing your job.

It’s important that you keep learning new skills.

A good rule to follow is to have between three and five areas that you always want to be learning about while you’re doing your job.

Because you’re trying to keep that balance, you’ll need to be intentional about creating moments in your career and to keep learning for the future.

The bottom line

It’s possible for all the aspects of your life to work in harmony with each other.

Living in the moment helps to diffuse the tension between your career and the rest of your life.

Accept the decisions you make in those moments and use them to propel yourself forward to reach your goals, both professional and personal.

Be intentional about the time you spend on developing your career and the time you spend on other pursuits.

Giving each part of your life the attention it deserves in the present keeps the different parts from feeling like they’re at war with each other.

Do you feel like your work-life is in a constant state of tension with your life outside of work?