Some of us (yes, me too) pour 150% of our time and effort into our work, because we are passionate what we do and want to advance up the career ladder. It can sometimes be an admirable trait, but it often also just leaves me feeling like death at the end of the day.
It is like I was constantly chasing the day on autopilot, trying to fit every single small thing in. And sometimes, the tiny voice inside me pops up to remind me that life is short – we’ve got to cherish it. Of course I know that but how can we change our lives right now to achieve it while still staying brilliant at our work? There are some simple steps I’ve been taking to do exactly that.
1. Sort Out Your Priorities 寫下你追求的
First, create a list of top 1 to 3 priorities in each area of your life. So, for instance for me, in the Personal Area, I really value exercise and maintaining a strong relationship with my partner, and in Work, I want to improve my current professional skills. Write it down somewhere you can refer to frequently so you can always keep it in mind.
This will help you make deliberate choices about how you spend your time to achieve what you want from life. It is no secret that we will always manage to get done the things we prioritise and hence choose to do first.
2. Start Saying No. 學會說不
A common dilemma is, with all the constant commitments and opportunities, how does one fit it all in? The thing is, I actually don’t try to or care to fit everything in, because it’s frankly impossible. When we are clear of our priorities, it becomes easier to say no to distractions. Millions of opportunities that are supposed to be beneficial for you but you don’t really care for? No.
This way, you will avoid those familiar feelings of anxiety and mediocrity when you become overbooked for responsibilities outside of your priorities. And for the things you say yes to, you can now be wholly present and confidently present your A-game.
3. Schedule & Make Sure You Take Time Off 訂下議程及記緊休息
Hold yourself accountable by setting up a schedule and always input your top priorities first. This way, you will know exactly what needed to get done, the end-game is crystal clear, and your deadlines are non-negotiable.
An important part that slips a lot of people’s minds is to also schedule in time off exactly like how one will schedule business commitments. No matter how busy your schedule is, you should also take some time off for the things you like, such as grabbing a coffee with friends or simply some me-time. Sometimes, it even just requires a small change. For example, instead of ordering in and just watching TV, I have been cooking dinners with my significant other for a change.
4. Be Kind to Yourself 善待自己
Even with all that meticulous planning, don’t forget to always be kind to yourself. Some people around you (especially on social media) may seem like they have got it all together, but, trust me, no one is perfect and no one gets everything right all the time so don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes. However, when things really get too tough, don’t be afraid to take a moment and rely on your support network. Life is always difficult - just try your best and you’re already firmly on the right track.
Annie Dillard once wrote, “How we spend our day is how we spend our lives.” All these steps may seem small, but over time will provide a solid foundation for building a fulfilling career without missing on life.
生活總是充滿困難，盡你所能，其實已經在對的路上！著名美國作家Annie Dillard 曾說過 ’你如何渡過每一天就決定你如何渡過你的人生’