Home » Life » How I found a balance

Since I wrote recently about taking a step back and how I was dealing with overwhelm I thought I would update you and let you know that I have achieved my goal and life is much more balanced and happy for me now.

I honestly feel healthier and happier than I have in a long time. My passion for this blog is as strong as ever and I have been enjoying my life immensely both on and offline.

I wanted to share with you the lessons I have learnt recently and what has made a difference to me personally as it seems that this is an issue that many of us are dealing with at the moment. For example, Matt Chevy over at Life without pants wrote an insightful and very relevant post on this very topic this week and hit on some great points about what many of us seem to have been dealing with recently. So without further ado, these are the things that have personally made a difference to me:

1. Disconnecting

Not reaching for my laptop / Blackberry every spare moment I have has made a huge difference. Previously if I had a spare half an hour I would jump on the computer (usually to check Twitter, stats etc) but I have been making a habit of checking myself when I feel like doing that and seeing if I really needed to. If not, I have been choosing another activity, maybe a leisurely cup of tea or reading a book. This has helped me slow down and enjoy my spare time rather than filling it with computer activities that can usually wait.

2. Prioritising

I have stopped worrying as much about keeping up with reading other blogs. I worried about this initially as I don’t want it to seem that I am not interested in reading other people’s blogs as this just isn’t the case. However, the truth is that it was becoming overwhelming trying to keep up with reading and commenting on a certain amount of sites per day as I had been. I accidently deleted my RSS feeds (about 30) last week. Initially I was really annoyed that I had done that but I realised it was an opportunity to revaluate my reading habits. My new list includes 8 feeds and this has helped me feel much lighter about blogging. I still read other blogs not in my feed regularly and of course, not to be missed posts are always shared on Twitter. A consequence of taking the pressure off myself in this area is that I have the time to read and absorb the posts I do read and also made room for myself to find some fantastic new blogs such as far beyond the stars and Rowdy Kittens.

3. Enjoying life

I have been doing lots of fun things in the last few weeks. Adrian and I have been doing lots of cycling and getting out and enjoying the fantastic sunny spring we have been having in the UK. We have also been walking, going to the beach and catching up on some great films on DVD (“Men who stare at goats” is a big recommendation!)

4. Being present

I am not sure if I have become more present because of these changes or vice versa but either way I have had a definite increase in peace of mind and the feeling of being in the present moment. I have really been enjoying each day! I have started meditating again and as I shared above, I have been taking the time to enjoy activities other than being on the laptop. These have made a big difference to being present.

5. Enjoying my work

I am really enjoying the mentoring work I do with local universities as well as the administration work I do the rest of the time. Both are really enjoyable and satisfying. I am also fortunate that my schedule at the moment means that I don’t do a full eight hour day on any of the four days I work. This means that there is time each day to be outside enjoying the good weather, exercising and generally enjoying life outside work as well.

6. Starting the day well

One bad habit that I noticed last week was switching my laptop on as soon as I got out of bed. I usually have enough time at a computer each day to do what I need to do, so I don’t really need to do this. I noticed that when I do this, it makes me a little more anxious and less grounded before I start my day. I have now stopped switching my laptop on first thing and have been taking the first hour of the day to enjoy breakfast, spend time with Adrian and meditate. This change has made a huge difference as it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

In terms of this site I have been writing more than usual and have been doing lots of guest posts so the changes I have made are definately helping me to be more effective and productive as well!

These are the things that have made a difference to me recently. I would love to hear from you. Have you been struggling to find a balance or does this come easily to you? Have you got other tips that you would like to share?

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