In the thirteenth century, Dante listed the Seven Deadly Sins on the pathway to Paradise: Gluttony, lust, greed, envy, pride, anger and sloth.
Now, almost eight hundred years later, people are still committing these seven sins in Work Life Balance. So let me share with you the Seven Deadly Sins of Work Life Balance … and how to avoid them.
1. Gluttony: Trying to be all things to all people:
Don’t try to be all things to all people. If you try to please everybody, you will end up satisfying nobody.
The secret to being successful at balancing life is to allow yourself to be human and stop feeling guilty when you can’t do it all. Everyone gets wound up at times. When you notice it happening simply acknowledge where you are at and then do something about it. Take a breather. Don’t give yourself a hard time. If you try to be all things to all people, you’re not just a glutton – you’re a glutton for punishment.
2: Lust: Falling in love with “gimmicks”
Focus your time, money and energy on the things that matter. Stop getting distracted with things that keep catching your eye.
When it comes to balancing your life, this means stop buying new stuff every time you feel stressed or unhappy. Shopping has become the latest quick fix for short term happiness.
Next time you have the shopping urge, speak to a close friend or colleague and share how you are feeling. Pause. Breathe. Acknowledge where you are at, and it will pass. Go for things that offer more lasting happiness like spending time with good friends.
3. Greed: Looking for too much too fast:
When you first get started living a balanced life, there’s a temptation to do everything at once. But if you chase two horses, you’ll catch neither of them. The best way to get started is to choose one activity that is likely to give you high value, do that well, and then move on to the next.
4. Envy: Copying tactics that don’t fit your strategy:
A Russian soldier stationed in West Berlin after the Second World War wandered into an empty house and saw an electric light bulb for the first time. Fascinated by this magic light-generating globe, he cut it off with his bayonet and put it in his knapsack so he could carry around the light with him wherever he went.
The same is true with living a balanced life. Don’t just do what somebody else tells you to do, unless you know the whole picture. By all means, look around to see what others are doing, but don’t just copy their tactics without understanding how and where they fit your life.
5. Pride: Holding on to things that aren’t working:
If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else! I know that sounds obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how often people keep repeating unsuccessful patterns.
If you’re running tired all of the time, look at what you are doing. Your lifestyle is obviously not working for you if it is sucking the life out of you. Find a system you can use to get what you want out of life and implement it one step at a time. Just as you would with any new system in the workplace.
6. Anger: Blaming other people for your lack of success:
If you’re not getting the success you desire, look to yourself first. Even if it is somebody else’s “fault”, you could be waiting a long time for them to fix things for you. It is far better to take responsibility yourself to find a solution.
For example, if you have lost your spark for life and your health is suffering, you need to look at what you have been doing to get to that state. Perhaps you need to say no more often, reduce your commitments or start meditating.
You are responsible for what you put in your mouth each day, for how you treat yourself and for what you get out of life.
7. Sloth: Dragging your feet:
Above all, do it now! None of the other advice in this article will do you any good unless you take action.
It’s too easy to say “I’ll go to the gym next week”, or “I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow”, or “I’ll fix my office environment after I finish this next project.”
Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t do.
Thanks to Jennifer Jefferies for this guest post. Jennifer is the author of 7 Steps To Sanity.
Note: As there are literally hundreds of articles in the archives I thought it would be a good idea to share a popular post from the past once a month. The archive articles will be refreshed and updated as my writing way back then was somewhat embarrassing.
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