Life is all about choices. After all, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. You could up sticks tomorrow and wander aimlessly through the badlands of the American West for the rest of your life, if you so chose. However, the key to achieving long-term success in both your career and your personal life rests on your ability to balance the two. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you fulfill both your professional and social ambitions:
Leave Work at Work
Once upon a time, work started at nine and ended at five every day. Now, with the advent of high-end technology work never has to end. Indeed, many a professional has spent eight hours at the office only to come home and continue working on their laptop. This is not a healthy habit to develop. For your sanity –– and for the sake of your personal relationships –– don’t work during social settings. Furthermore, working an excessive amount will only hamper your effectiveness and leave you feeling exhausted.
Knowing what you want is the first step toward achieving happiness. Identify what it is you love doing and let anyone you meet know what comes first in your life. People who care about you will support you and your decisions. If you’re passionate about something, follow it; you’ll regret it if you don’t.
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Make Plans and Stick to Them
If you’re presented a big project to complete at work, it’s likely that one of the first things you might do is create a plan of attack. Without it, it would be immeasurably more difficult to stay on task. In the same vein, you should manage your social life seriously if you want to enjoy life to the fullest. So whether you’re developing a strategy to launch a new type of 96 well microplates at work, or planning a night out with an old college friend, when you commit yourself to something follow through on it.
The only way we can learn and grow as people is to listen to what those around us are saying. Though it may occasionally be difficult to hear criticism from close friends or peers at work, it’s essential that you keep an open mind to what others notice about your behavior. Your friends can help you relax if you’ve been burning the midnight oil too often at work, and similarly, your team members at work can help you focus on brass tax if you’ve been distracted by turmoil in your personal life. Remember, there’s no shame in making a mistake –– so long as you don’t allow it to happen again.