I’ve been doing a lot of juggling lately between new projects and commitments, as well as working on my own personal goals and dreams. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for another company, it appears that if you really desire success, you must make many sacrifices to meet your goals. Compromising your own personal self care and leisure time to meet work needs isn’t the only way to achieve success though.
The days of eating my meals in the car as I drove to multiple part-time jobs along side attending dance auditions and being in rehearsals has shifted greatly. I obviously needed those part-time jobs for income, and the hustle is truly glorified in our society. Well I was definitely hustling! I decided to question how I was spending my time and money, and made a lot of changes to find more balance in my life. There are so many ways to achieve the same goal. It’s your decision if you want to arrive completely exhausted, or healthy and composed.
Here are five personal choices that changed my former work hustle into something much more serene by decreasing my spendings and rethinking my methods.
1. Minimal Shopping
I’ve learned to seek out and enjoy quality items that last. This prevents me from looking for replacements often or buying multiples unnecessarily. I’ve also decluttered our home which allows me to see what I do have and enjoy it. Cultivating a capsule wardrobe of quality pieces and having a super simple yet effective beauty regimen helps tremendously too. That leaves weekly grocery shopping which I try to accomplish in a day, two days if necessary. The more I stay out of stores, the less opportunity for unplanned additions to sneak into my cart. Unless you question why you spend money on particular items, you are constantly and easily swayed by marketing and media.
2. Reusable Items
Using reusuable items as simple as fabric napkins, cleaning cloths, a safety razor, etc. lowered my monthly budget. I’ve noticed that most of the zero waste lifestyle changes I have made has saved me time and money. Reusing items and finding high quality alternatives to one-time convienence items minimizes your expenses, shortens your shopping trips, and is environmentally friendly.
3. Conscious Leisure Time
We no longer have cable which has created more conscious leisure time and creative energy. Although we do have Netflix, I’ve been listening to music more, and I am no longer distracted by shows I would not normally watch. I’ve also become more aware of how much I had given to unconscious leisure time compared to when I now set time aside to watch a good movie or documentary.
It is so important to take time to enjoy life and relax. Time with friends, taking a nap or a bath, being in nature, going to the museum, dancing or doing yoga, or just observing others while sipping tea at a cafe helps to recharge you. All work and no play is unhealthy. Setting time aside for personal time refills the emotional bank to endure work, family, and the ups and downs of life. Conscious leisure time is a necessity not a luxury!
4. Work Smart Not Hard
No matter what I’m working on, I’ve learned to listen to my intuition more. When I follow my intuition I get things done much more effectively and with a positive flow. I’ve wasted a lot of time worrying, then slaving to get something done way too much in the past. Neither is necessary.
Working hard and not smart is like spending every moment in crisis mode. Everyone knows that in a crisis things are often resolved much more smoothly if you stay calm, and make a wise decision for everyone involved. This is something I’ve had to learn the hard way after experiencing adrenal fatigue. Time is money to some degree, yet your health is actually much more valuable.
5. Question Everything
So often our conditioning is not our own, but from society, our parents, teachers, our peers, and media. Do you really believe that you will attract the perfect partner and experience immense love by wearing a certain perfume? Most likely not, yet either you purchased it and are truly enjoying it, or it is sitting on your vanity along side numerous others to fill an unconscious void.
When we look outside ourselves for answers, we easily assimilate into the rat race of work, shop, work, shop, work, shop, and dissatisfaction. When you begin questioning everything, you start to redefine your life to fit the world in your heart, and not the world we see around us. Questioning everything helps you to find your truth and what will spark bliss in your life.
Creativity in Context
Whether I’m working on a dance job or creating content for Minimalist Beauty with writing and photography, artistry in general needs playtime, rest, and nutritious meals for fuel and inspiration. Time is more valuable to me than money, so I’ve reduced my expenses, changed my perspective with simple living, and found ways to have what I desire in a different context that gives me joy. In the future I’d like to say that my serene work blossomed into beautiful experiences, and most importantly helped others and the planet. Work that you love so much that it really is play is true prosperity. And it doesn’t have to be an insane hustle!
What are your thoughts on this? How do you find that balance between work and play?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)