Archives for Cyler

Redefining Balance in Your Life

Most of us need a little bit more balance in our lives. If you ever feel frazzled and you’re losing control over everything around you, you can probably relate to this need. The lack of control and balance in your life is something that happens gradually, and often you don’t realize how much balance you have lost, until you go to restore that balance. But not only do you need to restore that balance, but you need to redefine what it means to have balance in your life. If you don’t have a clear vision of the balance that your life needs, you will never be able to maintain it.

Work

When most people think about the balance of their life, work is the first thing that comes to mind. Work can look like so many different things, which is often why it is so difficult to balance out in your life. You may have a full time job that takes up most of your waking hours week after week. And many of us have a hard time truly leaving work at work, focusing on work problems and issues once we are home.

In addition to your career, there are household items that demand a lot of time, and this also constitutes work. Childcare is another thing that, while it feels unfair to label it as work, is absolutely work.

This is often just scratching the surface of the things in your life that are work. So, how is it possible to gain any balance when there are so many work related things that are pulling your attention in a hundred different directions at once? There will always be exceptions, but you should strive to have specific hours that you spend on work tasks. If you have a 9-5, leave that work there. Don’t bring projects home with you, and don’t answer emails regarding work issues when you are home. Specify certain hours that you will be doing housework. If you have hours set on a daily basis, it will be easier to keep your home clean and will not take more than your designated daily hours to keep things clean.

Down time

Down time sometimes feels like something you’ll never have again. You think back to the simple times when you were in high school, college, pre children, pre career, that you had time to do absolutely nothing. You will probably never have such an abundance of free time ever again, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to have some free time in your life. In fact, it is necessary in order for you to thrive and have an enjoyable life. Depriving yourself of free time is going to stress you out and make you less productive when you are focusing on other things. Every single day, no matter what deadlines or dishes you have, you need to let yourself take a break. Schedule it in before you start your day, so you don’t have an excuse to skip it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Pleasure

It’s important to separate downtime from scheduled time to do things that you enjoy. Downtime should be time that you are able to sit and not worry about things. Spend that time catching up on your favorite tv show. But you should also schedule out activities of things you enjoy. Date nights, grabbing drinks with friends, brunch on the weekends, going to the movies. These won’t happen every day, but are important to have on a weekly basis.

Wellness

Your health is important, and often neglected when you are overwhelmed and busy. It doesn’t take a lot of time to plan out healthy meals for your week, but it’s important to do so, and to stick to it. Finding time to be active and workout, even if it is just going on a walk in the evening with your dog, will improve the quality of your life, and you’ll find that you have more energy for other things during the days.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Back to School

Going back to school is a dream that many people have, nowadays. There are many reasons for this. For some people, they may not have even pursued higher education in the first place (not that there’s anything wrong with that), others may have left school to pursue a job opening or family goals, and others still may have gotten their degree in a field that isn’t bringing them the happiness or success that they crave.

Regardless of the reason, going back to school can be a great way to shift the current priorities of your life, but it has many drawbacks of whether it is feasible financially or timewise. Here are questions you should be asking yourself before you go back to school…

Will It Let Your Pursue a Career That Makes You Happier?

First of all, consider the reason that you are going back to school. One of the most valid reasons to go back to school is because it will enable you to get a job in a field that brings you far more happiness.

This happiness can come in different forms. Maybe you got a degree in accounting, but find that you hate the day-to-day work more than anything else and want to switch to a career where you can use your hands more. In this example, happiness comes from a desire to enjoy the actual work being done. Other times, getting a degree to work in a more lucrative industry may help bring happiness in the form of additional income. Consider what happiness looks like to you, and whether going back to school is a realistic way to achieve that happiness.

Does It Make Financial Sense?

Unfortunately, the biggest roadblock to going back to school for most people is whether or not it is financially viable. There’s no getting around it, school is expensive. Aside from medical debt, student debt is one of the most common forms of debt that drive people to declare bankruptcy. For some career paths, though, it’s simply not realistic to break into specific industries without an applicable degree. The good news, though, is that there are several key cost-saving measures to consider, listed below.

Is There an Online Option?

When you go back to school, you’re paying a premium price for instructors, buildings, facilities, amenities, additional staff, potential housing, and lots more. Online schooling options are able to cut out a lot of extraneous costs because there are fewer upkeep and startup costs per class, and thus they tend to be significantly less expensive than attending school on a physical campus. So you should consider if there is an online option that makes sense for the degree you are seeking to attain.

Is a Tech School Right?

People’s idea of higher education is often tied to a traditional 4-year college, but this isn’t the only option. Tech schools provide fast-tracked programs to work in a variety of advanced trades and technical industries. They are also available for a fraction of the price, and can almost always be done in less than two years, if not 6 months. This makes tech school a more affordable and realistic option for many people.

Will Your Work Pay for Your School?

Another way to make the option of going back to school more financially feasible is to see if your work is willing to help you pay the cost of attaining a higher degree. If you are going back to school to further excel in your current career field, then your employer has a vested interest in your training. Some companies already have programs set up to help their employees do this, but if that doesn’t currently exist, it might be worth starting a dialogue with your employer to see if that is a possibility.

Can You Learn the Same Skills Outside of School?

While higher education is a terrific way to develop an understanding of complex concepts and get training in many fields, there are some industries where you can get equal or superior training by learning on the job. If this option is open to you, you should do a quick cost-benefit analysis to determine if your specific goals are better met by jumping right into the field you want to work in, rather than going to school first.