I’m sure that you’ve seen the triangle of life, either through surfing the web or memes. If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, I have provided a visual aid below.
The depiction is simple enough; you may only choose two of the three traits above. Or can you?
I may be taking this too literally, but this is exactly how I see people trying to balance their daily lives. Some people excel in social situations while others prefer the more introverted route. Most of the time, there is no easy way to balance all three, not for the average person. However, this doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t try!
During my first two months of Praxis (my apprenticeship program), I’ve learned that the three traits build on each other. Each trait is fundamental to the growth of the others. For instance, getting insufficient sleep (less than 7 hours) can cause issues when working AND when socializing. David Ludden, PH.D. describes the adverse side effects that sleep deprivation can have on daily activities here. Quoted from the same article, David says that
“As our sleep suffers, so do our relationships; likewise, negative social experiences can keep us from getting the sleep we need.”
Maintaining a social life and finding solace in relationships can heavily impact a person’s life for the better; in the context of this blog – sleep and work. I could reference plenty of different sources that point to the same conclusion, but I’ll save you the burden; I think you get the main idea.
That’s good and all, Evan, but how to I effectively add the third missing trait to my life? That’s a fantastic question! The reason it’s such a good question is because it’s the start to self development. Ask yourself, what’s my missing trait? What am I lacking in my triangle of life? Then ask yourself, what do others believe you are lacking? Do your answers align?
Once the trait has been recognized, implement a daily regimen that introduces the new trait into your life. If you generally block the social life trait out of your life, make a goal to meet one new person every day. Meeting someone takes 5 minutes of your time. You will usually continue with your day and forget the interaction, but there are always incredible opportunities just waiting for you to introduce yourself.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum, if you struggle with focusing on tasks and find it futile to put in effort, then your daily regimen should include a set block of time devoted to getting stuff done. It can be anything productive, just make sure that block of time is consistent and never overlooked.
As for sleep, just find what your body needs. Take a week without an alarm clock to dial in the amount of time that your mind requires to feel properly energized. Ensure that this time frame doesn’t become infringed on by other tasks.
Staying on a consistent regimen will drastically improve your life in those areas, even if the time allocated is small.
It’s one thing to talk about improvement in one’s life, but its another thing to put it into action. Again, I’m a do-er not a talker. So I – of course – challenged myself with adopting this philosophy. I will go more into depth with my personal experience tomorrow in my next blog post.