5 Lessons Cats Can Teach Us About Creating Work-Life Balance

Kitten napping on laptop
Don't forget to take a catnap during the day to feel more well-rested. (You might want to put your laptop away first.)

Life’s a juggling act. Most of us strive to achieve the balance between work time and playtime, but few of us are truly successful at it. You can read all the time management books you want, but really, you only need to take a few cues from your cat to figure out how to strike a balance between work and play.

Learn How to Say “No.” 

You don’t need to be at everybody’s beck and call all the time. With so many ways people can demand your attention (email, Facebook, phone, Skype, or just plain yelling your name), you must set boundaries. Don’t come when they call you just because they call you. If someone’s request is not a priority, you should decline. And if “no” doesn’t work, a long stare, followed by slowly closing your eyes, looking away and ignoring them should get the message across.

Don’t Multitask

While multitasking used to be "the way" to get more done, many experts now believe it’s less efficient. Cats seem to have always known this. Have you ever seen a cat watch TV during playtime? Eat while he’s getting a belly rub? Nope. Concentrate on one thing at a time and then move on to the next, remaining focused and in the moment. This is a much better strategy than feeling disjointed and frazzled all the time because you have too many things going on at once.

Get Plenty of Rest 

It’s critical to get your sleep! If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, you’ll drag through the day and render yourself inefficient. Have you ever seen a cat who doesn’t get enough rest? Probably not. And, if you’re the type to roam the house at night, consider taking a cue from your feline friends and take a short nap during the day. They're called catnaps for a reason, you know. 

Change Your Scenery

Sitting and doing the same thing day after day, hour after hour can definitely feel stifling to your work, creativity and work-life balance. Cats seem to know this. When you see your best kitty bud hanging out in the most random of places, we’re pretty sure you are witnessing a genius at work. It appears cats recognize that new vantage points bring new perspectives, and that certainly helps to keep spirits high. Go on a walk (maybe with your cat on a leash!), move your desk around, step out to get a coffee or sit on top of the fridge... if you can. These things can all shake things up a bit and help freshen your perspective.

Enjoy the Little Things

There are some moments too perfect to let pass by, regardless of what you’re busy doing. Have you ever noticed that when you’re reading the paper, no matter where in the house your cat may be, he comes and lays in the middle of whatever you’re reading? He’s not going to let that opportunity pass by! Sun puddles in the house? You can bet your cat will head right toward it because it won’t last long. If you feel the urge to go play in the middle of a workday, you should do it, even if it's just for a quick session. Life’s too short to not take some time to relieve stress and add some fun to your day.

We’re all in pursuit of something important that can easily get buried underneath the trappings of our busy world. While we can’t live a cat’s life (oh, but how we wish we could!), we can definitely learn a few things about work-life balance from them. 

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