“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”
Do you ever feel like you are walking a daily tightrope, juggling a 40-plus hour workweek, spending time with family and friends, while trying to find five minutes for yourself? You are not alone.
I know I have felt that way. Shortly after college graduation, I found myself with a full-time job, while attending graduate school, spending time with my boyfriend and friends…and trying to find five minutes to breathe and relax.
At work when I should have been fully focused on the task-at-hand, I found my mind wondering how in the world was I going to be able to finish my presentation for class next week, what should I wear for the Halloween party on Saturday, how am I going to pay my rent and bills, etc, etc, etc.
My mind and my life were in constant chaos as I tried to navigate each day and check off the never-ending tasks on my to-do-list. At the end of each day falling into bed, I felt exhausted and I woke up feeling exhausted instead of well-rested.
I knew something had to change. I knew that in order to be successful in all areas in my life, while keeping my sanity, I needed to make some changes and slowly I began (and continue to do so today) implementing these changes that have helped me to create a work-life balance.
Below are four work-life balance tips I have found to be successful
1# Carve out time for yourself everyday
If you never take time for yourself, even five precious minutes, you will run ragged and eventually run out of steam.
Every day we need to find time to unwind, relax and rejuvenate, so we are filled with the strength and energy to tackle our tasks. The time you take for yourself can be as simple as reading a good book, taking a run or even a bubble bath. For me it is spending time journaling and praying to God.
This is best done early in the morning because it will give you the boost you need for the day ahead. Stop hitting the snooze button and get up five minutes early – you won’t regret taking this time for yourself – and your boss and boyfriend will thank you too.
2# Learn when to say “no”
Constantly saying “yes” to every request you get will overwhelm you, and you’ll end up over-scheduling your day, which will add unnecessary stress.
Especially for women, it is easy to feel guilty and give into a request that they don’t have time to complete.
It is better for our own sanity and the requesters’ if we politely decline and let them know that we don’t have the time or energy that the task deserves.
It is way better to say no to bake a cake for your friend’s friend’s baby shower than to overwhelm yourself and show up with a frosted looking-alien that is actually supposed to represent a beautiful baby!
3# Keep track of all appointments
Whether it’s a large white-board calendar above your desk or a Moleskin planner, you need a central location to keep track of your schedule. I suggest using different colored markers or pens to represent each area of your life: work, social events, bill due dates, birthdays, etc.
Take time at the beginning of the week to fill in your calendar and make a plan on how to tackle the week ahead. As you review your calendar every day, you will be able to shift your focus on what needs to get done.
4# Stop multitasking
When you walk into your workspace, whether at home or in the office, your full focus needs to be on your work. Don’t be updating your social media status or looking up scholarly articles for your research paper due at the end of the week.
The same goes for your personal life, when you are spending time with your significant other or friends, put down the phone – stop checking your work email.
In our culture, multitasking has been praised as a worthy characteristic, but in reality it constantly shifts our focus, resulting in poor-quality work or only giving half of our attention to an important conversation.
Force yourself, as hard as it maybe, to give your full-attention to one task at hand. Over time this will get easier and you will be able to accomplish more in your workday, while cultivating meaningful relationships with those around you.
If you take the time and effort to integrate these work-life balance tips into your daily life, you will find yourself with more energy to live your life to its full potential.
What work-life balance tips or tricks would you add to this list that you have found to be successful?
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Image by Daniele Zedda.