Many people struggle with not having time to do the things that they really want to do.
“I have too much work.”
“I have family responsibilities.”
“I’m too tired.”
Blah, blah, blah.
The truth is, you can think up any kind of excuse to get yourself out of just about everything. The problem with this is that you let life pass you by as you keep yourself overworked, over scheduled, and under fulfilled.
Do you work to live? Or live to work?
My guess is that you’ll answer that you work to live, but are your actions truly saying this?
Personally, I have faced struggle in finding my work-life balance over the years. When I first started my business, I had to fit in work hours between nap schedules and bed time routines. Lately, I am working on finding the middle ground between working at warp speed and doing nothing.
Today I am offering you 4 steps in finding your own work-life balance sweet spot. Each step can be customized to your own desires and interests. The only thing you’ll need to do is put in the effort.
Step 1: Identify the most important areas in your life.
What do you value? What does the way you spend your time say that you value? I have 5 important areas in my life: Family, Personal Development, Spiritual Development, Health and Fun. These are the 5 categories that I suggest for my clients, and what I believe lead to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Each week I want to make sure that I address each of these 5 areas and allocate time in my schedule. I encourage you to figure out your most important areas and start scheduling them into your week.
Step 2: Track your energy when you do/do not spend time on these areas during your week.
This is where some time and patience will come into play. In order to improve your life, you first need to bring awareness to the areas that need tweaking, and then move forward from there. Pay attention to how you feel when you include each area of your life into your week, and how you feel when some areas are left out. For example, when I do not exercise consistently, I tend to sleep poorer because there is unspent energy coursing through my body. I also feel more tension in my muscles because I have left out one of my best stress relieving practices. Therefore, I know that I need to include exercise (health) into my weekly schedule, even when I don’t want to do it, because I have tracked how I’ve felt in the past when it is left out. So start being mindful with your time and monitor your body’s reactions. Your body is full of wisdom, but you need to slow down to hear it.
Step 3: Set boundaries.
Do you remember having strict rules as a kid, where you needed to do chores, or homework, at specific times during the day? It’s time to bring back some if this tough love into your life. Create some parameters that will work for you to help in finding your work-life balance. Maybe it’s no emails on the weekends, or no work phone calls at night. What type of restrictions will help you to keep your focus on the tasks at hand? I’ve set-up a “No work emails on weekend” rule, which helps me to focus on family events and fun activities instead.
Step 4: Ask for help.
I think this step is often overlooked because we feel like we should be able to do it all. I’m here to tell you, you can’t. And even if you think you can, and appear to be doing a great job, it’s not something you can maintain longterm and remain a healthy, balanced individual overall. We are not meant to do it all alone. Ask for help when you need it. Do you need help with chores around the house? Carpooling for the kids? Maybe you just need a sanity day where you get to do whatever you want. Whatever you need – it’s important, and you deserve it. Remember this, your willingness to help your family and your friends is waiting to be reciprocated to you… you just need to ask because they don’t know you need help.
I hope you found these action steps useful. I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
P.S. Do you know someone else who could use insight into the work-life balance struggle? Please forward this onto them.