Is there a such thing as work-life balance? I constantly ask myself as I try to juggle it all: my 9-5 job, parenting and kids, and working on my passion. I feel like when I am giving my all at work and everything is going great there, my home life takes a hit and I don’t have time for myself. But on the flip side, when I am working on my personal goals, I find that I’m scrambling to find time to do homework and spend quality time with the family. While I do believe it isn’t easy to master it all, I am currently on the road to figuring out a balance and being a great performer in all aspects of my life. So a couple things that I have found to be beneficial for me on this journey were:
1. Your job does not define you! In my early 20’s , I was a complete slave to my job. I would spend more time at work than was necessary. My work week would average 50 hours and I would still be working when I was home. I wouldn’t leave until I completed my to-do lists and everyone else’s. My boss would call on me for every task that needed to be completed, no matter how big or small. And I would never turn it down because I always felt like my success at work defined who I was. And while I am still very passionate about my job and being successful, I have also realized that I can be just as successful without sacrificing my personal/family time and my sanity. So now, I write a to-do list daily, prioritize the tasks in order of importance, work on the tasks throughout my shift, and finish where I left off the following day. There hasn’t been a decline in my work performance but there is definitely an improvement in my overall happiness and personal time.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan! I am normally a go-with-the-flow type of person. I usually deal with things as they come to me, with very little planning or preparation. This wasn’t a problem before kids and a busy agenda. But now, I understand the importance of planning. It is almost impossible to get things done with a full-time job, 2 kids, and lots of dreams and aspirations. The best way for me to plan is with my Happy Planner and stickers. It is necessary for me to write things down to be able to visualize my day, week, and month. On Sunday, I look at my calendar to prepare for the week and ensure that I am able to achieve all my personal and professional goals.
3. Take Advantage of Breaks! This was another huge change for me. At work, I very rarely take full breaks. I never leave during my break, I’m usually still responding to emails or working on tasks while eating, or just don’t take a break at all. I am learning to really utilize this time to get out, enjoy the scenery around the workplace, and take some time for myself. Sometimes I read my book, sometimes I work on my personal goals, and sometimes I just eat and people watch. Whatever it is, I find that when I come back to work, I am more productive and focused and able to accomplish more.
4. Scheduling in Time to Be Still! Every morning I wake up around 5:30AM and I go into the living room, by myself, and just sit and think in quiet. I do this for about 5-10 minutes but it makes a huge difference in my day. I don’t quite call it meditation because I am sure there is more of a spiritual practice behind meditation. But I take the time to think of the things I’m grateful for, pray, and mentally prepare myself for the crazy of the day ahead. I try to do this before reaching for my phone and logging into my email, IG, or Facebook, working out, or any other task. It is important for your mind and body to take some time to just be!
5. Time Management. When I think of all the things I have to do, my mind starts to race. And usually my actions will follow. So I will attempt to do about three things at once to be more effective. I have truly found this to be extremely ineffective. Now, when I am creating my to-do lists and planning out my week, I give myself a time limit for all of the tasks that I have to do. For instance, I have between 10a-12p to work on a blog post and promote my blog. So during that time, that is all I am focused on. I won’t work on any other task. I won’t watch TV. And I try to eliminate distractions like my phone or email. Doing this allows me to be focused on one task, which produces better results.
6. Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations. I want to do everything. I want to work out 6 times a week, be a top performer at work, publish 2 blog posts a week, go to every activity at my daughter’s school, hang out with my friends, have a clean house, have an empty hamper and clean clothes, take my kids to the park, and much more. 90% of the time all of this doesn’t happen. Once you learn to accept the fact that it will never be perfect but it will be perfect for you, you accomplish more. There will be days (or weeks, sad but true), that your house isn’t immaculate, your laundry may pile up, you may not post as you would like, or work out as you’d like. But it’s okay. As long as your kids are happy, clean, and fed and you are working towards your goals, it will get better day by day.
Do you guys have any tips on creating a work-life balance? I would love to hear some insight in the comments. Please read, comment, and share!
Thanks for reading! Happy Thursday!