The Practical Guide to Achieving Work-Life Balance
Life might be the greatest juggling act of all time. When you’re young it’s usually pretty simple – you’re only juggling two or three balls as you focus on academics, extracurriculars, maybe even a part-time job. But the simplicity of the act doesn’t last long. Bowling pins are added here and there as you continue to grow up and face new responsibilities. And the next thing you know, you’re juggling flaming batons as you attempt to balance your life at work and your life at home.
It’s no wonder everyone seems to be searching for that perfect balance – I sure am. We’re living in a fast-paced world that is obsessed with multitasking and getting things done. With these societal ideals engrained in our minds, we often forget the value of time.
So I started to search, and as I began my pursuit for this so-called ‘perfect balance’, I stumbled across a variety of how-to’s and quick tips that promised to help me find it. They sounded simple, all I had to do was follow a few tips, make a few changes and my life would be balanced. Right?
Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to take a vacation every time I start feeling overwhelmed. Nor do I have the resources for a life coach to keep my balance beam aligned. I cannot simply say ‘no’ to certain requests, just because I don’t want to take them on – sometimes it’s my job to get them done.
Maintaing balance between your work, family and recreation time is hard – we all know that. But what we may forget, is that we all have different resources and responsibilities. If we could all take that vacation or hire that life coach, we might live in a perfectly balanced world. The truth is, not everyone can and that’s why I want to share some of the most practical tips I came across in my search to find that perfect balance.
Practical Ways to Establish More Balance in Your Life
Set Priorities. Acknowledging how important each task actually is will allow you to add value to your daily schedule by helping you engage in what means most to you. You will feel less stressed when the tasks you see as highly important have been completed.
Avoid Multitasking. The act of multitasking tends to blur the line between work and play. Do your best to concentrate on work when you are at work and focus on recreation when you are out of the office. By resisting the desire to multitask, you’ll be able to accomplish more while you’re working and enjoy more while you’re not.
Look Forward to Something Each Day. It doesn’t have to take much time or effort, it just needs to be something you enjoy – read a book, take a bath, or play with the kids. If you have something to anticipate throughout the day, your productivity will likely increase and you’ll feel more energized along the way.
Set Goals. Setting small goals will enable you to make doing something for yourself a priority. By defining a specific goal, it’s easier to be disciplined about accomplishing it. Enjoy five minutes of silence after dinner. Spend an hour playing with the kids each day. Get to work an hour earlier. Whatever goal you set, make it a priority and make it meaningful.
Evaluate. Make the effort to monitor how you are spending your time. If you notice that you’re wasting time on meaningless tasks, it may be an indicator that you need to reprioritize or even work on your time management skills. Time is one of the biggest commodities – make sure you’re spending it on something that matters to you.
Although life may be a constant juggling act, I hope you will find it a little easier by using these practical methods to bring balance into your life. Do you have a great method for keeping your life balanced? We’d love to hear your tips as well – leave us a comment!