If work-life balance seems like a dream you have been chasing but cannot catch, stick with me. I have been chasing this very same dream. Work-life balance is sought by many and can be achieved with patience and perseverance. This goal is something that you can achieve but it is entirely up to you. You must make it happen. It requires intention, thought and commitment. I have compiled a list of suggestions and ideas here to get you started on your way. Many of the ideas listed sound easy but as you put them into practice might feel hard. Move slowly on your path. If you keep moving, you will make progress.
5 work-life balance tips to be used in your personal life
1. Meditate. No, it’s not hard and guess what — it is free. I do recommend learning about it first, so consider downloading an app, taking a class or buying a book to get you started.
2. Do not over commit. Keep your schedule at a level that you are comfortable with. Limit yourself when it comes to outside activities. Too many activities and commitments can add unneeded stress. You cannot possibly give the best of yourself to five boards and your job and your kids. Pick what is most important and then say NO to the rest.
3. Sleep. Make sleep a priority. If you are having trouble sleeping, try some known tricks to help you, like limiting your screen time or taking a warm bath before bed. I know that I make it sound easy but try these simple remedies. Again, there are apps that can help relax you.
4. Exercise. Exercise is a proven stress reliever. A daily 5K run is not required. Start small and just start moving. Go for a walk. Walk the dog. Pet the cat. Paint the fence. Wax on/wax off.
5. Journal. This does not have to be deep thoughts, but start by relieving your mind of its burdens. Start by writing anything at all that comes to you. You can write about the weather or what you see out the window. There is no wrong way to start this activity. Begin this practice by identifying a notebook or binder that you will use for your journal. You do not have to buy something new. Determine when you will journal. Keep it free-flowing and light.
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5 work-life balance tips to be used at work
1. Delegate. I know how hard this is. Think about how great your staff is. Most people want to learn more and contribute more. Most will help if you ask them to. Consider rearranging the duties or responsibilities in your group. If you do not have a staff, make prioritizing something you do automatically. You must get control of your time. Remember my prior article on Urgent vs. Important items/tasks and how they should be handled differently and why.
2. Work schedule. Keep you work schedule realistic. Allow for time away from work. There are no prizes for being the last one at work. I know because I have tried to win and realized the hard way that there was no prize. The work will be there tomorrow. Again, utilize the Urgent vs. Important mindset.
3. Keep stress out of the office and/or offer stress management solutions to employees. Teach your staff and the rest of the organization to work using the Urgent vs. Important methodology. Use a calendar. Set aside time to check email rather than responding to incoming emails all day long.
4. Manage deadlines. Put all the deadlines that you know about on the calendar. Are there things that you know will happen every year in your business or industry? Do you have a slow time or a busy time? Plan to meet your known deadlines so they do not sneak up on you.
5. Positive attitude. Always keep a positive attitude. Engaging in office gossip or speculation is not helpful. Do not allow that to go on or bring you down. Encourage others to stay positive. Be a leader in this way no matter what your role.
So, what do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Do not try them all at once. Pick one and try it for a month. Then pick another to add to your routine. Maybe asking a friend to add these ideas into their life will help. You can support each other — the buddy system does work. Even successfully bringing a few into your life is better than not adding any of these tips.