If you’re struggling to keep up with the momentum of your life but you feel weighed down, there is likely good reason. This is the reality for most of us in this fast-paced, information-age culture. Our lives can get filled with too many work and home tasks that all seem to be high priority. Meanwhile, the rest of the important areas of our lives are often neglected. The solution to this discrepancy is to find some level of work-life balance.
Why is work-life balance important?
Maintaining balance allows us to think more clearly because the needs in different areas of our lives are being met adequately. When we hyper-focus on one department of our lives, it overshadows the other areas. And when you experience backlash from this imbalance, the consequences are quite evident. You know your life is out of whack when your other half complains, your boss writes you up, you incur late fees for bills that are paid late, or you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
What’s the main reason your life is unbalanced?
For those of us who constantly feel out of balance, it is likely due to one main reason. When you haven’t created your big picture goal (or if you lose vision of it), then your priorities won’t be straight. How can you focus on the most important tasks of the day when you’re not sure what your overall purpose is? When you know what your big picture goal is, you will be able to spend your time more wisely. When your big picture isn’t clear, it will get buried in a barrage of menial tasks that aren’t related to it.
Since our lives are jam-packed with tasks to complete, most of us are shuffling between the many departments of our lives (family, work, personal interests, etc). With all the roles you have to take on, you’re probably running out of time to finish things every day. So where can you find time to do the things you really want to be doing?
This is how you attain work-life balance!
Follow these simple guidelines to help achieve balance in your life:
- Figure out what your big picture goal is. Once you do this, you can create a plan to make sure you get important activities done each day that promote the goal. Record this goal in writing or digitally, and review it frequently to keep yourself reminded of the main purpose driving you.
- Learn to say no and delegate tasks. Taking these steps may be difficult to do at first, but they are essential to your success. If you say “yes” when you really don’t want to (and when you feel nothing can be done right unless you do it), then you’ll find yourself constantly overwhelmed. Once you recognize when to say “no” and you share responsibilities with others, you will have more time to work on things that support your big picture.
- Complete your most important task each day. If you follow the 80/20 Rule, you can maximize your efforts by getting the highest priority task done every day. Also, if you get that done earlier in the day, you won’t have to worry about all the distractions that come later. If you divide your daily time properly, you will notice your productivity will shoot through the roof.
- Implement self-care. The department of life that many people neglect the most is taking care of themselves. This involves everything from eating healthy and exercising to doing things you enjoy like crafting or reading. When you don’t take care of yourself, it’s harder to get things done. Too many people are sleep-deprived, stressed out, and suffering from other physical symptoms resulting from their lack of self-care. Focus on yourself, and make sure you take care of your needs so you can maximize your potential.
- Stop over-scheduling yourself. Analyze your daily routines and figure out how long things really take you to complete. Track the time it takes you to get ready for work or to drive in traffic, and start giving yourself enough time. If you’re realistic about how long things actually take (and you add a small cushion for unexpected delays), then you won’t have to rush from place to place all the time.
- Revise your big picture goal as needed. What the point of it all is for you will change from time to time. When this happens, adjust your big picture goal and focus on the daily activities that will help you succeed.