Strategies to Getting Balance Back In Your Life
Get your balance back. You know what being busy is like. You are working hard to stay float and while you keep one area of your life on track, other parts of your life suffer. You feel stressed, tired and just ready for the day to be over. Who wants to live day to day that way?
I had to become a master at running my life or else it would get away from me. To give you a quick glimpse, I do work full time, run this blog, sit on multiple boards, have a family/home to take care of and have my own development I’m committed to. As I’ve packed more into my life, I have found ways to keep balanced and stay happy. I’m going to share some of my best tips for balancing a busy schedule so you too, can get some peace.
After reading this post you are going to know how to get your calendar in order, create a plan with your values in mind and realize what your limits are so you can be putting your best foot forward in all that you do.
Get Your Calendar in Order
When you’re busy juggling everything – work, family, volunteering and development – you must plan everything out in your calendar. This will be your best friend when it comes to keeping yourself balanced!
You need to be diligent with this piece. Before committing to something, give yourself time to check your calendar. I like to look at a week at a time so I can see if there are too many days in a row where I have commitments or if saying yes to something will throw my day or week into chaos. To have balance, I need down time at home and will do my best to not give all that time away. I also don’t move events like my massage appointment because that self-care time helps keep me happy. If you have needs like this, these are your non-negotiables and don’t worry about being firm with it. I’ve found that most people are willing to adjust if you ask.
Sometimes, another way that I will get around other people’s schedules is by being the first one with their calendar open, giving the other person times/dates that work for me and letting them schedule around that. You need to have your calendar up to date for this to work so make it a priority.
It will seem like your calendar runs your life and maybe you think, I don’t want to live this way! But, it’s so important to let it. When you don’t have a calendar, who is running your busy life? It’s either no one or everyone else! That’s why you’re out of balance. Review your calendar often so you can adjust right away when you feel the need.
Plan with Your Values in Mind
When you’re planning out your schedule to achieve balance, keeping your values in mind will help you by being a guiding light.
You may need to do some back work here to figure out what your values are. To give you a couple of examples, lately a couple of things I feel like I haven’t been the best with is community (the getting my hands dirty – volunteer aspect) and strengthening my relationships.
This year, I have already scheduled in one volunteer activity that was great. It was in the middle of my work day which was intended to let me get away from the office for a bit and help me come back feeling refreshed. I also created a list of people I need to connect with this quarter, so it stays at the front of my mind.
When you know what your values are, you can begin to see where you should say no so your schedule and life stay balanced to your liking.
One last note: Don’t feel guilty about saying no. A blog post for another day but I’ve totally been there, and you know what, not creating boundaries opens the doors for people to give you things they don’t want to do. People will be happy to keep trying to delegate to you so don’t leave that opportunity open. Achieving true balance takes standing up for your needs and happiness with no guilt, no explaining and no apologizing.
Know Your Limits
Let’s talk work for a bit. Work takes up so much time in our lives and there is always so much of it so it does deserve some focus. Right now, I’m going to talk about the busy periods that our work schedules go through. Keep in mind, this can pertain to whatever else you’re getting to much of. To create balance in your schedule you must be aware of when you’re truly helping and when you’ve hit the wall and you’re wasting time.
When you are putting in too many long hours, you can begin to lose focus and that can lead to mistakes. I’ve also found during these times that I turn to being less productive because I’m just over it.
Clearing your head can do wonders in this situation! You need to be fresh to be able to get a lot done. I will sometimes schedule a long lunch with a friend, a development opportunity or a volunteer opportunity into the day if I don’t have anything else going on after work. Things like this help me feel refreshed and ready to get back to my work.
Figure out what works for you – it could be a long walk, reading, coloring or getting a hair cut – and work it in if you’re schedule allows for this. You will be happy you did and will be ready to devote a little extra time to meeting those deadlines.
If you can leave the work and return to it the next day, then do it. Coming back with a fresh eye will help you put your best foot forward.
Balance Is Key
When your life is out of balance, it feels stressful, overwhelming and you’re unhappy but there is a better way.
By getting you calendar in order and planning according to your values, you are saying no to the unnecessary things and the things that have gotten you to the point you’re at now. Achieving balance in your life takes work and it takes standing up for what your needs are.
Knowing what you’re needs, and limits are is so important so adjust where you can and get your mind cleared and you will be able to put your best foot forward.
What do you do to achieve work-life balance? Tell us in the comments. Know someone who could use some encouragement in this area? Pass our post along to them!
Brandon and Cristal