Juggling both your professional and personal life can seem near impossible most days. It seems like there is never enough hours in a day to complete all you’ve set out to do. Just when all of your hard work and focus starts to pay off you feel the other parts that were neglected start to close in on you. So how can you have it all? What is the secret to a healthy work/life balance that we all strive to obtain? Implementing these five habits will make the struggle much easier:
Cut out distractions during work hours
Challenge yourself to dissect how you spend your day especially during designated work hours. Do you ever find yourself looped into unnecessary or time-wasting activities with little value, like meetings that could have been resolved over emails? Examining how your hours are spent may be an eye opening truth about what is keeping you from getting all of your work done before the end of the day. Instances such as socializing for extended periods of time, checking social media, or extended “water cooler” conversations may be draining your productivity more than you think!
Outsource your errands
After you’ve completed the audit of your work time, do the same for your time at home. This doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about relaxing on the couch though. In order to maximize relaxation at home and time spent with family; examine what chores or errands take up the most of your time and prioritize if outsourcing would be worth the cost. Consider paying for lawn care service or housekeeping if affordable. Technology has also created more efficient ways to complete routine tasks such as online grocery delivery.
Schedule out your day
As important as it is to plan out your day for accomplishing a set list of tasks, it’s equally important to pencil in personal time as well. Recharging is a key ingredient to staying productive so it needs to be a daily occurrence. It’s important to be proactive about scheduling because it keeps you on track and accountable for you time. Scheduling allows you to be in control of how much attention you give to either your work or home life. If walking the dog once a day is something you want to make a habit of, schedule it! If getting together with a certain group of friends hasn’t happened this year, plan it. Don’t assume you will give equal time to both home and work life without planned direction.
Exercise for energy
Taking time out of your day to exercise may be the last thing you want to do. But getting an adequate amount of exercise throughout the week is critical for balancing work and home life. Physical activity will ultimately assist you in getting more done by raising your energy level and keeping you more alert. Exercise recharges the batteries that allow for more time out of the day. Get after it!
Being a “yes man” may seem like an admirable trait, but all it will end up doing is shooting you in the foot. Agreeing to too many engagements is a slippery slope that can quickly get you into trouble. Having a really dense schedule could lead to dropping the ball on your promises. Knowing when to say “no” is a sign of a productive person, and part of being productive is knowing what engagements are worth committing to in order to maximize the value of your time. Learning what activities to dedicate your time to is all about the ability to prioritize what you deem most important.
Challenge yourself to make an effort this week in implementing either a few or all of these habits and see just how much more you can get out of your day without feeling overwhelmed.