How to make work life balance simple:
- Everything is not equally important. Do fewer things and do them well.
- Decide what your values are — and which ones take precedence.
- Do the things that get results.
- Focus on the things only you can do.
- Do the important things, which must be done now.
Work life balance can be simple over time. It won’t be resolved tomorrow but you can get much, much better at this with practice.
Five Key concepts that make work life balance simple:
- Learn to say no.
Say no to requests that are not your highest-level priority. Ask your self: am I being helpful or I am doing someone else’s work for them? Is this the best use of my time right now?
You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything.
When you say yes to one request, stop to think what you are saying no to at the same time. You can only spend your time on one thing at a time.
- Plan ahead.
Planning out your schedule makes sure the important things get done. Setting up a list for each day, helps you stay on track.
Schedule the important things on your calendar. If getting to your daughters soccer game is important, put that on the schedule.
Schedule some time for yourself as if it was an important meeting.
When you plan ahead for your high value activities, they happen. If you neglect to plan you end up dealing with what ever comes at you in a random fashion.
That feels like a lack of control and is exhausting to react rather than take action.
- Bundle chores or errands.
Check your patterns; be mindful of how you spend your time and the choices you make on a daily/ weekly basis. How many trips to you make to the grocery store?
When you have a plan for meals you can reduce time spent at the store and preparing meals. Plan ahead for errands and take once a week to do them.
Return phone calls in a batch at work. Save low priority tasks for when you need a mental break.
- Manage work time
Start each day with the high priority list. Plan ahead on what time you will leave work each day. Cut back on distractions by closing your door or asking questions when you are interrupted. Asking questions can save everyone time. Ask about time, priority and who else is involved before you take on another project.
What is the deadline for this? What do you need from me right now? If someone brings you a problem or needs help: ask first: What solutions do you have in mind? Or ask what have you tried first? Refer back to # 1. Learn to say no.
- Enjoy weekends and vacation time.
When you are home, really be home. Keep work out of your personal time.
Unplug from work emails, phone calls or texts. Don’t feel like you have to spend every spare moment on chores or tasks. Set up personal rest time doing something fun and enjoyable, even if it seems wasteful. It is not. Time for self-care is critical to enjoying your life and reducing stress.
My final few thoughts are about letting go of expectations and being perfect.
Give up on perfection. Good enough is good enough for many tasks. Other people can do things instead of you doing everything. You just have to let them.
Gaining a work life balance is a process. Reflecting on what is important to you is the first step to making changes that last. Feeling unbalanced? Contact Gwen for a grounding coaching session.