Striking a Balance
Our lives can sometimes feel like a juggling act.
Between work, home life, physical health and wellness, and a social life, it can be hard to keep all the balls in the air. In order to manage our responsibilities effectively while still taking care of our own needs, it’s essential to find balance in our day-to-day lives. Striking a balance might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. Better life balance can begin with a few simple steps. Here are eight tips to help you create more balance in your life.
8 Tips to Find Balance in Your Life
1. Determine your priorities.
To feel balanced and fulfilled, we need to figure out what we want out of life (not what we think we should want). Take some quiet time to reflect on what you truly want and value in life. Pick five things that are most important to you. This list might include time with your family, a reliable work schedule, volunteer work, or a creative pursuit. While you will, of course, face times when other responsibilities require your attention, this is your list of main life priorities.
2. Conduct a life audit.
For one week, track how much time you spend on the various aspects of your life: work life, home life, social life, hobbies, etc. Does one area of your life dominate all of your time? Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to dedicate to something else? Do the tasks on your schedule align with your list of priorities? Determining where imbalances exist in your life is the first step in making shifts in how you use your time.
3. Set a schedule.
When you have a meeting or deadline on your calendar at work, you probably treat it as a firm commitment. Why not do the same for your other life events? Scheduling specific times for your priorities will make you more likely to follow through with them. Put doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, and other appointments on your calendar. Remember to schedule in exercise, family time, and time for yourself – and honor those commitments!
4. Allow for flexibility.
Yes, having a schedule is important. But life throws us curveballs sometimes, so we also need to remain flexible. Try not to overschedule yourself so you have some flex time in your weekly calendar. Don’t stress too much if something unexpected happens, and don’t beat yourself up if you need to make changes to your plans. Remember that life comes in seasons: sometimes our family responsibilities will take precedence, and sometimes we’ll need to devote more time and attention to a work project or to our health. Striking a balance is not about doing it all, all of the time.
5. Prioritize self-care.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” If we don’t take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally, we won’t be able to keep up with our other responsibilities and goals. Make time in your schedule to move your body regularly, sit down for healthy meals, and engage in activities that help you relax.
6. Don’t skimp on sleep.
This goes hand-in-hand with self-care but it’s so vital, it deserves its own point! On average, Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, and many of us struggle to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. A lack of quality sleep impacts every aspect of our lives and can make us irritable, anxious, unproductive, and more prone to illness and stress. So resist that urge to watch one more episode and hit the hay!
7. Put down the devices.
Technology has so many benefits but it can also be a major distraction. Set aside some daily device-free time. This will help you remain more present so you can focus on the people around you or the task at hand.
8. Learn to say “No.”
We all only have so much time, energy, and attention. It can seem hard, but it’s all right to decline invitations or refuse to take more on your plate if you are already busy. Saying “no” is a critical part of effective time management and life balance!
By striking a balance in our everyday lives, we can reduce stress and burnout and live with more joy and fulfillment.