In today’s world where more and more women have both families and soaring career, work life balance becomes an absolute necessity (not to be confused with work life juggle!). During my 30s, as I was striving to be a superstar at work and a superstar at home, I forgot to balance and that lead me to a crash. Ever since, I had to learn about time management and how to incorporate the concept of work life balance into my life. At first it was hard to slow down, I was so used to the fast and hectic pace. I was worried that I won’t get things done, but I knew that my old ways were not healthy and would catch up with me again. So kept working on having a healthy balance in my life and, as it turned out, I noticed an increase in productivity and I was much happier! Here are the five things I incorporated into my daily life to achieve the necessary work-life balance. You’ve probably heard some variation of these things before, but sometimes we need a reminder to keep us going. The key is percistence!
1. Know your limits and embrace them.
Don’t overpack your to-do list. Try to understand and focus on what really matters. Work smarter, not harder – are you working on priorities that drive overall goals or are you just making noise? Go over the list and delete as many things on the agenda as you can and leave only the most necessary ones. Don’t be afraid and don’t feel bad to delegate some of the tasks (don’t be a martyr!). When at home, alternate cooking and dish washing duties with with family, be it husband, kids, whatever! Remind yourself that some things don’t have to be done to perfection, and you don’t have to put your Martha Stewart hat on every day. Sometimes, after a long day, takeout and a glass of wine are just what the doctor ordered.
2. Actually schedule time for exercise.
Your weekly planner must have the word “exercise” at least twice a week (ideally, four times a week!). Exercise boosts our energy and we end up being so much more productive. Knowing all that, I know that if I don’t write down the time and date for exercise, the chances of me skipping a run in the park is high. So, I write it down in my weekly schedule, and it stares at me all day if I don’t go. An almost foolproof trick, whenever possible, sign up for pilates or yoga classes you can’t cancel. Then you know you will do it. Sometimes we can trick ourselves to do what’s good for us!
3. Schedule date nights with your man and time with friends.
Let’s be real, as soon as kids take over our lives, we tend to put our relationships on a “whenever we have time” list… which is never. But it is important to unplug, and, precisely for that reason, I suggest you to schedule times to spend with your man and friends ~ a dinner for two, or a walk to see the sunset, or meet up with friends and play arcade games (no kids!). Good times to look forward to!
4. Take time off from electronics daily.
In today’s world, the line between work and home is very blurry because of technology ~ how many times have you answered work related emails during off hours? It is almost expected of us nowadays! It’s important that you set aside time for both family and work. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and let everyone know not to expect you to answer work related calls, texts, or emails before 8AM and after 6PM. A helpful trick is to turn on the ‘do not disturb’ option on your phone because if you don’t hear the notification ring, you don’t get tempted to pick up the phone.
5. Re-charge your work life balance battery regularly.
I love Ariana Huffington’s comparison of smartphone battery with our own battery ~ “I bet everyone here approximately knows how much battery there is on their smartphone,” Huffington said, “because we take much better care of our smart phones than we take of ourselves.” Isn’t it so true? Make sure to reflect on your current life balance every other month or so. Take time off and get out of town, go on an unplanned vacation. Learn to listen to your feelings and your needs ~ Do you feel happy and energetic? Do you feel like getting dressed in pretty outfits and putting makeup on in the morning? Do you have the desire to play games with kids and be silly? If your answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then you must act promptly to regain your balance.
Cheers to a well-balanced life and happiness!