People are busier than ever today, and it can feel like we’re being pulled in multiple directions at one time. How does someone effectively juggle work, family, and health, and still have enough time to do the things they love? Finding that perfect balance can be tricky, but it’s essential to living a fulfilling life.
Trying to do everything all at once can quickly result in feeling burned out and neglecting some of the most important things on your agenda. The key to finding the right balance in all areas of your life is to understand what the most key parts are and know how to prioritize them. These five tips will make that easier so you can make the most out of every moment.
Learn to Say No
There’s nothing that can throw off a schedule like someone adding an unexpected obligation to your day. Maybe your cousin really needs a short-notice babysitter, or the boss is short-staffed and needs you to come in on your day off. It can be tempting to give in and be a people-pleaser – but that can disrupt many things you had planned.
It’s time to start listening to your inner voice and asserting your priorities. This goes double for social obligations. How many people talk about how they accept invitations for meetups with friends and wind up dreading them? Not everyone has the same priorities and being willing to politely decline invitations or requests will free you up to prioritize the things you value most.
Set a Schedule
Improvising can be great for sketch comedy, but it’s not ideal for planning out your day. If you don’t know exactly what you need to do each day, it can be easy to spend way too much time on one thing – that may not even be what you need to focus on! Forming a schedule before you start can help you keep your priorities straight and balance everything.
Everyone’s ideal schedule will look different. Some people want to know step-by-step what they should be doing and when, and will want to place their day into chunks divided by hours. Others may just want a general guideline and can get by with a vague sketch of what they should prioritize each day. There is no “right method”; it’s about giving yourself the tools you need to succeed.
Focus on Health
One of the biggest mistakes many people make when juggling priorities is that they neglect themselves. Maybe they cut back on sleep, skip meals, or don’t hydrate enough while running around. It’s easy to let these things slip – but if you don’t make time to take care of your body, your body will often schedule downtime at the worst possible time.
Scheduling time for eating, drinking, and resting may not feel like it belongs on your schedule alongside your jobs and tasks, but it can help to avoid this pitfall. Maintaining your physical health is a key part of work-life balance, and it’s best not even to let it slip for one day.
Change in Environment
Are you spending all your time cooped up in an office or home office? This has become an especially big problem since the pandemic, as many people have centralized their operations and do most of their daily activities from a computer. While this is certainly convenient, it can lead to people neglecting their physical and emotional needs in some ways.
Fresh air and sunshine are essential to good health, and getting out and meeting people is key to emotional health. So take a break, maybe take a mobile device and work outside. Make sure to take everything you need, including sunscreen and a durable pair of sports sunglasses to enjoy a day in the great outdoors.
With as busy as everyone is today, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes, it’s key to just take a minute and be alone with your thoughts. How did you get here? What are you proud of yourself for achieving? What do you value most in life?
None of these thoughts need to be pondered on too hard – just let your feelings take you and calm you. You can do this outside, or in a quiet room in your house. You’ll be amazed by what a difference some peaceful, quiet reflection can make in your stress levels.
Find Your Inner Balance
Are you feeling stressed lately? The solution may be as simple as taking a few minutes to rebalance your life and focus on what truly matters. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also need to be prepared to take on whatever challenges come your way.
Written by Kathy Barnes