How many of us strive for better balance between our work and life? We know we need the balance and want it, but it can still seem difficult or impossible! If you are finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone. There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. That is not the case today. Work is likely to invade our personal lives. We are always connected, whether by our employer demands or by our own doing. This can lead to issues in our health, relationships, emotional and spiritual well being, depression and burnout. It is about making choices in your life for intentional wellness. And, yes....you do have a choice, you have the power and control to do this! If I can emphasize just one thing to my clients it is that simple piece of advice. Too many of us have given away our power and choices and bought into the notion that we cannot do anything about it. I challenge you to take back your control!
Here are 5 tips for enhanced work-life balance:
1. Build downtime into your schedule. Take some time to plan your week and make a point to schedule time with your family and friends. If an event to be with your family or friends is on your calendar, you'll have something to look forward to and may be less likely to cancel. Being proactive about about scheduling your "fun/downtime" is so important. If nothing is on the schedule, time tends to get frittered away and you find yourself back at work.
2. Drop activities that sap your time and energy. Many people waste time on activities that add no value. For example, do you find yourself spending too much time at work with a co-worker who is always venting and gossiping? That time could have been spent actually being productive or perhaps taking a short walk outside to get refreshed and refueled. Take stock of activities that don't enhance your career or personal life. You may find tracking these events and the time spent may give you extra incentive to minimize those activities.
3. Reconsider your errands. What errands could you outsource? Hire a kid to mow your lawn? Order your groceries online and have them delivered? Plan your meals for the week and buy everything you need at one time? What about trading services/errands with a friend? Get creative! See what may open up for you when you rethink how you do your chores.
4. Get moving! Can't find the time to exercise because your schedule is already completely full? I challenge you to rethink this and just start moving more! You don't have to spend an hour at the gym to gain the benefits of more exercise. Just take 5-10 minutes out of your day to walk, maybe with a colleague at work and have a walking meeting. Park just a little further away, take the stairs, take the dog for a walk....there are many ways to sneak in exercise during a day. Taking the time for exercise can ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate. Research has shown that exercise can help you be more alert.
5. Relaxation can go a long way. Set realistic goals to bring your life more in balance. You don't need to make huge changes. For example, select one night per week that you can leave the office earlier. Slowly build in activities that provide meaning, joy and balance. During a hectic day it is important to take 10 minutes to do something that recharges your batteries, like taking a short walk at work, just go outside and breathe deeply, or listen to music. These little steps to relax go a long way to living healthier, happier, and more productive...intentional wellness.
Let me know if I can help you through this so you are living your life to the fullest!