3 Things You Can Do To Cultivate work-life balance
Have you ever felt like there are not enough hours in the day? From raising a family and trying to connect with friends to maintaining our careers — we've got about 100 things going on at once. We believe work-life balance is not something to achieve, yet something to cultivate overtime.
Here are a few ways you can cultivate work-life balance in your busy life.
Identify Your Top Priorities
Have you heard the saying “If everything is important, nothing is?”. The cornerstone to work-life integration lies in identifying what matters most in your life - your priorities. Now priorities are not every item on your running to do list. Priorities are the few items extracted from your to do list, that have additional emphasis or urgency placed on them.
When you think about your priorities, focus on areas that align with what matters most in your life. Is it spending more time with family? Do you want to spend more time with friends or exercise more often? Whatever it is, write down what's most important to you right now. Then take a look at how much time each activity requires and adjust your focus accordingly.
For example, if spending time with family means ordering dinner once or twice a week, then plan for this in your weekly schedule and make sure there's enough time set aside for it.
Likewise, if fitness is extremely important for your well-being, try not to over schedule yourself so that there aren't enough hours left in the day for exercise.
A good written to do list will help prioritize your goals and tasks based on urgency and importance.
If you have three things on your lists for today: a report due at work, picking up milk at the grocery store, and going through the mail; then writing that report should be at the top of your list because it needs to be completed before the end of the work day. The grocery store visit can wait until after lunchtime (or even tomorrow) because there's less of a rush there; likewise with going through the mail.
Your to do list becomes way more manageable when it is written out on paper because you can visually see what you have going on in your life. The perfect tool for this is a Brain Dump. This will help declutter your mind and organize your intentions into buckets of tasks, making it easier to work through your rolling to do list and keep track of what you’ve actually accomplished.
Then comes the hardest part: saying no when people ask for something from us that doesn't align with our priorities.
As much as we'd like to help everyone out, overextending yourself can very quickly lead to stress and overwhelm. So learning to say no without feeling guilty or making grand excuses is not only important in guarding your time but also in your mental health. And this doesn’t have to be impolite; try using phrases like:
- "I'm sorry but..."
- "...I can't help out right now."
"...my schedule won't allow me."
Finding a healthy work-life balance is about creating habits that support your well-being. It's being realistic with expectations and setting boundaries around your priorities. Remember, it's not about achieving perfection but finding a balance that works for you.