Overworked. Overscheduled. Overconnected. That’s the world we live in today. It’s overwhelming to say the least!
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found, on average, people with full-time jobs work more than the 40 hours required of them during the workweek, and even spend an additional five hours working on the weekend. On top of that, women also spend two hours a day on household activities like cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry.
But you don’t need me or the government to tell you that. You live that every single day. The good news is, you don’t have to quit your job to find some form of work-life balance.
I’m a mom, a wife, and the creator of Business Boutique. I coach business owners, host a podcast, write books, and travel around the country speaking at events. The only reason I’m able to keep doing it all is because I’ve figured out my own version of balance. And I’m super passionate about helping others do the same.
Here are five methods you can try so you can achieve your own version of life balance:
Prepare for the short seasons
I’ve gone through two maternity leaves in my lifetime, and I’m preparing for my third. When I know these seasons are approaching, I spend the few months leading up to them preparing my business, my team, and the rest of my family for my limited availability.
For example, before maternity leave I write tons of blogs and social media posts so that I still have content publishing consistently while I’m at home adjusting to a new life.
So, whether you’re preparing to go on vacation, taking a sabbatical, caring for an aging parent, or something else that’s temporary—if you can do more now, you won’t have as much to do later.
Speak up more
Be honest with your boss, coworkers, spouse, or volunteer groups when you feel like your plate is too full—and come up with possible solutions. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask for help, because I can guarantee they’ve been in your shoes before.
Life balance isn’t about doing everything for an equal amount of time. It’s about doing the right things at the right time. Everything in your life is not created equal.
Draw a pyramid, and rank all the important things in your life. Then give those people, events, and yourself importance by scheduling time for each (with whatever is at the top getting the most of your time). Your pyramid will shift and change based on your season of life, but establishing clear priorities will ultimately reduce your stress and make decision-making easier.
I love this quote by Warren Buffet: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is really successful people say no to almost everything.” It’s so true! Your time is limited. And, by the way, it’s yours. You don’t just have the right to say no, you have the responsibility. If you don’t protect your time, no one else will.
We could all use more help in this area. That’s why I created a free resource to help. 25 Ways to Protect Your Time is a script filled with different ways you can say no without feeling guilty. We could all use a little less guilt. Am I right?
Be present where you are
When you’re at your kid’s soccer game, be fully present. Don’t get distracted by thousands of other things. When you’re at the office, do amazing work and be a team player. When you’re on a date with your loved one, give them your undivided attention.
Wherever you are, be there. This will help you feel like you’re truly giving all your priorities the love and attention they deserve. Try these five methods in your own life, and I bet you’ll be surprised at how achievable life balance truly is.
And remember, life balance is 100 percent personal. It’s going to look different for every person and every family, based on their priorities and season of life. That’s why it’s so important not to compare what your version of life balance looks like with someone else’s. That’s a freeing thought, isn’t it?