How can we find a good balance between our work, personal and professional life when our engine always seems to be running on empty (or caffeine)? Because whether you think you do or don’t, we all need balance in our lives!
Sound familiar? We hear you!
Identify what your priorities are
- Doing this first can drastically shift your mindset, from “I must do everything, right now” to “this is not my main priority so it is OK if I do it later”. Identifying what your priorities are results in more productive and efficient work because you know that what you are doing is bringing you closer to your goals. Rather than focusing on doing more “busy work”, spend your time in meaningful ways. You’ll also find that having clearly articulated priorities makes decision-making much easier!
- Do it now: Write down 5 things in your life that are top priority & list them in order of importance (i.e. creating networks, spending time with family, building a legacy etc.). Does your current lifestyle accurately reflect your priorities? What are you doing well? What are you missing? Now, keep this list somewhere safe & share it with someone if you want another perspective or added accountability.
Set realistic goals & constantly re-evaluate
- While we all want to (and should) “dream big”, we also must identify the smaller, important goals which will lead us closer to achieving our bigger goals. For example, if your goal is to start a clothing company, do you know about the market? Do you have the equipment needed to produce the clothes? The money? If not, these should be addressed first!
- Ensure that your goals align with your priorities and your current lifestyle. If you work a full-time corporate job, you are probably not going to be able to train 8 hours/day and qualify for the Olympics (while this probably has been done, you get the point..). Instead, if your goal is to lost 10#, then focus on attending classes at the gym 3x/week and eliminating sugar from your diet.
- Humans strive off of recognition! Several small achievements amount to more positive changes (and a more positive mindset) compared to one rare big achievement. Plus, focusing only on the“bigger” goals can lead to decreased motivation.
- Write down and share your goals with someone else. Then, refer back to them regularly for inspiration, motivation and affirmation. Achieved your goal? Awesome! Cross it off your list and write a new one!
Schedule your day (google calendar) … even “you time”
- With balance comes structure, and without structure it is difficult to stay organized. To avoid overbooking yourself or doing too many things, schedule your days in a calendar (Google calendar is great for this) and set important reminders. This means scheduling work-related things, hobbies, personal time etc.
- As humans, we are much more likely to do something if it is in our schedule. If it isn’t, chances are something else will come up and we will forget about what we initially wanted to do. And in most cases, the “things that come up” are work related. The end result? Missing out on personal time because we didn’t intentionally schedule it.
- Work-related meetings dominate our calendars and without them we would be lost. Our personal life shouldn’t be any different – keeping everything in one place ensures things don’t get overlooked.
- Do it now: Add your personal time (e.g. gym, grocery shopping, social time etc.) into your calendar for this week! Make events recurring if applicable so that you don’t have to update your calendar every week. For instance, if you’re a regular gym-goer, put that time in your calendar right now! This way it cannot be interrupted 😊
Don’t be afraid to say no … too much can be detrimental
- While we all want to please other people, we forget that saying “no” and being honest does not usually lead to disappointing people. In fact, when a valid reason is offered, most people respect others who politely turn down opportunities. So if you are unsure about taking on another responsibility and/or it does not align with your priorities and/or you do not have time, then politely decline. You will set the expectation so that people do not take advantage of you. Plus, saying NO will ensure that you are saying YES to the right things (we can’t have it all).
Take it one day at a time
- Most of us get flustered, stressed and anxious thinking about what we have coming up in the weeks, months and sometimes years. In most cases this leads to a mentality of “this needs to get done NOW”. This can result in overtime at work, lack of sleep, missed workouts etc. Now, in some cases this may be required (although not healthy in the least bit); however, in the instances where it is not, focus on your tasks for the DAY and worry about tomorrow, TOMORROW. Worrying about future tasks and deadlines, “what ifs” etc. is only going to decrease your productivity and make it more difficult to get things done!
Set the expectation
- Once you have identified your priorities, you must articulate what that looks like and determine how much time you want (approximately) to spend on those tasks. What’s even better: look in your calendar and see what other priorities have been added into your schedule, aside from work. With this information, share it with your boss, coworkers friends etc. so they have a clear understanding of what your priorities are.
- For instance, if your boss knows that you enjoy working out M, W, F from 6:30-7:30pm, they will (hopefully) refrain from asking you to do things that overlap with this time. Setting the expectations from the beginning avoids several challenging conversations and can prevent people from feeling disappointed.
Ask for help
- Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be afraid to reach out and chat to other people about it! Chances are someone is going through something similar and you both can help each other! Maybe there is someone at work or at the gym you admire for their ability to maintain a good work-life balance. Approach them and ask them to share some tips!
- We’re also here to help! Book a goal setting session here with one of our coaches and let’s talk about strategies for integrating your health and fitness into your life without creating any imbalances.
Because that is what life is all about 🙂