You know what being busy is like. You are working hard to stay float and while you keep one area of life on track, other parts suffer. Your stressed, tired and just ready for the day to be over. Who wants to live day to day that way? It’s time to get your balance back.
I had to become a master at running my life or else it would get away from me. To give you a quick glimpse, I do work full time, run this blog, prioritize volunteering, have a family/home to take care of and have my own development I’m committed to. As I’ve packed more into my life, I have found ways to keep balanced and stay happy.
I’m going to share some of my best tips for balancing a busy schedule so you can find some peace. After reading this post you are going to know how to get your calendar in order, create a plan with your values in mind and realize what your limits are so you can put your best foot forward in all that you do.
Get Your Calendar in Order
When you’re busy juggling everything – work, family, volunteering and development – you must plan everything out in your calendar. Your calendar will be your best friend when it comes to keeping yourself balanced!
You need to be diligent with this piece. Before committing to something, give yourself time to check your calendar. I like to look at a week at a time so I can see if there are too many days in a row where I have commitments.
To have balance, I need down time at home here and there and will do my best to not give all that time away. I also don’t move events like my massage appointment because that self-care time helps keep me happy. If you have needs like this, these are your non-negotiables and you shouldn’t worry about being firm with it. I’ve found that most people are willing to adjust if you ask.
Sometimes, I will get around other people’s schedules by being the first one with their calendar open, giving the other person times/dates that work for me. You need to have your calendar up to date for this to work so make it a priority.
When you don’t have a calendar, who is running your busy life? It’s either no one or everyone else! That’s why you’re out of balance. Review your calendar often so you can adjust right away when you feel the need.
Plan with Your Values in Mind
When you’re trying to achieve balance with your schedule, keeping your values in mind will help you.
You may need to do some back work here to figure out what your values are. To give you a couple of examples, lately a couple of things I feel like I haven’t been the best with is community (the getting my hands dirty – volunteer aspect) and strengthening my relationships.
Once I realized this, I scheduled in a volunteer activity. It was in the middle of my work day which was intentional to let me get away from the office for a bit and help me come back feeling refreshed. I also created a list of people I need to connect with this quarter, so it stays at the front of my mind.
When you know what your values are, you can begin to see where you should focus your schedule and life to stay balanced. You also know where you need to say “no” to maintain that balance.
One last note: Don’t feel guilty about saying “no”. A blog post for another day but I’ve totally been there. Always saying “yes” opens the doors for people to give you things they don’t want to do. People will be happy to keep delegating to you so don’t leave that opportunity open. Achieving true balance takes standing up for your needs and happiness with no guilt, no excuses and no apologizing.
Know Your Limits
Let’s talk work for a bit. Work takes up so much time in our lives and there is always so much of it so it does deserve some focus. Right now, I’m going to talk about the busy periods that our work schedules go through. Keep in mind, this can pertain to whatever else you’re getting to much of. To create balance in your schedule you must be aware of when you’re truly helping and when you’ve hit the wall and you’re wasting time.
When you are putting in too many long hours, you can begin to lose focus and that can lead to mistakes. I’ve also found during these times that I turn to being less productive because I’m just over it.
Clearing your head can do wonders in this situation! You need to be fresh to be able to get a lot done. I will sometimes schedule a long lunch with a friend, a development opportunity or a volunteer opportunity into the day if I don’t have anything else going on after work. Things like this help me feel refreshed and ready to get back to my work.
Figure out what works for you – it could be a long walk, reading, coloring or getting a hair cut – and work it in if you’re schedule allows for this. You will be happy you did and will be ready to devote a little extra time to meeting those deadlines.
If you can leave the work and return to it the next day, then do it. Coming back with a fresh eye will help you put your best foot forward.
Balance Is Key
When your life is out of balance, it feels stressful, overwhelming and you’re unhappy but there is a better way.
By getting you calendar in order and planning according to your values, you are saying no to the unnecessary things and the things that have gotten you to the point you’re at now. Achieving balance in your life takes work and it takes standing up for what your needs are.
Knowing what you’re needs, and limits are is so important so adjust where you can and get your mind cleared and you will be able to put your best foot forward.
What do you do to achieve work-life balance? Tell us in the comments. Know someone who could use some encouragement in this area? Pass our post along to them!