Seeking ways to add balance to your life when work seems to invade every aspect? Try these four tips for achieving a bit more time for you and who or what you love.
SAY IT. It’s one of the shortest words in the English language. It’s also one of the most difficult to master. No. NO. Noooooo. However you say it, practice until it’s second nature (and don’t shy away from adding “thank you” after you say “no” if it makes you feel more comfortable). Just because someone asks you to do something, no matter how innocuous seeming the request, you don’t have to do it. Prefer Sundays to be low key and spent alone or with family but a friend asks you to see a movie or meet for lunch? “No, not this weekend,” is a perfectly acceptable response. So is “I appreciate the offer but am unavailable.” There’s no need to explain why or stammer through excuses. Just say “no.” You’ll be glad you did.
Schedule it. Whether you use a paper calendar, keep a hard in your purse or work bag, or prefer an online version or one on your phone, schedule whatever helps you achieve balance on a regular basis. Block out the time and then treat it like a can’t-miss appointment with a client or your doctor. Sure, it seems a bit impersonal to have to schedule, for instance, playing at the park with your kids, but you know what’s even more impersonal? Missing out on precious moments because you allow work to keep getting in the way.
Download it. Our phones are capable of far more than most of us ever thought possible, so why not use it in your arsenal of tools to achieve a bit of balance? Download an app that delivers a daily Bible devotion, guided meditation steps, workout reminders, or one of the many easily found by searching “life balance.” Want more time to do non-work activities — or lack thereof — in your day, week, or month? There’s an app for that.
Accept it. There’s no such thing as attaining perfection when it comes to work-life balance. Do the best you can and understand that sometimes you’ll achieve a modicum of success and sometimes you won’t. Accepting this reality is victory in itself. Once you get there, consider yourself as winning at work and life.