Having, or doing, it all is something many of us strive for. The reality is it’s actually very difficult to achieve the right balance in life. While there will be times different parts of your life may take over for a period, there are some risks if one particular area consistently consumes the lion’s share of your energy. Here’s a few tips that can help restore some calm in your life and help ensure that you are living the life you want rather than just reacting to what’s thrown your way.
To get a life balance that works for you, the first step is to know what you want. Make a list of what is most important to you at this stage of life. For this to work, you need to be honest with yourself. Don’t think about what is expected of you or what other people may think. If work is your top priority, put it at the top. If you feel that spending time with friends tops the list, make it number one. Ensure that you have more than a few items on your list and consider how you will invest time into each.
Getting this clarity will help you plan a life that will lead to more happiness and satisfaction. If you need help determining what your priorities you might involve your nearest and dearest. If you need someone more objective you could consider a career or life coach to help talk you through it.
Once you have your priorities listed, plan to organise your day. As the popular saying goes “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Start your day by looking at your calendar. Block off 30 minutes from the time you typically start your work day. Then use that time to make a task list for your day. Reflecting on your priorities, include the top activities you need to accomplish to make your day a success. This list does not need to be long.
Next, block off an hour for lunch to ensure you have a break in the middle of your day. Then block administrative time to ensure you have time to complete the tasks you set forth for your day. I recommend an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, and thirty minutes before your planned finish time.
Perhaps the most important part of this is saying no. To achieve your task list, you will need to learn to say no to the priorities of others. This means ignoring emails until you have completed your tasks (you could check in now and again to make sure there is nothing urgent but don’t get sucked into the everyday emails). When people call, they can leave a message. Perhaps check the messages from time to time to assess urgency but otherwise stay on task.
If you are one to drop everything to help people, it will take some getting used to. What you need to remember is that people calling and emailing you are doing so for their priorities. If you are working on the same priorities, answer the call. If not, you can help them when, or if, you have the time after you complete your priorities.
Any change can seem daunting and scary. Making these adjustments to how you work is going to take you out of your comfort zone but how comfortable are you right now with your life balance? For help with this topic or other career issues, one of the best resources you can access is a career counsellor. If you are in the Brisbane area, reach out to Donna on 0419 120 601 for a free 15 minute chat about your needs!