You have your phone in one hand and your groceries in the other, and you’re trying to calm down your upset client while remembering that you forgot to buy your kid’s favorite candy. This is one of those moments when you just want to drop both the phone and the groceries, and just sit down and cry because you can’t manage it all.
Well, you can learn how to establish the work-life balance and have all your affairs in order. This is important for your health and overall well-being. You have work obligations, house chores, family responsibilities, social life, and yourself to look after. It can be challenging to say the least, but let’s see what you can do to make your life easier and your workflow run smoother.
1. Don’t try to do everything on your own
While you should definitely be aware of your strengths, you should acknowledge your weaknesses. Maybe you can make a killer salad but can’t cook the main course. Perhaps you can make an amazing product design, but you can’t do the marketing for the product.
I’m just giving you random examples here, but you get my point. You can’t do it all on your own, so let someone else handle the things you’re not great at, both in your professional and personal life. Always try to be realistic when you take on work and make plans, and do some self-analysis at the end of each day to see if there’s something you could improve or pass on to someone else.
2. Make plans and prioritize
Planning is one of the habits of successful people that will help you get more work done. It’s not just any planning though because you need to set your priorities.
Think of the tasks that you’d want to put on your to-do list and divide them into four categories. There are tasks that are urgent and important or neither important nor urgent and those that aren’t urgent but are important or not important but urgent. It sounds complicated but read it again, and once you put it on paper it will look much clearer. Are you also tired of clients who “want it done yesterday”? Well, why not really do it yesterday? By doing things ahead of time, you’ll always be one step ahead in everything you do.
3. Manage your time better
To learn how to establish the work-life balance, you need to learn how to manage your time better. Start by considering whether you’re a morning person or a night owl and make plans according to your productivity and concentration levels. If you don’t already have set work hours, set them yourself, or you’ll end up working all night. You also need to set some time aside for handling finances, especially if you have your own business, but you need it even if you’re only taking care of your income and family budget.
Let’s not forget the most important things since this is about how to establish the work-life balance, not just about work. You need to set some time for each aspect of your life. Put spending quality time with your family and some me-time on the list too. Your responsibilities are important, but if you do well at prioritizing, you’ll even have time for a social life. If your days started to look like being at work and being at home, you need to step out and go get coffee with someone. Maybe you don’t think you have much time for a social life but you can socialize with people who are related to your line of work so that you can brainstorm ideas, discuss business matters and offer each other support.
4. Take full use of the benefits of modern technology
Your computer and your smartphone can actually make your life easier, not just distract you. You can make an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of everything you need to do, but there are a lot of task managing programs and apps that can help you with this too. Make full use of calendars, reminders, notes, and great apps that won’t let you ever miss an important event again and help you get more work done instead. There are also apps that can prevent you from getting distracted by social media and wasting a lot of time scrolling on your phone.
You can even get some extra time but having Skype or Zoom meetings instead of driving for hours to go on one. If that’s not possible, maybe you can meet your clients and work associates at a restaurant or a café that’s halfway from where you’re supposed to meet. As for your finances, don’t forget that there are accounting programs that can help you keep everything in order.
5. Invest in equipment that can help you and make your workplace pleasant to be at
Surely there are things that could help make your work life easier, and proper equipment is one of them. When learning how to establish the work-life balance, think about what you can invest in. Maybe you need a comfortable chair to help you with your back pain, or you could buy software that makes your job easier.
That’s not all though, because you should also make your workplace as enjoyable as it can be. Making sure to keep everything tidy and organized will help things run smoother and therefore give you more time for your private life. You can also look for some office decoration tips for your workspace and make it both motivating and pleasant to look at.
6. Take care of your health
You can learn everything about how to establish the work-life balance and still not be able to do it if you’re not feeling well. Take care of your health by regularly exercising and taking breaks during work. Exercise is not something that you can cut back on when you’re trying to find more time, and neither are breaks. Of course, you can’t always take long breaks, but at least take a lunch break, and make it long enough so that you can eat and check up on your partner or family or just relax for a while.
Taking care of your health includes your mental health as well, so you need to manage stress better. Find 15-minutes a day to just meditate or and try to spend time with those who support you and lift you up.
Ultimately, you can try getting help from a professional business coach or take a break from work to go on a small vacation. Make sure to occasionally unplug and take a break from technology and try limiting any activities and interactions that are just a waste of time. Instead, do something that you enjoy doing whenever that’s possible.
In the end, consider what you can change about your life to make it easier and start with baby steps.
You got this!