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Everyone strives to create a good balance between work and play. However, this means different things to different people. One person may want to rebalance their life to include more time spent with their family. Another may want to find time to pursue a long-held dream they still hold dear. A third may desire to carve out some creative time for painting or writing or taking photos.
WHAT DOES A GREAT WORK/LIFE BALANCE LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Only you will know the answer to this. It’s important to take time to consider what a good balance would look like to you. What is missing from your life? Do you have any regrets about time you wish you had spent doing something else? We cannot change the past, but we can forge ahead with new purpose and the determination to get our lives back in balance.
Once you know what your ideal work/life balance would be, you can set about making it happen. Maybe you will finally write that novel you have been dreaming about or go on that two-month trip around the world. What is your life worth, and what would you like to achieve?
HOW TO CREATE THE CHANGES YOU WANT TO MAKE
The specifics will depend on your goal. However, there are some tips you can follow that will apply no matter what you want to achieve. I hope the following ideas will help you in that respect. 2018 could end with you enjoying a far better work/life balance than you do now!
MANAGE YOUR TIME
We all get 24 hours in each day, yet some people seem to achieve far more than others. It makes sense to manage your time by scheduling as much as possible. Keep a note of how you spend your time too. Are you devoting time to ‘time-suck’ activities that don’t allow you the quality personal time you desire?
A good example is scrolling through social media or playing games on your phone. What starts out as a few minutes can easily turn in half an hour, leaving you a bit shorter on time and more likely to rush around. And, when we’re in a hurry things like balance and self-care always get pushed to the bottom of the list!
SCHEDULE PERSONAL TIME
No matter what job you do or which career you are in, your working hours are probably non-negotiable each day. The trick to achieving a better balance in your life is to view your personal time as having equal importance.
Block out time in your diary devoted to personal activities. If you want to write a novel, find time each day to do just that. If you want to go jogging with your partner, block out time to do that. Creating regular time to follow your own dreams and interests soon becomes a habit and who knows where it could lead.
SET DAILY ‘MINI GOALS’
What could you do each day that would help you towards creating the balance that you crave? That trip you want to take might need research, regular savings, and figuring out the route you want to take. Even more time with the family can be a mini goal too – say you want to spend an extra 20 minutes talking to the kids about their days? Making it a daily goal and tracking it in your day planner or diary makes you more conscious of it and so much more likely to follow through.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF AT THE END OF EACH DAY
Let’s be honest. Change takes time and so that work life balance that we dream of won’t happen overnight. You and the people in your life will need a little time to adjust, and some days you will be more successful than others at achieving what you set out to do.
Keep this in mind and check in on your progress at the end of each day. Celebrate when you did well and struck a good balance in your life. Look at what went well and remember it for the future. If things didn’t go so well, spend a minute or two thinking about why. Did you say yes to something when you should have said no? Did you agree to overtime that you didn’t really want? Knowing the answer will help you navigate the same challenge if it happens again.
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE
This links with the point I made above. Some days will go better than others. The trick is that even on a bad day when things didn’t go according to plan, you can still find something positive in your day to celebrate. Focus on that, especially if you get a run of days where nothing seems to go right!
It’s easy to believe that everyone - other than you - has got work life balance spot on. And yes, some women do manage more balance than others but no one leads a perfect life. We all have those days when things don’t work out quite as we’d hope but there are lots of ways that we can learn to redress the balance when things get off track.
So, find your dreams and goals today, and take steps towards them.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.