Our lives have never been busier. From managing daily tasks, to keeping up with friends and family, to fitting in wellness practices, and managing your career or business, it can feel like balance is unattainable. I know because I have been there.
Not so long ago I was balancing doing freelance work for clients, teaching yoga, getting my business started, spending time with my husband, and doing my best to take care of my health, while commuting over an hour each way for a number of jobs. I was working 7 days a week, working from dawn til dusk.
The concept of balance seemed so far away despite talking about it in my yoga classes and with my clients. I reached a breaking point when my health started to decline and I was constantly exhausted. I knew I had to make some major changes.
The following steps helped me reclaim my time, my health, and my life.
Align Your Actions With Your Core Values
Maybe you can relate, I was running in so many directions. I was burning the candle at both ends. And not everything I was doing aligned with my core values and my goals.
I very much value my health, yet much of what I was doing was working against my health being optimal. ex: working 7 days a week with no breaks.
So I took a look at the choices I was making and adjusted them to better align with my core values. I committed to moving my body daily. That meant sometimes I would go on a walk or do yoga and sometimes I would go to a spin class or do a HIIT workout, depending on my energy levels and what I had going on for the day.
Learning is also one of my core values, so I make it a point to do one activity a day that helps me learn. From reading books and blogs, watching informative youtube videos, listening to podcasts, I make time for 30 minutes every day.
These are just a few examples from my own life, I won’t bore you with the rest of my core values, but I truly do believe that making this change has helped me tremendously, especially when life gets hectic.
I have more balance and am more focused on the things that mean the most to me. I believe if you do the same you will have a much easier time creating balance in your life as well.
Choose Quality Over Quantity in Your Relationships
When life gets busy making time for family and friends can be more challenging than ever, leaving you feeling guilty for not being able to spend more time with them. I know – I have been there.
Instead of feeling guilty, commit to quality time instead of quantity. Show up and be fully present. Put your phone away or even better turn it off. Spend time doing things you love and bring you joy to make the most of your time together.
When my schedule is really full, I make sure that I spend time with my loved ones doing the things we all love the most. I go out of my way to plan things that will be truly enjoyable and allow us to connect on a deeper level since I have less time to spend with them than usual.
Being organized is one of the best ways to be more intentional with your time and bring balance to your busy schedule. Getting organized allowed me to have two days a week off, it increased my productivity, and reduced my stress.
When I got organized and started truly scheduling my time it made all the difference. This is because I had little time to waste. I knew what I needed to get done and when I needed to get it done by. Where, before I got organized, I just had a to-do list and got around to each task when I found the time. This was seriously inefficient. I felt like I never had enough time.
I suggest you start by creating routines in the areas of your life that will benefit you the most. It was one of the most impactful practices I have implemented, that has really helped me get organized. I suggest creating a morning and night routine to get started. Then build the rest of your day to align with your core values and goals.
I also suggest investing in a planner. I love my planner, for me, there is something special about writing things down on paper!
Set Boundaries at Work & at Home
When we are constantly overextending ourselves because we feel like we can’t say no, our lives can get out of balance quickly. Learning to set boundaries will do wonders for creating a more balanced life.
Before I was good at setting boundaries, my life would quickly snowball out of control because of my inability to say no. I would go from having time to myself to having every bit of my free time being filled. This lead to me feeling totally burned out and feeling constantly tired and overextended.
Here are some tips to help you set boundaries. Start by looking at the things in your work and personal life that stress you out the most. Ask yourself:
Is it possible for you to scale back these activities or delegate them to someone else?
Do you stay at work too late or go in too early?
Do you carry more of the workload than others?
Do certain relationships stress you out more than others?
Do you need more time for yourself?
How can you set boundaries to make these things better?
The quicker you get your to-do list completed the more time you will have for things that truly matter. I used to have a major procrastination problem. I would think everything to death instead of taking action. It would cripple me and I would never end up getting the most important tasks done.
To combat this, I force myself into action. I start with the quickest and simplest task and work my way up to the larger more time-consuming ones. I put my phone on airplane mode and I close all unnecessary browser tabs on my computer. When I don’t need internet to get my work done I turn off the wifi on my computer. These things have helped me a ton with putting a stop to my procrastination.
Do you feel like you never put a dent in your to-do list? This is how I felt before I started prioritizing tasks. I would fill my time but I never seemed to get to any of the really important stuff.
Start by aligning and prioritizing your tasks with your goals and values. For example, it is very important to me to prioritize my yoga practice, eating healthy, and growing my business. So I prioritize tasks that are aligned with those three things before I schedule other things that are on my to-do list.
When life gets busy, we have to make sacrifices in order to maintain balance, health, and wellness.
When I was working on building my first business, I did it while I was still working. I sacrificed time with my friends, going to special events, and cut back on eating out. Doing these things allowed me to save money and gave me more time to get my business launched.
A girls’ night out that comes up right before you have a big project due for your business, or a yoga workshop you have been planning to attend, might not be in your best interest.
Just like binge-watching all the newest shows that come out on Netflix might not align with accomplishing your goals in the time you have given yourself. If you want to live your best life, you have to make sacrifices in order to create a life you love.
Don’t Overcommit Yourself
I know you have big goals and dreams for your life but the quickest way to burn yourself out is by overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin. Trust me, I know – I have done it too many times to count.
I use to have a really bad habit of overcommitting myself. I would start tons of projects all at the same time. Because I was spreading myself so thin, I never fully finished anything. I also set really unrealistic deadlines for myself, which made me feel like I was constantly failing.
Save yourself from overcommitting. Instead set reasonable timelines for the things you wish to accomplish. Get comfortable saying no to things that will stretch you beyond your limit. And go all-in on the things you do say yes to.