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How To Balance Your Life: Career + Family

Posted By Diane M. Stanley, RP (Houston ALP, Director), Thursday, June 14, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018

There are so many components of life, from career to social life to self-care, that it can become difficult to balance each to the level of our own personal satisfaction and achievement.  There are a number of ways to better achieve balance in life, we just need a dose or two of self-reflection and extra effort to find time for everything.  We are healthiest and happiest when our needs are met.

 

Balance and self-care are vital to one’s mental and physical being, so we must fuel ourselves appropriately.  Sleep, diet, and exercise on a daily basis are essential components of a proper life balance. The lack of either inhibits our power source, the mind, as well as our relationships, both personally and professionally.

 

Everyone has different areas of focus in their daily lives, but should you find your time is primarily spent in just one area (i.e., work), try using the following methods to achieve more balance in your life.

 

  1. Utilize A Schedule. Planners and calendars can work, but be sure to include your self-care: exercise, down time, date night, family night, not just your task schedule and to-do lists.  Block the time and stick to it.

  2.  Be Spontaneous. Intentionally schedule a day, night, or weekend when nothing is scheduled. Do something fun locally, set the mood, and be creative.

  3. Know When To Say Yes And No. Be careful not to go overboard by being a giving person. Be careful not to burn bridges--bow out gracefully by explaining your situation – time constraints, prior commitments, etc.  “I wish I could help but I am stretched too thin right now. I may be able to donate some time next month if that will help.”  You may also know of someone else who would be willing to help, provided you have contacted them in advance.

  4. Check In With Yourself. Hello self!  How satisfied are you?  Are you happy with the direction you are going?  It is important to know what you want, so break away from the hustle and bustle of life and tune in to your feelings.

  5. Prioritize Self-Care. You must put your self-care first, providing strength to manage the stress in life that comes your way.  Fuel your mind and body with a healthy diet and exercise.

  6. Focus On A Balanced Week. Every day is not always perfect, so when the unexpected happens, and the boss needs you to work late, be sure to compensate yourself by shifting your schedule to add back the time and maintain your life balance.

  7. Document How You Spend Your Time. Create more free time by mapping out how you spend your time.  Keep a daily record for a couple of days, at 15-30 minute intervals, to actually see how you spend your day, just like you make a budget to track your spending.  Use the information to make small shifts when necessary to afford yourself time to do other things of your liking.

  8. Focus On The Good Relationships. Think about your relationships to bring more balance to your life.  Time is money, as they say, so if someone in your life is taking away energy from you, you might want to re-evaluate the relationship.

  9. Stick To Set Work Hours. Leave the work at work!  This does not mean leaving tasks unfinished.  Designate your time appropriately during the day to meet deadlines and avoid the stress of finishing on time.

  10. Picture What You Want In Life. See the big picture!  At the end of the day, what were you the most happy about? Did you wish for more?  Reflect back on your current life and see if you are in alignment with your life goals and aspirations.

  11. Ask For Help. Sometimes it is impossible to do everything on your own and a call for help is not a sign of weakness.  Seek out a support system, ask your spouse, friends, or a family member to help out in some area, giving you more time to spend with them!

It’s a win-win!

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