Say Goodbye to Work-Life Imbalance – 16 Easy Ideas

As I write this post I’m coming off a particularly bad weekend. I had a project that should have been done last week but a member of the team let me down in a massive way and I ended up working all weekend.

It happens sometimes, this isn’t the first time. But one of my main goals when I started my online business was to always maintain a healthy balance of work and play.

That balance got completely obliterated this past weekend.

I hate that.

Do you ever struggle with work / life balance?

It’s pretty common, I think most of us deal with it at some point.

Here are some ideas to keep the overwhelm at bay.

I use many of these techniques myself:

  • Create a Shutdown Ritual : I do this after every work day. In order to make a clear divide between my work day and my off time, I create a list of the tasks I need to do the next day. I do this at the end of my current workday when everything is still fresh in my head. That way I don’t forget anything and I don’t stress all night long that I will forget something.
  • Take Micro-Breaks: Take short 1-2 minute breaks throughout the day to stretch, breathe deeply, or simply close your eyes. The important thing is that you just disconnect and move. A few minutes here and there throughout your day won’t interrupt your work in a big way but it can keep you fresh and sharp and improve your focus. It can also keep you from ending your day in a stressed out frame of mind.
  • Practice Mindful Transitions: Take a few seconds to get rid of your work thoughts and start to embrace your off time thoughts. Forget the to do list and work related activities and shift your mind to what’s next.
  • Use a Time Blocking Technique: Create time blocks for different types of tasks like creative work, admin tasks and personal life. This helps create a clear structure for your day and helps you give the attention needed to each task, including your personal life. For me, it helps to do similar tasks at the same time. I believe it improves my overall productivity because I’m not constantly changing gears and having to get up to speed on a new task.
  • Outsource Where Possible: In most businesses, and even with household tasks, there are often more than one person who can handle tasks. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Get help during your workday and at home. Delegate tasks that can be easily done by someone else. This way you focus on those tasks that only you can do.
  • Use AI Tools When Possible: There are many AI tools that can act as your personal assistant and take care of some mundane tasks for you automatically. This allows you to get your work done AND have a little energy left over at the end of the day so you can have a personal life too!
  • Use the Two-Minute Rule: I really like this one – if a task will take less than 2 minutes to complete, do it first. That way you don’t have these shorter tasks hanging over your head or piling up until they will take a lot more than 2 minutes to complete!
  • Set No-Meeting Days: If possible, only hold meetings on ceratin days of the week. I’ve done a lot of meetings and most of them go on far longer than they really needed and results in a lot of wasted time. So, by making some days no meeting days, you can really drill down on your work and get a lot done!
  • Create a Personal Mission Statement: Write out your top goals and create a guide to help you achieve them. Always keep your work / life balance goals in mind when creating this mission statement.
  • Use the Digital Sunset Technique: Step away from the electronics! Set up a time that you are going to stop using your devices and focus on being in the present. This will make it easier to wind down in the evening, help your sleep and allow you to actually interact with your family and friends.
  • Find Hobbies That Require Tour Attention: Find hobbies that you not only enjoy but that will keep your mind and body active. These types of hobbies require your attention so you’re not looping your work to-do list in your head while you’re supposed to be enjoying your life.
  • Start Using Theme Days: No, I don’t mean dress up like a super hero. Try to break up your work work by assigning specific tasks to each day: Meeting Mondays, blog post Tuesday, etc. Doing this helps you structure your workweek so you get everything done but you don’t get mired down into a boring routine. It also makes you more productive because you’re doing similar types of tasks on the same day, no more switching gears a thousand times a day and having to get into the zone all over again for the new task. This method works great for household tasks too!
  • Stop the Multi-Tasking: I have a friend from college who insists she’s a great at multitasking. And maybe she is. But like I pointed out to her, if you’re dividing your attention among several thoughts and tasks, nothing is getting 100% of your focus. That means every task you do is not getting your full attention. And if she can do so much by dividing her attention among several tasks, imagine how much better and quicker she would be if she gave each task her full attention!
  • Use the “ABCDE” Method: Prioritize your to do list by tasks using the ABCDE method: A (very important), B (important), C (nice to do), D (delegate), E (eliminate). This helps you focus on the tasks that absolutely must get done, then you can assign time to other less important tasks – or eliminate some tasks altogether.
  • Focus on the Good, Bad and Ugly: Take time at the end of each week to reflect on your accomplishments, the challenges you faced and how to improve. Celebrating your successes can help you stay motivated and inspired. And analyzing your challenges can help you make improvement and avoid mistakes.
  • Create Quiet Time: Choose specific hours during the day as “quiet time. This is your time to focus completely with no phone calls, meetings or distractions. This can work at home or at work – it might take some time to get everyone onboard though.

It doesn’t matter if you work from home, work full time or part time, or are retired, maintaining balance in your life is important. If you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed too much of the time, use one, or more, of these tips.

Regain control of your life. It can be done with some practice.

Hope this helps!

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