Do you struggle with work-life balance? Finding time for yourself amidst a busy schedule of work and family is difficult.
Your kids need you. Your spouse and job need you. Your passions and hobbies REALLY need you. How do you find time to create work-life balance and still have a few sacred minutes to yourself each day?
Being in your 40's is a whole new ball-game when it comes to work-life balance. Kids are older and you are set in your career, but life can change from one minute to the next. You have the power to align work and family.
Women who are good at work-life balance have definite skills. Below are a few tips to help you find balance in life and work.
10 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
1. Morning Routine - You've read stories about women who get up at 4am everyday to crush the day ahead. The idea of doing this makes me nauseated. I mean, yeah, I would love the extra quiet time in my jammies with a cup of coffee. But, if we could start at 8am I would totally be down!
Thankfully, you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to be productive. Just rise before the rest of the crew in your house. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably 1 hour before crazy-town breaks out with kids, animals, backpacks, and more.
During this time, be productive. This does not mean "be busy".
Productive may mean drinking coffee and reading a devotional. You might use this time to pack lunches or listen to a podcast you love. Maybe you do a short yoga workout or go for a walk.
Whatever it is, make sure it is totally focused on your preparation for the day.
2. Exercise - For some of you (me included) this is a dirty word! But, you need it.
As you age, your metabolism slows down. Do 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Choose activities that use both your arms and legs, like walking, swimming, or yoga. Exercise is good for mental and physical health and brings balance to life.
3. Create a schedule - You are rhythmic. Everything about your body has a rhythm. You need a normal daily rhythm too.
Create a general daily routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Eat meals and take breaks on a schedule. When you have a normal daily rhythm, you feel more energized to take on the day.
4. Let Go of the Idea of Perfection - You are not perfect. You know this, but have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, "it is okay to have a dirty house today"? I have done this and it is freeing!
Give yourself a break. Perfection is a dream. Be kind to yourself and you will feel more balance in life.
5. Give them Chores! - Sorry for the exclamation mark, but girlfriend, it is true!
If you are looking for a life balanced around work and family, your kids need chores.
If your kids are within 5 years of being legally able to live on their own, let them practice their hand at household tasks now. Not only does this give them the security of making mistakes when momma can help, it gives you less to do and more work-life balance.
Great chores for teens include laundry, cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, or taking out the trash.
6. Just say, "No" - You know your skills. If a new client comes along who is not the right fit, refer them on to someone who is. Find your niche and stick to it.
Sticking to your wheelhouse of skills allows you to become more efficient and effective. This leads to career-satisfaction and work-life balance.
7. Volunteer - If you want your heart to sing - help someone.
Go to a homeless shelter or work at a food bank. Give back to women who are looking for their passion or need some career advice. Coach them for free.
8. Get Outside - The outdoors is great for work-life balance.
Take a walk on your break. Sit outside and read a book. Spend time outdoors a few times each day to enjoy nature and catch a few rays of sunshine.
9. Go off-line - This one may unnerve you. But, if you want true work-life balance, you must go off-line regularly.
Place the phone on mute for 30-60 minutes everyday. Don't check email and limit time on social media. Allowing yourself this unplugged time is a great way to recharge and find balance in life.
10. Limit Multi-Tasking - Most of us believe we are good at multi-tasking. The truth of the matter is that having too many things going on at once makes you lose focus.
Schedule in time each day to check email, answer instant-messages and allow other interruptions. You will be able to complete the tasks better if you focus on one thing at a time.
Work-life balance is not a dream. You can find balance in your life if you are intentional and create the balance you need.