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Follow These 3 Easy Steps for Better Work Life Balance

Tuesday April 5th, 2016

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

While scrolling through Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites, it is easy to think that everyone around you has attained the elusive work-life balance.

You see that crisp photograph of the immaculate living room, kids playing on the floor as the parents sit down with a cup of coffee. The caption reads, “Sitting down for a bit of work while the kids play. I’m so #blessed to be able to work from home. Only 2 days until our family vacation! I cannot wait!”

What the perfectly curated picture doesn’t show is the takeout menu for tonight’s dinner, the laundry that is not done, the bags that are not packed, or the piles of folders with work tasks that have yet to be completed.

Work life balance is a tough one to achieve, but these three steps can help you improve your balance substantially.

Be Mindful of Your Time

Your time is valuable, especially as you attempt to balance demands from the office, at home and from friends and loved ones. Keeping your value in mind, be more adamant about scheduling time for family, friends and, most importantly, yourself.

Relaxation is key when you are struggling with achieving balance. When you make time for yourself and indulge in activities that recharge your mind, body and soul, this will help relieve stress both at home and at the office.

Instead of merely promising that you will relax or do something for yourself, actively schedule time to engage in these important activities.

If you fear that you will fall behind if you schedule time for yourself, look for ways that you can outsource. Can you hire someone to clean your home or order groceries online for delivery?

The biggest advantage to today’s technologically advanced world is that finding a way to outsource. Groceries, cleaning, errands, and more are readily available at your fingertips and at affordable prices. Oftentimes deals can even be found on websites like Groupon.com.

Lastly, while being mindful of your time, take into account all of the activities that fill your day that may not enrich you. Ask yourself, is the activity helping you grow in your career? Is it bringing your family closer together?

Minimize the time you spend on time-sucking activities like checking social media multiple times a day. Schedule breaks for physical activity to improve your energy level and focus. The best time to take these breaks is during the workday whenever you feel your focus start to slip.

A more structured fitness routine in the mornings or evenings can also be beneficial.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology can quickly become a time suck and it is important to schedule set times for social media or e-mails so that you do not waste your entire day. However, technology can also be used to your advantage.

If you work in a career that involves social media, you need to make sure to schedule, schedule, schedule! Programs like Buffer, Hootsuite, Facebook’s scheduler, CoSchedule and more will be a lifesaver. Most have a free option or at the very least a free trial before you commit.

If you’re not in social media, but want to maintain a presence, check out the free trials as well. Scheduling may take up 30 minutes one day a week, instead spending hours scrolling aimlessly through news feeds and articles.

Whenever possible, telecommute and save time on your daily drive. For careers where telecommuting is impossible, technology can still increase your communication and efficiency. Websites like Slack and Asana exist to improve the ease of communication for teams. They also help you keep everything in one central location that is easy to access for all team members from anywhere.

Define Your Own Success

The most important step for better balance is to stop listening to others’ definition of success. Some people may be more inclined to have a tidy house and a very specific schedule. Others may work better in chaos. Find your sweet spot and define your success by that.

Everyone has different priorities and mindsets, and it only holds you back to play the comparison game. Eliminating comparisons will open up more time in your day, allow you to better focus on your tasks, and be more accepting of where you are in life.

Every person’s work/life balance will vary slightly, but you can achieve the ideal balance by setting goals and scheduling your time.