Clients frequently tell me they struggle with life balance. What they usuallymean is that they struggle to invest enough emotional and physical energy into all the different areas of their life. One or two life areas consume them, and they feel guilty. If this is you, I’m confident these 12 tips will help.
6 Life Balance Activities
1. Trust Yourself
Trust yourself to know when you need to invest more time in one area of your life and less in another. Listen to your intuition. If your gut tells you that you should take a break from work and play cards with your daughter for an hour, don’t talk yourself out of it. It’s the most productive thing you’ll do all day.
2. Have Some Fun
Most of my high performing people don’t have enough fun, therefore their life is lacking. Their professional life is getting most of their energy. Do something you enjoy. Make a list of 5 fun activities and do something off the list today. My fun list: Watching sports, ping pong, funny You Tube videos, reading, and card games. Your overall productivity will increase as you have more fun.
3. Track Your Work Hours
You have to first admit there’s a problem to change it. For two weeks straight, at the end of each day, write down how many hours you worked. Be sure you include weekends. You may be surprised at the percentage of your weekly 168 hours go towards your job. People who resist this activity usually do so because they already know they work too much.
4. Set Goals
Goals are friends of life balance. They help you remember what you want most and help you focus your attention. Set goals, not just in one area of your life, but throughout the 7 different life areas listed below.
Spiritual: Faith community, spiritual disciplines, prayer, scripture, service, etc.
Family: Marriage, parenting, extended family, closest friends, etc.
Health & Self Care: Diet & nutrition, exercise, water intake, rest, sleep, medical care, etc.
Intellectual: Reading, learning, intellectual development, intellectual conversations, etc.
Social & Fun: Hobbies, recreation, adventure, relaxation, humor, etc.
Career/Business: Talent & technical skills usage, social skills, goals, professional development, etc.
Financial: Planning, budgeting, stewardship of resources, communication around money, etc.
5. Have a Friend Help You Prioritize
Prioritization is not easy because it requires saying “no” to good opportunities. Recently I told a friend about a chance I had to a join a business networking group. He helped me see that although it’s a great option, the timing wasn’t right given my other commitments. “Don’t join unless you let go of another work commitment” he advised. Had it not been for his feedback, I could have overcommitted.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage —pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” – Stephen R. Covey
6. Establish Deadlines
Finally, deadlines are a life balance ally. They decrease perfectionism and procrastination because they put pressure on you to get something finished even if it’s not perfect. Once you establish a target date, it’s much harder to delay. Set a time limit for something you’ve been putting off.
Balance takes courage. It often means going in the opposite direction of which you feel pulled. Here’s 6 more life balance tips 12 Life Balance Tips (Part 2).
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