Last year was a year out of balance. I forgot how to find balance in work, life, and play. Things were out of whack and I felt the consequences of being out of balance.
My blog writing suffered. My health suffered. And my relationships suffered. All because I wasn’t balancing life in the right way.
I’ve begun a shift in my life where I’m finding more balance. I’m getting the important aspects of my life taken care of along with the business side.
You can too, my friend. This article will help you find balance in work, life, and play.
5 Ways To Find Balance In Work, Life, And Play
1. Create a list of what is important to you:
We often lose our balance in life because we have never listed out what is truly important in life. By creating a list of what is important to you (you can get a FREE downloadable template at the end of this article), you begin to mentally take note of what activities, people, and tasks should take priority in your life.
Write out a list of what is important in life. Stick the list in a highly visible place. Refer to the list on a daily basis.
2. Set clear boundaries:
Another reason you will find your life is out of balance is due to a lack of boundaries. You find yourself saying YES to everything and NO to nothing. You begin living your life at the whims of other people.
Now, I’m not saying you don’t need to be aware of the other people in your life, you do need to control how their priorities impact your priorities.
Dr. Henry Cloud writes about boundaries in his classic book Boundaries. Purchase this book on Amazon (this is an affiliate link and I will get a portion of the purchase price at no additional cost to you) and begin to learn how to set clear boundaries and how this will help you find balance in your life.
3. Leave work at work:
A major struggle in our household has been leaving our work at work. Bringing work home is so easy. Afterall, we have work email on our cell phones, access to the remote desktop servers on our home computers, and a phone in our pocket at all times.
Can you see the problem with this? We’re always connected to the workplace. The 40-hour workweek is dead and we’re doing nothing to stop the trend of bringing work home.
You have the power to stop this. You can leave work at the office and be present at home. However, this takes a conscious effort on your part.
Find ways to disconnect from the office without causing an issue with work. For me, I’ve done the following to find work/life balance:
Turned on the Do-Not-Disturb mode on my cell phone after a certain time. – This prevents me from getting work calls at all hours of the night. There’s yet to be an emergency that couldn’t wait until the morning.
Removed work email notifications from my cell phone. – Hearing the PING of an incoming email makes me want to instantly check my phone to see what important message from work has come in. To stop this distraction, I removed work email notifications from my cell phone. If I want to check work email while at home, I can. However, I won’t know a new email has come in unless I open up the email app on my Android phone.
Refused to answer incoming calls from work: Cell phones have this amazing feature called VOICEMAIL. When you don’t answer your phone, the caller will be instructed to leave a message. You can then listen to the message at your convenience. You don’t have to be beholden to incoming calls. You can triage and take them as you want.
Learning how to leave work at the office will be one of the best things for your personal relationships. You will be able to have deeper, uninterrupted conversations and experiences with the people you love if you learn how to keep work away from home.
4. Let others know what balance looks like for you:
You may find yourself struggling to balance work, life, and play because while you’ve clearly defined what balance looks like in your mind, you haven’t communicated what balance looks like to you to others. If they don’t know, they will continue to press you towards unbalance.
Whenever someone asks you to do something that will unbalance your life, be willing to say no. Then explain the reasoning behind your no.
Churches are guilty of this. They find a great volunteer (you or you could be the one who found a great volunteer) and then they continue to ask them to take on more responsibility in the church. The volunteer wanting to be helpful continues to say yes… Until they realize they’re in over their head and don’t know what to do.
They feel horrible because their life is out of balance. The church or non-profit feels like they can still get more out of them and continues to ask. And the volunteer continues to feel worse and worse about their situation.
If you’re that volunteer, learn to say no and explain why. Tell them you’ve committed to projects A and B but C, D, and E are off the plate due to your other obligations. Say no and let your no be no.
This will help balance your life outside of work.
5. Schedule the important aspects of your life:
All of these ways of balancing your life has been leading up to this. And I think this is the most important aspect of balancing your life.
Learn to schedule the important aspects of your life. This means putting down the exact time frame you want to spend with your spouse, exercise, or watch a movie. You will also schedule your work activities and volunteer commitments. This allows you to see what you have in the pipeline of life and arrange your activities in a way that brings balance.
Schedule, schedule, schedule!