Hooray! Part 3- some practical tips for you to keep a healthy work-life balance and an accountability worksheet that I'd like to call your weekly focus list—the time for you to center yourself, focus on LIFE-work balance (instead of work-life), and make important stuff happen.
My top 10 tips for keeping a healthy balance:
1. Take a moment. Deep breath, quiet room all to yourself, a moment. So often we don't give ourselves a moment. We need this moment. YOU need this moment. So please, take your moment. And in that moment? Don't think. Don't stress. Just breathe, pray, meditate—do what you need to do.
2. Focus yourself. After you've had your quiet moment, take a minute to focus yourself on the week ahead. I always needs to write things out and pin them to the board next to my computer. That way when I'm feeling overwhelmed, or unfocused, or just plain lost, I have something that I can come back to, center on, and regain my focus with.
To the right is a free tool that I've come up with that really helps me at the beginning of my week (click to view larger).
Write out only a few goals (too many is overwhelming), keep it simple and attainable, and keep your dreams and most importants at the very top, reminding yourself that's where they need to be- FIRST. Download yours by clicking here.
3. Set time limits. You need structure, you need routine. Don't be available 24/7. Set a specific time of day in which you respond to emails. Set a time for when you engage on social media. Learn to say "no" to respect your time and boundaries, and give yourself time enough to SLOW DOWN.
4. Accept imperfection. You will never be perfect, you will never achieve perfection, and gosh-darn-it, some days you'll only come as close to it as simply surviving. But don't let it derail you and discourage you. Embrace it, learn from your mistakes, and don't waste your valuable time dwelling on it and letting it affect your life negatively. We're all imperfect, but as long as we try, what we're doing matters.
5. Find support. You need encouragement and a daily strong dose of it, too. You'll find the more support and encouragement you receive in your endeavors, the more motivation you'll have. Surround yourself with cheerleaders, mentors, coaches... and don't be afraid to lean on them.
6. Cancel negativity. Give yourself plenty of pep talks throughout the day, because no one wants negativity creeping in to ruin everything you're working so hard to accomplish. Cancel it out with either a motivational talk from a friend, your faith, or a call from your mom (awwwh, mom).
7. Keep inspired. Take a break in the middle of your day to just be inspired. Whether that's scrolling through your favorite artist's Pinterest, taking photos with your phone while on a walk, or reading about one of your role models—inspiration is needed to refresh you and recharge you. The blank cubicle walls or cluttered home-office shelves can only bring about so much inspiration. And you need inspiration to be good at what you do. So—keep inspired!
8. Stay healthy. Otherwise you're just going to feel bad. Exercise (can you ride your bike to work?), eat better (pack a lunch the night before), sleep more, and establish an accountability system for yourself.
9. Be purposefully spontaneous. But doesn't this go against everything routine and listy that you've been preaching this entire time? No way! Sure, I focus myself, have my go-to routine, make commitments, set time limits... but what is life without some spontaneity and outright FUN? You have to keep it interesting, engaging, exciting. Otherwise you're going to burn out fast. Paint something random, grab your friend for ice cream at midnight, throw a dance party in your living room—LIVE. And laugh, a lot.
10. Review and revise. If you don't look back on your week and figure out what worked, what didn't work, and how you felt through it all, then you can't improve. Learn each week, tweak your schedule accordingly, and come up with your own work-life balance tips to help guide you.
Also remember all of the important stuff we discussed in part 1 and part 2 of the Discovering the Balance series. Be evaluating your routine, your reactions, and your results. Be passionate and committed to what you do in life, and experience ultimate fulfillment and success through it.
Okay, so now it's your turn. Share what works (and what doesn't work) for you in creating that much sought after work-life balance. I'd love to learn from you as discovering balance is an ongoing process for us all!