Mastering the work life balance is tough. This generation is all about the hustle – working hard and doing everything you can to achieve the dream career, relationship, car, and overall life. We’re expected to balance a full-time job, friendships, a healthy lifestyle, a relationship, daily life errands, and our sanity. Many times we have to compromise one part of life to help support another; sacrifice our friendships to focus on a career, for example.
I’m still rather new to the full-time career life. It’s taken at least six months to start really creating more of a plan to fine tune this work life balance. A long commute and 40 hour work week makes it pretty difficult to lock down a solid routine right away. I’m still trying to evenly balance working out and a social life along with my job, relationship, and this blog. Here are some tips and suggestions I’m learning along the way…
Work Smarter Not Harder
It may sound a bit cliché, but it’s definitely something to remember. Personally, I have a bad habit of multi-tasking a little too much. I scrape away only a little of my projects instead of focusing on one at a time and knocking out a chunk of work. Take the time to identify the steps you need to take to complete your tasks, and try your best to focus on these steps. Block out distractions: turn off your phone, stop watching a show, or even use a timer to break off your work into chunks of focus and well-deserved breaks.
Delegate Days for Certain Activities
Dedicate each day of the week to a specific task. For example, Thursdays are always date night with my boyfriend. We know that even if we’re too busy to meet during the other days of the week, we will always have Thursday nights for each other. You can apply this strategy for other parts of your life such as working out, socializing, meal planning, side hustles/hobbies, etc. This way you know exactly how much time you’re spending on certain parts of your life and really see the work life balance unfold.
Dedicate Time for a Healthy Lifestyle
I get it. If you’re not used to working out regularly or eating healthy, balancing this into your daily life is a challenge. It’s so much easier to simply go out to eat or grab a quick bite on the way home when you’re busy. Unfortunately, not only does this hurt your wallet, but most of the time those “quick fixes” will only be a detriment to your body and health. Try to plan your meals ahead of time. This will not only help you save money, but also time for food prep during the week.
If you work a 9-5 office job at a desk all day, you might feel exhausted coming home and too tired to work out. I’m the same way! I always use the excuse, “I’ve been at work all day. I don’t have the energy to work out.” The thing is, whether I was working all day or lounging around at home, I’d still feel tired. The best thing you can do is get up and move. Even if it’s 10 minutes of stretching, dancing around your room, or a set of squats and crunches. Your body will thank you later.
Make Time For Yourself
Amongst the life’s chaos you have to make sure you’re making yourself a priority. If necessary, schedule time for activities that you enjoy. Hobbies such as reading, playing an instrument, or even just watching a few episodes of your favorite show (or ten…let’s be real). I’m an introvert, so if I’ve had a few days in a row filled with after-work socializing, I’ll need to take time to recharge my social batteries. If you’re an extrovert, taking time for yourself might actually mean going out and socializing more! Whatever makes you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the week.
Growing up, my parents always enforced a strict bedtime. Of course this drove me nuts half of the time as a child, but now I understand its importance. If I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep every night, my brain feels fuzzy and my body turns sluggish. You need a sufficient amount of sleep to have the energy to manage this work life balance. If anything, I find this the most important asset to maintaining this balance. If you’re not sure where to start, simply go to bed! (Well, you know what I mean.)
There are quite a few other tips and tactics recommended for managing work life balance (creating a morning routine, for example), but these are what I find the most important and basic foundations for a successful life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working mastering this balance too! It takes time, so be patient with yourself. If you’re diligent, you’ll see re