When I originally wrote this article back in 2010, life was busy. I was traveling across the country for work and in business school in the evenings at the same time. I also carved out time to grow this blog on the side too. My weeks involved flying to Charleston, South Carolina for work, attending important client meetings all week and then heading straight back to San Diego to take a midterm. During weeks like that, I wondered what work-life balance was and where my “me” time went?
Here are 8 ways to balance a busy week:
1. Designate mornings for yourself.
I used to be in this awful habit of checking my email first thing in the morning hoping that it would “wake” me up. It woke me up but not in a good way, a very stressful way instead! I changed this awful habit and now check my phone only after breakfast. This is a good example of how technology is getting in the way of our work-life balance and helping us stay overly busy.
2. Plan now for long vacations later.
Many people I used to work with couldn’t imagine what their co-workers and clients would do if they left for a couple weeks. They were just to busy doing important stuff at work! In reality, they survive just fine and it actually gives others the opportunity to step up and take on more responsibilities that they would never have had the opportunity to do. It may surprise you what others around you are capable of. It will also help you in the long run if your co-workers can help you out in case you get sick or have an emergency. So book that trip to Europe now!
3. Be dedicated, but only do what you like.
If you don’t spend your days doing something that you believe in, you will be completely miserable. I know that I have to be working at something where I know I am making a difference or I will be one very bored chica. Dedicate yourself to something you believe in, not the corner office and a six-digit salary.
[RELATED: How to Find This Elusive Work Life Balance]
4. Focus on one thing at a time.
When people ask me how I worked full-time and went to school at night, I tell them that I focused on one day at a time and tried my best not to worry my midterms and office pressures that stressed me out. This might not be the best thing since I should probably should have started studying for that midterm but I think that this is how I was able to stay sane with my crazy schedule and responsibilities. My first quarter was rough but I eventually got the hang of it!
You will be so much more productive if you stay healthy and make exercise a top priority. I trained for a marathon while getting my MBA and working full-time and it was amazing how much more energy I had after I would go for my runs to work on my blog and schoolwork too.
6. Maintain your energy by getting a good night’s sleep.
This is where technology is beneficial; you can catch up on your favorite TV shows tomorrow thanks to DVR!
7. It is OK to say no.
You can’t do everything and be everywhere at the same time. Schedule time on the calendar just for you and your family so you don’t over-commit.
8. Learn to delegate tasks.
You may think that no one can do it better than you, but if you can spend the extra time training that person to do it exactly like you want him/her to do it, you will be surprised at how much more you can get done as a team, rather than individually.
The world of work has changed due to advancements in technology and the ever-changing global economy. For us to not be married to our work and miss out on “me” time and family time, lets examine our priorities and set boundaries. Be firm in what you can and cannot do.
How do you balance your busy life?