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The struggle of maintaining the work-life balance has become an all-too-common affliction of today’s people. It seems like we’re in a constant chase of something. And yes, it is very frustrating. So you obviously can’t add more hours to each day, even though that seems like it would solve it all (but let’s face it, it probably wouldn’t).
I’ve struggled with this for a quite some time, and I would be lying if I told you that there is a way to solve that problem completely. However, you can improve your situation immensely. This is what worked for me, you just need to commit to the changes.
Customize your to-do list
To-do lists are not a novelty. However, to really get the best of it, it’s not enough to just write down everything you need to do.
The key is in organizing it and making it work for you.
Your main focus should not be completing as many tasks as you can-but prioritizing them.
Divide your tasks into categories. For example, have a category work where you will make subgroups with tags like clients, emails, data, etc. Having everything in groups really helps me because I know to organize my time accordingly.
Of course, this doesn’t work if you don’t stick to it.
Customize every day of the week
In these hectic days, we often find ourselves feeling torn. You want to do a bunch of things, and every day is just a mission of trying to do as much as possible. So you wake up each day not knowing what to do first.
To solve this problem, make each day a themed one and your main focus should be on doing the tasks related to that day. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t do anything else because that’s very unlikely, but your day should revolve around the assigned theme.
Having themed days will give you a general idea of what your day will look like. You know what to focus on, and you won’t feel as overwhelmed because your week will be versatile.
For example, make one day fit day. That day your main focus should be on meal preps for the rest of the week, having half an hour more of exercise, or whatever you’re into. Have a day for pampering, where you’re focused on getting your needs met. Another day should be a day where you put extra effort at work and maybe even stay an extra hour.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having clear boundaries. Don’t overstep those boundaries, no matter how harmless it seemed. If you step over your private time with work, you will feel frustrated. If you do your private affairs during working hours, you won’t we able to do your job efficiently.
Know when’s the time to work, and when the work stops. However, it’s much easier to get sidetracked while at work, and our phones are the biggest culprits for that.
You can probably control yourself not to use the phone on its own, but once you hear that notification sound, it’s pretty hard to steer clear from it. Always in the back of my mind: “But what if it’s something important?”. At least I have always found it to be especially difficult.
The truth is, most of the time it’s nothing that important. So, have a special ringtone for people that are really important and you want them to be able to reach out to you at any time. That’s when you know that notification might be important, and that should be the only time you pick up your phone.
Keep things casual
So you don’t want to live your life always feeling the pressure of getting everything in order it’s supposed to be. The time you’re trying to apply those changes might feel like that, but it’s over a month and you’re still obsessing over getting everything right, you’re not doing yourself a favor.
Don’t go overboard with planning, this is not about that.
The whole changes are mostly about having some discipline and a few hacks that could help you achieve that.
Even if you’re a control freak, leave some space for being spontaneous. The whole change may feel overwhelming if you don’t keep it casual enough e.g. you feel like you HAVE to do something.
Keep a journal
I used to be really bad at this, even as a teenager, when journals were ‘a thing’. I would start one, but that would last only for a week until I would ditch the idea completely.
However, there is something to it.
To sum up
Find the time to reflect on your day and your feelings. This is the perfect way to keep track of your progress. You’ll be able to pick up your journal and see what’s been bothering you and how you got over it. Seeing it in writing is a real game changer. Being able to be self-aware is the key to bettering ourselves.
Commit to it, do it regularly. You don’t need to write an essay that’s 5 pages long, you can have a few consistent sentences for each day. It will do the trick.
So if you incorporate these 5 things into your everyday life, your struggle of achieving work-life balance will decrease. Unfortunately, there is no magic potion that can solve this problem completely. However, if you’re consistent, you’ll feel much more balanced and much less overwhelmed.