Working Girl Series: Finding the Work/Life Balance

By: Leah G.

Are your days blending together? Do work and life and life and work not seem to be much different? I feel you. I recently implemented some practices into my days that allow me to have structure and feel accomplished at the end of each day.

Working, cleaning, cooking, laundry, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking care of our families are just some of the things we do each day. It’s easy to be overwhelmed.

By creating routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think about how to get everything accomplished. The more routine I can make my workdays feel, the better it is for me and my family – there’s an expectation and when it’s met, it’s time to have fun.

A few of my musts for keeping a routine and balance – 

  • Schedule it
    • Put it on the calendar. Need to run an errand? Quality time with kids? Want to get through a chapter of a book? Schedule it – put it on your work or personal calendar and be clear with your spouse/significant other what your intentions are. No matter where you are in your life – scheduling it will help with keeping on track and feel accomplished at the end of your day once you complete those tasks.
  • Set work hours 
    • This is particularly hard for some careers, like mine in sales, where there really isn’t a set start/stop time. Some days, I start VERY early and some late morning. I found that even though some days I don’t HAVE to be in front of my computer first thing in the morning, I’m much more productive and the days go much better in the household when I vocalize what my work hours will be and block time accordingly on my calendar.
  • Unplug and don’t feel bad about it
    • It’s easy to feel guilty for unplugging. However, this is creating boundaries and space for a better you at work and at home. Take a lunch break and do your online shopping, take a walk and turn that music up, sit with your kids, pup, book – whatever it is that makes you happy a time or two through the day which brings me to my next must.
  • Schedule something each day that you look forward to…and get there!
    • What brings you joy? Coffee? Wine? Exercise? Time with your spouse or kids? Work HARD, focus, be intentional, and give your work your all during your set work hours and get THERE. Progress is empowering and fulfilling.

The company I work for had a webinar a few months ago discussing how to achieve a healthy balance of work and life and the premise was – we all need to take care of ourselves first. Taking care of ourselves ahead of anyone means different things to different people. For that reason, it’s important to think about what’s important to you – whatever it is, make it a priority, that gives you balance.

Your loved ones (and employer) are counting on a healthy you. Good strong routines (sleep, exercise & diet) are liked to improved mental and physical health…we can all use more of that, right?

 Lastly, I was once told by a leader in my company that if you want to have lasting joy and fulfillment in your life, the secret is….progress. Long term happiness comes from progress. Progress in work and in life. 😊

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