Is it possible to accomplish everything you have to do in a day and still find balance between work and personal in your every day life? That is a question that everyone has. Especially when you work in a high demand full-time job with a family, volunteer work, and any other myriad of things that require a good chunk of time. This is a question we all face no matter what roles we hold in life. In my opinion, finding balance reduces the stress of every day life.
With that said I don’t believe you can find a perfect balance. I think the best scenario is that we live in different seasons of life. So, if you’re working towards being debt-free, then right now your focus should be on working a lot to earn as much money as you can and spend as little as possible. However, once the debt is gone, you’ll have more freedom to do more of the fun stuff and be able to make choices that you wouldn’t be able to make if you were still in debt.
I know what it’s like to work full-time in a demanding job and commuting for two plus hours each day all while being a Mom and trying to keep up the house. Needless to say making time for family, friends and oneself is often difficult. I fully admit that the house wasn’t always clean and several months would go by without talking with a friend. I did the best I could using the tools and skills that I had. I no longer work full-time at that job but I do work hard at my work-at-home business along with all the homesteading chores on top of being a Mom, 4-H volunteer in the auction committee and a club leader.
Key Factors To Make It Work
Time Management Through Planning
I know, this encompasses so much. It’s true though. Planning out your dinner menu and your errands helps save you time and be more efficient not only time-wise but with your money as well.
When you plan your menu in advance, you know what to get out the night before so that it’s thawed in time to make dinner. Additionally, you can make your menu based on what’s in your freezer or pantry, especially during those weeks where funds are a bit low.
Know what else? You only need to shop for what you need for your meals! No more shopping and winging it! To me this all means way less stress. No more worrying about what to fix for dinner when I get home from work. No more trying to pull together something healthy and filling at the last minute. No more spending too much money on unhealthy fast food.
Aside from planning the dinner menu, planning ahead for events such as birthday parties or time spent with friends, for example, reduces your stress level and makes it easier to achieve the life balance for which you’re aiming. How does this help? It eliminates last minute, gotta get it done scrambling. When you pay attention to what’s on your calendar and what is upcoming you can be sure to incorporate the small steps leading up to that point to help eliminate those “Oh Shoot” moments of panic.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes things happen that we just cannot anticipate but doing a bit of planning ahead and anticipating future needs will not only help you but others as well so that they too aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
Imagine planning a camping vacation months in advance instead of two weeks before. You’ll have secured your reservation – and will have had better options than if you had waited, planned a menu to save money on the costs so that you’re not eating at a restaurant every day, decided who’s bringing what (if going with friends/family) in the way of food, equipment, supplies & tools, and decided on activity options. No, you don’t have to plan everything to the nth degree but having an idea of what is in the area will allow you to enjoy your vacation time more instead of stressing about what you’re going to do. This also helps you make your packing list.
So you see, by planning things out, you not only reduce your stress but you’re maximizing your time. You don’t have to be fanatical about it, leave some flexibility in your schedule, but have a plan.
I’m not talking about just long-term goals like getting fit or learning a new language, although there’s nothing wrong with them, rather I’m talking about your monthly, weekly, and daily goals. What do you want to achieve? Being satisfied with your life is directly influenced by how well you do the things which are necessary and the things you want to do. No, it’s not fun to weed the flowerbed but don’t you just love it when it’s done and it’s looking all pretty? Doesn’t it make you smile? I admit, there are days I am tired and unmotivated and it’s OK to have an occasional day like that. The danger lies in having too many days like this. Then you get overwhelmed because everything that needs to be done has now tripled and you have even less time than you did before.
By setting your monthly and weekly goals you’re able to set your daily goals to take bites out of those bigger ones. For example, I currently have a goal to weed all my flowerbeds. I have flowerbeds on each side of my house. That’s a lot of weeding. So I break it down into sections so I can do a little at a time. Do you know why this helps? It’s less of a burden to do a small chunk than to try to do it all at once. I have a lot less guilt because I’m checking stuff off my list and that just plain feels good!
Don’t you agree that not having guilt and having a sense of accomplishment contribute to feeling like you have a well-adjusted life?
What Else Can Be Done?
Yes! Remove clutter.
This means getting rid of things you no longer need, don’t use, or just don’t really like. If you don’t love something and it doesn’t serve a purpose then you don’t need to keep it. And the biggest benefit to decluttering? Less to clean!
You’ll be able to find things easier and your eyes won’t be assaulted by too much stuff! Less stuff means a freer mind. When you remove clutter you’re making space for the items you actually need and use.
When things have a specific place and are always put back where they belong is a blessing and not a burden. You no longer have to remember where it was last put because it has a designated place! Wouldn’t that make life easier? No more arguing because no one knows where that “thing” is.
Know what else? You won’t be spending unnecessary money by buying duplicate stuff because you couldn’t find something! When the home is clean and with clear spaces which are no longer jam-packed to the gills, life just seems more bearable, enjoyable, and relaxing.
The last aspect I feel is key to having life balance is being content with what you have and where you’re currently at in your journey. I’m not saying to stay stagnant in life but rather be happy with your accomplishments, with those valued relationships, and know that you’re making strides to become even better as a person and moving into the life you envision. Don’t compare yourself to others. They may be only showing you the good and none of the bad which is wholly unrealistic.
As you may have inferred, I define life balance as being as free from stress as possible, enjoyable, relaxing, and comfortable with the ability to do things which bring you joy.
That’s what I wish for you.