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September 17, 2012

8 Tips for Greater Balance in Life

Author: JenniferMaster1

Finding balance in life might be considered a myth. You can’t simply divide up the duties, responsibilities and pleasures of life into chunks of time daily or weekly and think you can give an exact divided amount of allotted time to each. Being flexible each day and each season of you life is important. Our lives are in constant change, and we need to allow some bending room.

However, here are some tips to help design some reasonable balance in our overwhelming lives.

1. Be clear on what your priorities are.

Make a list of all of the responsibilities and obligations you have in a day, week or month. Don’t list things in order. Just list all the things you’re responsible for. Then decide what is truly the most important to you. If you put your family first, then you will be able to turn down a promotion if you realize that the extra money isn’t going to be worth it to you. If it’s your job, then you will focus your entire life around your work, and you may not have much free time or fun activities with loved ones. There’s always a choice, and each of us has to make it. When you set priorities, you should prepare yourself for the consequences of the choices and be alright with them.

2. Don’t focus on too many things at the same time.

You may want to be a terrific parent, gourmet cook, have a fantastic fit body around, spend tons of time with friends, complete a dozen different projects around the house, do charity work, visit with family, etc. However, you just can’t do it all! You have to prioritize your activities, learn how to compromise, and let people know the limits of what you’re willing to do.

3. You need to be doing one thing at a time.

I’ve heard that women can multi-task. Depending on your definition, that is simply not true! You can start dinner put some laundry in the washer and talk on the phone, but your mind literally cannot be two places at once. For all you Type-A personalities (men or women), this is something you’re going to have to learn because the result of doing a million things at the same time leads to stress, low productivity, and burnout.

4. Live in the moment and no place else in your head.

I have learned this lesson when playing mini golf with my family. I realize when I’m going to hit the ball, I can’t be thinking about what to cook for dinner, what is on my calendar for tomorrow or the birthday part the next week. I have to concentrate and put all my focus into the position of the club, the swinging of my arms and the straight shot to the hole. If I’m not completely focused on the moment even though I may be hitting the ball only a foot from the hole, it most likely won ‘t go in.

So it is with all things in life; if we fail to focus on the moment and the important task at hand, we will not be as successful and may even make a big mess of it! So, when you’re with your children, spouse, friends or at work, that’s where your thinking and focus should be.

5. Cut out unnecessary activities.

Unnecessary activities clutter your schedule and steal precious time from the activities that you need to do and truly enjoy doing. Television or social media can be a vampire sucking away our precious time that should be spend elsewhere. Once you get your priorities clear by writing your list as suggested above, it should be easy for you to spot what’s unnecessary.

6. Protect your personal time outside of work.

Your free time is an asset that you should protect at all costs. When we work, we usually have a certain number of hours allocated to working. We often forget how important our personal free time is. If you have special personal or family events, get them on the calendar and don’t let work or other things interfere. It won’t bring extra income, it won’t get you a promotion, but it will make you a happy and balanced person.

7. Remove clutter from your physical environment.

The more junk you have around your house, on your desk, or even on your schedule, the more projects you immediately envision ahead of you. When you start panicking, “Oh my gosh, I have to do that and that and that,” you have too much clutter. Just as you de-cluttered your priorities list, you need to de-clutter your physical environment.

It can be a daunting task. To make it seem simpler start with a room, a closet or even a drawer. If you have a few hours to work on it, that’s great. But if not, set the timer for 10-15 minutes. Small increments of time over a period of a few weeks can result in an environment that is more organized and relaxing.

8. Give your best effort at your job or business.

Your life’s work protects and provides for your family, and that’s important. Give it your best effort while you are at work. Whatever your work, you are providing value to others as well.

If you don’t enjoy your work, consider something new or get training to move you to something you enjoy more. Most people give much of their time to work, so it’s important that it is as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible.

Keep your priorities clear by not letting work take over. When work is done, leave it mentally and physically in order to spend time on those other important things in life. This can be a bit challenging for those that work at home, but it’s important to clearly divide work time from personal time.

Belief in yourself enough to take charge of your schedule, reduce some stress and carve out the balanced and fulfilling life you deserve!

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