How can you live a well-balanced life? Make some small changes in your life that will lead to lasting change. Balance may happen for a short amount of time, but overall you will be able to handle the typical stressors that can tip the balance! Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Get enough rest
Getting enough sleep improves mood and productivity. Studies show people who are sleep-deprived have a harder time solving problems than those who’ve had 7-9 hours of sleep. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night to improve your memory, help you focus, make your mind sharper, and be ready for what may come in your day.
- Develop a morning routine
Routine is a structure for balance. When you start your day in a typical way each day it builds a foundation for the rest of your day. If you don’t have a morning routine, here are some ideas:
- Get up early.
- Exercise for 30 minutes.
- Meditate on the Bible and pray.
- Journal and make a list of what you need to accomplish that day.
- Know your peak times
We all have different times of the day when our mental energy and focus is at its peak. What is your best time of the day to accomplish difficult tasks leaving the easier tasks till later in the day when your energy and focus may be less. Everyone is different and it is helpful to know what your best time to accomplish tasks is.
- Be present
Do you struggle with distraction? Staying present can help you complete tasks, stay connected in relationships and help with focus. Multitasking will not help you complete your work faster and can create imbalance and frustration in your day. Stay in the moment–sights, sounds, smells and tasks.
- Schedule time to relax
You schedule appointments with your doctor and dentist. Why not schedule time to relax? Try putting activities like getting a massage or connecting with a friend on your calendar. By scheduling time to relax, you’ll make taking care of yourself a priority which will help other areas like work and family.
- Do fewer things better
According to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who lived more than a century ago, only 20 percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. This means roughly 80 percent of your time is wasted. The underlying principle is to focus on doing fewer things and doing them better. How can you work smarter, not harder? Here are three things you can do:
- Eliminate unnecessary tasks.
- If it’s a task someone else can do, delegate it.
- Spend time on a few, larger tasks that will generate the most effective results.
- Let go of perfectionism
Nothing leads to more procrastination and unfinished projects then perfectionism. Let go of perfectionist tendencies preventing you from getting more work done. Instead, make deliberate choices about what tasks are truly worth your time. This means deciding a task has been done well enough. After all, everything you do doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Eliminate time wasters
Not too long ago, you left work on Friday and didn’t think about it until you came back on Monday. But things have changed. And checking your work email from home means you’re working 24/7. On top of that, many of us have social media accounts. To save time, eliminate email and social media apps from your smartphone. It’s tough, but think of all the time you’ll save from not scrolling through social media posts or responding to emails.
- Learn to say no
Setting boundaries and learning to say no is crucial to managing your time effectively. The best way to learn to say no is to be firm and direct. For example, if you are asked to host a party for a friend, instead of saying yes, you could respond by saying, “Thanks for asking me, but I’m not able to.” Remember you’re saying no to a request, not a person.
- Develop an evening routine
An evening routine is just as important as a morning routine. Find something you like to do that also relaxes you. Some suggestions are:
- Read a book.
- Spend time with family or friends.
- Disconnect from electronics.
- Go to bed at a decent time routinely
If you have a busy schedule, living a well-balanced life may seem impossible. Think of one small change you can make right now that will help you to live a more balanced life. But don’t put it off! As Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.”