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For myself saying the term work-life balance often seems comical. My parent’s generation stayed at their job long term for retirement and stability purposes. So, it wasn’t a surprise for me to grow up feeling the need to work and take care of myself and my needs. However, as I had children, I struggled to balance being a mother, a wife, and an employee. How do we balance all of it and stay sane?
What We Feel We Miss Out On
For many years I kept moving forward not realizing how many school trips I missed with my kids, how many outings with my husband, and how much I lost of myself. It’s not just mothers who feel this but speaking from personal experience this is what I went through. I look back now and think WOW I never got to go on those trips to the zoo or be in the classroom when the class sang happy birthday because I was constantly working like everyone else in the world. So again, there is the sting of guilt and some sadness for what I lost too.
There are a ton of references online for individuals looking for a work-life balance. Such as jobs working from home and jobs where you’re not working 40+ hours a week. But the truth is you will work just as hard working from home because you are building your brand and your following. You can’t rely on someone else to pay you when you work from home. If you do not work, you don’t make money.
How Others Accomplish Goals
I have learned an enormous amount from other bloggers and their journeys on how they got to where they are today, but if you really read their blogs and some of the insight it wasn’t all easy. The beginning stages were tough and full of lots of hard work. Some bloggers discussed how they worked multiple jobs to get out of debt, others worked a day job and blogged at night. It wasn’t until all of that hard work paid off that they were able to see more of a balance in their lives. I still struggle to get bookkeeping clients and I am endlessly feeling like my website could be better.
My point to this is we can get to a balance in life, but it is a matter of what we want and what is attainable in our own eyes. I love to inspire and tell everyone they can do anything! The question is how bad do you want what you are after? I will be happy when my debt is at a reasonable amount. I definitely don’t want my children to do things the way I did. We learn from our life’s adventures so what are you going to do with what you’ve learned?
There are many ways to attain work-life balance, but again it’s the work-life balance you want to achieve. Therefore, I’ve put together a few basic ideas that can assist you in any situation.
Work-life balance tools are:
Review Your Current Situation
No one situation fits everyone. Take a moment and review your situation. Review your activities, habits, and budgets and determine if there are areas that you can adjust to give yourself a better work-life balance. Are you spending too much eating out? Do you spend too much time commuting? Are you able to enjoy time with your family? By reviewing your situation, you can plan to restructure habits.
Depending upon your type of employment you may not have many options with adjusting your work schedule. If this is the case, you can still manage your time outside of work. Managing time seems so simple except we don’t realize how much wasted time we spend. For instance, if you want to spend more time for yourself, others, or for additional jobs then use a planner, setup tasks, or establish blocked time throughout your day to achieve your goals. If you are in a situation where you own your own business hiring a virtual bookkeeper or virtual assistant can help too.
Taking Care of Yourself
I personally struggle with taking care of myself. I’ve learned taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you have to spend enormous amounts of money shopping or going to spas. Taking care of yourself can be as simple as visiting with a friend, doing something you don’t take time for, buying yourself a special coffee, dessert, or a dinner you enjoy. Give yourself a mental break from the norm. I’m a fan of Kona coffee so I will sit and have a cup when I’m writing or just because.
Ways to achieve a balance are:
Restructuring or changing old habits is a difficult task for many of us. Nevertheless, it is an important step if you are attempting to change your lifestyle. There are many ways to restructure habits, it could mean turning off cable, cutting expenses, or simply stepping away from your computer more often. Change your routine in the morning, lunch hour, and evening to talk with your children, hug your spouse, or play with your dog. What are you missing in your life that you CAN find extra time for?
Take Time Away from Technology
Technology has allowed us to be connected to one another 24-7. To enjoy our life activities sometimes we need to step away from social media, computers, and telephones. How many of you reading this get up in the morning and check your phone before doing anything else? I’ll bet the answer is more than half of my readers. Could you spend that time saying good morning to your family, exercising, or waking up and making a healthy breakfast?
Don’t Expect Change Overnight
Remember that work-life balance doesn’t come easily to everyone. Not everyone has the ideal job or the simplest lifestyle. Many of us work hard to achieve the balance we have. Change will come to you if you want it bad enough to try. Like everything else in life, you need to work hard to make accomplishments happen. However, you need not change everything in your life at once. Implement one or two changes at a time so that you will be willing to adapt easier. When we try to change too much at once we tend to fail as a whole.
In conclusion, while making adjustments to your habits think of little encouragements along your journey that will remind you that these steps are getting you to a happier and healthier work-life balance.
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