The concept of work/life balance is prioritizing between your career or ambition and your lifestyle, which includes health, family, friends, and leisure. This should be easy right? After all, we are a generation of multi-taskers, risk takers, and change makers! But for most high achievers, work/balance is a constant practice of juggling between our life’s priorities. And too often, we drop the ball in one or multiple areas of our lives, creating unsettling feelings, pressure to perform, and major stress.
Work/life balance can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Here are six simple steps you can take to start creating a happier and more balanced life.
1. Let go of perfection: Life is complicated. If you set such a high standard for yourself that is unrealistic, that can be super self-sabotaging and destructive. High achievers and entrepreneurs have an amazing drive for success, and this can lead to thoughts of having to do everything perfectly. Make an effort to be more gentle with yourself by celebrating the wins you do achieve and work towards constant improvement, but at a level that takes small realistic steps towards success.
2. Unplug: There is always work to do, especially as an entrepreneur. Protect yourself by removing yourself from technology, even if it’s a short amount of time, and be present. Create blocks of time in your schedule where you step away from social media, the phone, the TV, and the computer. Focus on face to face interactions, writing, reading, or any other activities that do not involve technology.
3. Exercise & Meditate: Move your body and still your mind. It reduces stress and creates happy endorphins in your body. Find exercise activities that you enjoy, whether it involves being outdoors, participating in a social group class, or trying something new and challenging. Meditate first thing in the morning to start your day or at the end of the night to wind down. Remember that even a short amount of time meditating can be very powerful to improve your mood and mindset.
4. Limit time wasting activities & people: Surround yourself around positive people and activities. Find individuals with positive attitudes that boost you up, rather than those who suck your energy away. Set boundaries with people who are negative, remembering you can still care about them, but choose to not spend all of your time with them. Identify who and what is important to you and and make that a priority.
5. Change your life’s structure: Make time for yourself, family, and friends and put this in your calendar. Too often we put work first and fail to give ourselves, family, friends, and personal time the same amount of respect and time. Would you no show on a client? No. Then why no show on yourself? Treat your personal time like a business appointment and give it just as much priority.
6. Start small and build from there: Creating work/life balance can be overwhelming, especially when you have so much going on. Be gentle with yourself as you make new small changes, that will become stronger habits for the future. Celebrate the small wins that you make and remember that each small action you take will lead to even bigger and better life changes.
Work/life balance can be achievable through the intentions that we set and determination we have to make changes to improve the quality of our life. These changes may not be easy, but loving what we do professionally, while still having the energy to spend time doing things we love with the people that matter most in our lives is worth all of the effort.
Melissa Escaro is a life coach, best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur who works with individuals seeking to create positive change in both their personal and professional lives. www.melissaescaro.com