Is work life balance even a thing? It has been five months since I’ve started working at my current job and I still have yet to find “work life balance”. Maybe it’s one of those things that looks differently for everyone and that’s the reason I can’t find it, because I don’t know what it looks like for me. Funny how it takes writing things down or hearing them out loud for them to resonate and/or register. Initially this post was headed in a different direction but I think I’m on to something and the both of us will be able to benefit from it so I’m gonna go with the flow.
How to find work life balance.
Understanding that work life balance, like self care, looks differently for everyone is the first step to finding work life balance for yourself. So how can you figure out what “work life balance” looks like for you:
- Make a list of all the things you would love in a job. This could include pay, number of hours you have to work, attire, benefits, days of week, location, anything you wish.
- Make a list of all the things you want to do in your personal life on a daily/weekly basis including weekends. So if you want to sleep in on Tuesdays or maybe you want to go to church every Sunday morning, or maybe you want to meditate three times a day. Whatever it is jot it down.
- Combine the list in order of importance. If anything on the list cannot occur simultaneously with another, this is where you make cuts.
- Since this list is an ideal list, meaning we have put our wants onto this list and not necessarily our reality, we need to compare the list to our current situation. Ask yourself which items can be my reality now?
- Create the final list, in order of importance, that can be your reality.
There you have it, five easy steps to discovering what work life balance looks like for you. The ultimate goal is to create balance within your life surrounding your job/career and your personal life. With these six steps, finding work life balance will be easy. It is achieving work life balance that’ll take some work. Though what kind of homegirl would I be if invited you on a roadtrip and left you at the rest stop? We goin all the way to Cali baby.
Grab some snacks and get ready to develop a plan that will ensure you achieve work life balance. Now that you know exactly what work life balance looks like for you at this very moment, it is time to shift, shake, and flip stuff upside down. The first thing you need to do is check the list, twice, to make sure you have everything you need. For example, if you have “Brunch every Sunday with my girls” on the list but are currently working Sunday during brunch hours you either need to update your availability at work or talk to your girls and request that weekly brunch hours be changed. Once you have everything that you need, it is time to plan out your week.
If you have a planner, great! If not, you can use your google calendar, pen and paper, the notes app in your phone, anything. Just use whatever you have at this moment. Go ahead and write down all events that occur consistently on a weekly basis. This would include your work schedule (if it stays the same every week), the times you go to pick up your children, etc. Now that we have the concrete things listed the trial and error portion begins. You will need to wake up every morning, you technically can do this part the night before but doing it in the morning is most efficient, and fill in your schedule for the day. Be sure to estimate the time it will take to complete each activity to ensure that you are scheduling accordingly.
It is recommended that you fill in the rest of your schedule each morning instead of at the beginning of the week or the night before because you never know how you may be feeling. Work life balance is about you feeling good about your day and ultimately your week. Doing this will allow you to refrain from over scheduling yourself and increase your likelihood of completing your tasks.
Lastly, use a timer! To achieve work life balance you will need to stick to your schedule as much as possible. Using a timer will increase your productivity. Knowing that you must stop doing something at a certain time will most likely cause you to work harder on the task at hand, be more present, and allow for completion of all daily tasks. There are enough hours in a day, you just gotta know how to freak the clock!