80% of workers report that balancing life and work is their top priority when choosing a job. Work-life balance is a crucial part of being a successful career person but how do you manage it? The first step to balancing life and work is to learn how to become an expert at time management. Here we discuss how to become a time management ninja and take your health, stress, and work-life balance back into your hands.
Balancing Life: How To Become A Perfect Time Management Ninja
Your first step to creating an ideal work and life balance is perfecting time management. Let’s go over the top techniques for mastering this concept.
Sleep is Important
As children, our parents always made sure we went to bed on time. It was a constant struggle. Why did they go to all that trouble? Sleep is the most important thing for our minds and bodies. It gives you the recuperation and rebuilding time that we need to remain in top form.
Bad sleep habits can inhibit everything in our day. It can make you more confused, more prone to stress and anger, it starts you off at a disadvantage. You need proper sleep, 8-10 hours per night ideally, to be at your best. This will give you the leg up you need to attack your schedule, see things that you can change, and be able to pivot with last minute changes. Great sleep leads to creativity, innovation, and your best work.
So, schedule a bedtime and stick to it. Use your technology to help you with this. There are plenty of apps on your phone that can remind you it’s time to go to bed and wake you up in the best way. Listen to the alert that it’s time to go to bed. Don’t start your day behind the mark.
Start Your Day With Activity
So many people insist that they don’t have time to exercise. We disagree, we guarantee you need to be exercising. The first step to making work balance out with your other life responsibilities is self-care. Starting the day with exercise helps sharpen your mind. It allows you to turn off your brain for a bit and focus on your physical well being. This mental break gives your mind the rest it needs to help you create a better, more attainable, to-do list for the day.
Exercise also builds endorphins which can turn any sour mood into a more positive one. This endorphin rush helps avoid depression, stress, and keeps you fit and ready to face the challenges the day will throw at you. This doesn’t need to be a full hour long HIIT workout every day. Even some yoga or a light walk around the block can be beneficial. You don’t have to train hard to get the benefits of the training. The key is to raise your heart rate, focus your breath, let your mind shut off for a bit and be in your body instead of your brain.
If you think you can’t squeeze in a workout before starting your day here are some great tips to workout at your desk. These techniques can keep the endorphins pumping all day and they only take a few minutes to accomplish.
Identify and Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks and People
As you go about your working life it can be easy to fall into the pattern of always saying yes. The power of no will help you regain your schedule and help you focus on the most important things you have to do.
Set boundaries and stick to them. You don’t have to go to every office function or networking event. You can say no to an additional project if your plate is already full. Your boss will respect you and your time more when you stop overpromising. The worst thing you can do is take on too much and do them all mediocre. Your best work on the few things you can do will be much more appreciated.
Burn out doesn’t benefit anyone and that is where you are heading if you always say yes. But, how do you know if you can say yes and when you do need to say no? You must maintain an accurate and reasonable schedule. Let’s go over how to do that now.
Schedule Everything; Including Breaks
This seems like a Type-A activity but it works. Look at all the tasks in your day and give them a time limit and space in your schedule. You’ll produce better work when you’re not flying by the seat of your pants. If your job is super complicated and requires a lot of multi-tasking it’s best to break it up into small increments of time. Schedule in all activities and breaks.
That’s right, we said breaks. As in plural, as in not only lunch. Your mind will be sharper and you will be more productive if you take more small breaks throughout the day. Schedule about 15 minutes of break time every hour. You don’t have to take it all at once, try a 5-minute break every 20 minutes. Look up from your computer, stretch, do one of the desk exercises we suggested. The key here is to give your eyes and brain a break and get your blood flowing again. You even have permission to let yourself daydream for a bit.
To schedule your day you need to be able to assign a realistic amount of time to the tasks you must complete. If a project will take you a while to complete, give yourself 30 mins – an hour to work on it every day. Schedule time for organizing your space. Leave yourself some empty space for unexpected things to happen so you can push things around if needed.
Once you put everything into an actual schedule and aren’t drowning in a million to-do list pieces of paper it will free your mind. You can sit down at your desk ready to start your day instead of having no idea where to begin.
Change Your Routine
The key to building balanced habits is to make them realistic for your life. There are many times where we find ourselves falling into stressful and hectic routines. Are your routines serving you? Zoom out for a minute and look at how your day flows. Sometimes we can feel trapped by our routine. You are in control and have the power to change something that isn’t serving you.
When you look at the big picture, do you need to stop for that expensive coffee that makes you ten minutes late every morning? You could set your alarm a little earlier and make coffee at home. Does your commute stress you out? Try a few different map apps and see if you can find a different route to work. Sometimes it pays off to take a “longer” way to work because it lets you avoid all the traffic and helps keep you focused and not stressed.
Look at the things in your day that make you crazy. Are you always stressed out trying to figure out what’s for dinner? Try making a meal plan before going shopping and posting it in your kitchen. Don’t have time for this? It could be worth it to invest in a meal delivery service that does the work for you. The cost balances out with the times you’ll avoid buying take out.
Get Professional Help
Still having a tough time becoming a time management ninja? A life coach that specializes in time management and work/life balance could be helpful. Investing in a professional strategist to help you get a hold of your life is a worthy investment. A life coach is able to look at your schedule for you, offer advice, come up with some solutions, and listen to all your problems.
A great life coach is a strategist at their core so they should be able to see the forest for the trees. If you’re having trouble zooming out they can get the eagle eye view of your routines and daily struggles. They will be able to suggest alternate ways of doing things to lead to less stress and more productivity. Not sure where to start? We have a rundown here on how to find a great life coach.
You Run Your Schedule – It Doesn’t Run You
Balancing life at home with a busy career is not easy. Everyone has trouble with this at one point or another. The key to making it easier is taking time management into your own hands and controlling your schedule. Eliminate time and energy draining people and activities in your life. Learn the power of no. Schedule everything including leisure time and breaks. Pretty soon you’ll realize your days are flowing well and you’ll have less guilt about not being able to do everything. Looking for more advice on how to make your life the best it can be? Check out our blog here for tons of helpful articles on health, wealth, and relationships.