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6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

Life gets so busy with work, family, and social engagements. It’s easy to let yourself get caught up in the grind and forget to take time for yourself, but if you start neglecting yourself, then all aspects of your life will suffer. It might seem hard to take time for yourself when everything else is demanding your attention, but you can start to stay balanced by taking these easy steps to manage your life.

1. Work out.

This might sound like more work for some of you—or is that just me? Trying to make time for the gym just isn’t something I get excited about, so it’s easy to push that to the bottom of my To Do list—and then never get to it. The sad thing is, I know once I go to the gym and get started on a workout, I’m going to feel great. Even walking or jogging around your neighborhood can make you feel better if hitting the gym isn’t your thing. Exercise gets your adrenaline going, gets your heart pumping, and helps circulate blood throughout your body. All of these things help your body and your mind feel invigorated.

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2. Rest.

Resting might sometimes seem difficult to make time for, but for the opposite reasons of working out! With exercising, you just don’t want to do it. With resting, you want to do it, but can’t because you have too much to do, or if you manage to close your eyes, a family member comes up and starts asking you questions. In reality, resting goes hand in hand with working out! Exercise gets your body going, but rest also helps re-invigorate your body and mind.

You don’t have to take an hour-long nap, or even close your eyes! Just take some time to recline however you feel most comfortable and forget about your responsibilities. We spend too much of our waking hours worrying about what we need to do, what we’ve done, what we should have done, and so on. Those thoughts have no room during your resting time. You don’t have to know how to meditate to relax without sleeping; just let your mind go blank, or if you’d rather go to your happy place, try to focus on that rather than any real life worries.

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3. Nourish your soul.

What makes you feel like you? You might be an accountant, but feel like your true self is an artist. Or maybe you love to knit just to knit, even if you don’t sell your goods online. Perhaps you consider yourself a writer, even if no one has ever read your words. Any creative outlet you have needs to be explored, regardless of whether you want to “become” something noteworthy or not. Exploring creative endeavors unrelated to your full-time job will help you nourish your soul. So much time is spent at work that it’s easy to get caught up in that mindset and spend too much of your off time thinking about work tasks. Forget all of that when you clock out, and dedicate time to things that make you feel happy, and make you feel in tune with your true self.

4. Make time for your loved ones.

It’s too easy to try to multitask by thinking about work or chores that need to be done when you’re with family. You might think that they’ll always be around so you can sit down and spend time with them later, but that’s often not true. Your family members all have their own lives, and though it may seem like you have to put yours on hold to spend time with them, take advantage of the opportunity and push the demands of life to the side. When you’re with your family, make sure you’re completely with them. If you keep worrying about what needs to be done next, you won’t enjoy your time with others. You need to have fun whatever you’re doing, whether it’s watching a movie, playing a game, making dinner, or spring cleaning the house. Your priority should be the people, not what you’re doing or what should come next.

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5. Maximize your output.

Multitasking is touted as being the way to get the most done, but that’s not true. Multitasking actually means you’re taking time and concentration away from one task and applying it to another, and when you try to go back to the first task, you have to take extra time to re-acquaint yourself with what needs to be done. Instead of trying to multitask and taking three times as long to finish three tasks, focus completely on one task at a time, and complete it before moving on. This will keep you feeling balanced instead of scattered. If you only have a certain amount of time for a task, whether you need to complete it before a deadline at work or before the kids get home from school, make the most of this time and do as much as you can instead of procrastinating. You’ll feel better once you finish your project, and you’ll get to relax when it’s over!

6. Don’t be afraid to say no.

Part of feeling frazzled and stretched too thin is saying yes to everything. Many people feel the need to never turn down a project, social engagement, or favor. This can be detrimental because you won’t have time to complete everything, so you’ll cut corners on some of your tasks. Or, even more negative, you’ll stress yourself out and lose sleep because you’re so busy with all of these other engagements! Don’t be afraid to say no to more responsibility at work if it will affect how well you do your job. Say no to baking enough cupcakes for your kid’s entire class the night before the party. Saying no won’t make people hate you, but saying yes and failing to deliver will make you look bad. Don’t give excuses when you say no, either—just say you’re not able to handle the task at this time, and make sure you stay focused on keeping your life balanced.

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Featured photo credit: peddhapati via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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