How do you achieve and enjoy work-life balance as a busy mom while juggling work and family which are “huge projects”? As everyone else, Moms also want a healthier life but let’s face it, as we’re all really busy working, eating, taking care of the home, socializing, driving, walking, talking, sleeping and everything else in between, it can be hard to have an excellent work-life balance.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming to start implementing healthier habits not only in your personal life but your work-life too! In this article, we will look at how to enjoy work-life balance for busy moms with 12 practical tips, we will touch on areas such as Working smarter, Staying Fit, guarding our private time when we can and Getting Enough Sleep.
Work-Life Balance tip 1: Sync your Calendars
I recommend adding your personal commitments to the same calendar as your work responsibilities and vice-versa. By doing this you won’t forget commitments that you have which will make you more productive throughout the day. Treat each calendar event equally and be sure to force yourself to step away from your work desk when it’s time for your social or personal commitments.
Work-Life Balance tip 2: Block Off Your Time Wisely
Do you have a big project that you need to complete or task that requires lots of attention and time? Add it to your calendar as a chunk of time or in blocks as much as possible ignore any distractions that might prop up within that time. By doing this you will have a specific set period of time allocated forcing you to focus.
Even if you don’t have a single, focused task to work on, working continuously for a set amount of time can help you stay on track. It’s quite common that people don’t work as much as they think they are because of constant interruptions or multitasking.
Work-Life Balance tip 3: Get Rid of the alerts
A phone buzzing or making noises in the background is a huge distraction. Try putting your phone in your desk drawer, leave it in your handbag or better yet turn it off. You don’t need to see each update on your phone as it happens, do you? If you need to check your phone then do it at specific set times in the day so you can stay focused and be more productive.
The same applies when you are being social too! If you are with family or friends, get rid of your phone and hide it or turn it on silent so you can be present in the moment and spend quality time!
Work-Life Balance tip 4: Add the Small Stuff
Everyone loves checking off items off a list. It gives you a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Start adding in every single task you need to tackle (EVERYTHING! The smallest and the biggest) into your daily agenda. Once you start ticking the smaller things off the list it will give you momentum to keep going through to the larger more daunting tasks.
If it’s something big you need to do, then break it up into smaller tasks so you can see everything that you need to get done! This type of planning helps free up your mind to focus on right now instead of obsessing over your pending to-do’s.
Work-Life Balance tip 5: Work Out When You Can
It’s often said that health and wealth go together. Taking care of yourself daily demonstrates self-respect and in turn, others will respect you too. Take the time when you can to have a little bit of extra movement each day to get your heart rate elevated. It doesn’t have to be a full-on exercise routine, start out with just a few star jumps in the bathroom when you have a toilet break, or perhaps some squats when you are in a meeting room waiting for your next appointment. Just having that extra movement will give you a little energy boost in the day!
Work-Life Balance tip 6: Movements In The Mornings
OK, so you get the point now that doing just a little bit of exercise is the key to achieving work-life balance. But have you tried doing some movement in the mornings? Getting active earlier provides energy and endorphins before heading into your office job and it ensures that you won’t have an extra burst of energy just before bedtime. Even a light morning walk will do wonders for your mood and your energy levels.
Work-Life Balance tip 7: Make The Most Of Your Movements
Given you work in the office, it’s no surprise your movement levels aren’t high. It’s now time to start making the most of your day in getting in as much movement as possible so you don’t need to workout for hours before or after work! Here are some ideas to take advantage of dormant time in the day:
• Take regular breaks to stand up and stretch or walk around for 2-5 minutes to get the blood flowing
• Sit with a good posture as often as possible
• Invest in a pedometer or Fitbit to track your movement each day and aim for 8000 steps a day minimum
• Keep a set of comfortable walking shoes at your desk and slip them on when you feel like a walk
• Put an alarm in your work calendar to get up and move or do a repetition of squats every 30 minutes
When it comes to staying fit, you need to know your limits and go with what feels right. For some working out in a gym is what is needed for some good stress relief, for others, it’s quick 2-5minute workouts spread through the day or a fast walk. Importantly, do what feels okay to you, you will be well on your way to achieving work-life balance!
Work-Life Balance tip 8: Set Your Goals
Your work-life balance goals are much like financial management and planning. Just like money, you have a limited about of time so it’s important to know your values, set your goals, create a budget and stick to it. Start setting your personal life goals and rank them just as high as you would for your work tasks.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a new hobby or do something you’ve never done before. Set your personal goals by adding in ONE NEW personal goal a week (maybe more if you can manage it).
Work-Life Balance tip 9: Manage Your Expectations
When you are at work you set time frames for responses and deadlines for completing a task, so it’s just as important to do this in your personal life to avoid disappointment and alleviate some levels of misunderstandings with your loved ones. Start setting boundaries with people in your life (work and personal) about when you are available and the time it might take to hear back from you.
If you tell your loved ones that you are busy at work and it may take 3-4 hours to respond to their text message it sets a boundary for expectations which will help in your search for work-life balance.
Work-Life Balance tip 10: It’s Ok To Say No
Sometimes achieving your ideal work-life balance means that you may have to say “no”. If an opportunity, activity or request comes up and it doesn’t fit into your schedule, then it’s ok to say “no!”. Many times, we agree to do things because we feel that we need to but deep down we don’t want to. Start looking at each opportunity and request and check if this fits within your personal or work goals and values. If it doesn’t, say no. If it does, then go for it. Setting these values for everything you do is key to finding your balance.
Work-Life Balance tip 11: Prepare For The Day Ahead
Preparing for tomorrow by organizing the night before is important. Before you go to bed start getting your day ready for tomorrow by making your lunch, getting your exercise clothes ready or pre-making your breakfast. Being prepared helps you get out the door quickly. When you start creating order and organization for the next day, studies have found that it helps you to fall asleep quickly because you aren’t stressed about what’s to come tomorrow.
Work-Life Balance tip 12: Be Bed Ready
Start implementing a routine at night to help you fall asleep fast and have a deeper and quality night sleep. Some ideas for you would be to set your alarm beside your bed for 7-9 hours before you need to wake up so that you know you need to get to bed, relax and snooze away! It’s a good idea to turn off electronic devices with a screen at least 1 hour before bed if you can. A fantastic tip is to find what helps you wind down and take your mind off work and other stresses. All you need is to create a routine that works for you to get sleepy at least 30 minutes before your bedtime to fall into a deep quality sleep!
So, there you have it, my tips on how to achieve and enjoy work-life balance for busy moms which will help you Work smarter, Stay Fit, guard your private time when you can and Get Enough Sleep.