7 Hacks & practical resources to create your ideal work-life balance
A healthy work-life balance is crucial for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. However, for many of us, creating one can seem like an impossible task.
Let’s face it - nowadays many of us are busy all the time without much spare time to fit anything else into our lives or even to pause to reflect on what we truly want.
If this is you, if you are looking to improve your work-life balance to create more space for you and for all the things you love, I am here to tell you that it is 100% possible, even if, right now, you are looking at this article and doubting that it will work for you.
While you read on, remember that you will create your own life balance step by step. It won’t happen overnight,but the more you move in the right direction, the more changes you will start to see in how much energy you have, how you show up daily, and how you feel.
Here are my top 7 hacks.
1. Take a step back: Focus on SLEEP & RECHARGING
If you are reading this article, you might be feeling exhausted and even overwhelmed on a daily basis.
Instead of focusing on changing a million things all at once, focus on this one question: How are you feeling daily?
If you often feel overwhelmed ask yourself:
Are you sleeping enough?
Are you recharging enough?
Are you relaxing enough?
And before moving on to anything else, identify how you could add more moments of rest and recharge to your day. Even if it is just sleeping 10 more minutes or taking a daily nap - small changes in the right direction add up!
And if you want to dig deeper into how to create a better sleeping routine, check out this amazing article all about how to sleep better.
2. Identify what you want your life to look like
Sometimes, we create our lives according to what society tells us and all the expectations everyone has around us.
What we forget is that we can choose how we live our own life. In order to be able to create a life balance you love, you need to know what you actually want your life to look like: What goals do you have and what would you like your life to look like in a few months or even a year?
To do that, start by reviewing your life right now with a common coaching exercise - the wheel of life, for example this one.
The wheel of life is a common exercise where you evaluate certain areas of your life to see where you are now and where you want to be.
How would you rate the following areas from 0 (not great at all) to 10 (couldn’t be better)e (use the first number that comes to mind):
Friends and family
Once you have scored each area, why did you rate it that way? And what can you do to move it closer to a 10?
3. Take action
Now that you have checked in with your energy levels and what you actually want for your life across the different life domains, it is time to take action.
You might say, ‘I just don’t have the time to start taking action’ or ‘My life is simply too busy and overwhelming to be able to change it.’
If this is what is in your mind right now, choose just one area and ask yourself this: What is a 5-minute step you can take today to move towards that goal?
Changing an area of your life doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start by taking one simple step every single day. Five minutes each day add up to more than 30 hours per year!
4. Move forward consistently
Taking one step might be simple, but ideally you create enough steps tosee progress and grow into the person you want to become.
How can you do that? By planning in a simple way.
At the beginning of each week, do a wheel of life exercise to check in with yourself. Trust me, doing the wheel-of life exercise on a regular basis is a game-changer! ).
What would you like your wheel of life to look like at the end of the week?
What would make you look back and feel like you had moved forward?
And what are 5 steps you can take during the week to create that result?
You might like to read BJ Fogg’s book ‘Tiny Habits’ to help you with this. Or even better, join his free 5-day challenge!
5. Review your weeks
Reviewing can be the key to understanding what we love, what is working, and what is not working.
At the end of each week, ask yourself:
From 0 to 10, how was my work-life balance this week?
Did I do anything different this week compared to the previous week?
What is my number one mission for next week?
What am I celebrating?
6. Acknowledge the resistance
Something that we don’t speak enough about is the resistance that will show up when you are trying to change your habits and move towards a healthier work-life balance.
That small voice in your mind telling you, ‘I really don’t want to change this, let’s just stay with the way things are right now, even if you know perfectly that you want to change.’ Sound familiar?
That is completely normal, because stepping outside our comfort zones is, well, uncomfortable - even if we don’t love what our comfort zone is currently looking like!
As Brene Brown, author of ‘Daring Greatly’ said, “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both."
So, remember this: You can take action even when your mind offers you resistance. You can simply notice it and take action anyway.
One way to make it easier to notice your thoughts is by meditating (I use Headspace for this). Or you can simply write down all that is coming up.
7. Move with self-compassion
There will be days when even though you are loving this new work-life balance, something unexpected might come up: School rings to let you know your child is unwell, a meeting goes overtime, a report is due ‘now’, you barely catch any sleep - we know how life can be.
Life can offer us all types of surprises!
If that’s the case, please remember this: If you don’t do a habit for one day or even one week, you didn’t throw it all to waste. You were simply a human being living a human life and unexpected things happened.
So, if this happens, simply check in with yourself, embrace self-kindness, and then go back to taking one small step of your new habitsthat will help you get back on track. If you need a little extra help with culitvating self-compassion, this article has you covered.
You got this!
If you keep these 7 hacks in the back of your mind and keep taking small but continuous steps in line with them, you will be able to create this work-life balance you have been dreaming about.
Mariana is a life coach who helps women unplug and detach from feeling busy to create their perfect life balances. She is an expat from Portugal and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Mariana has been through several stages in her own life that sparked her passion and drive to support other women to see all the possibilities there are in life and how we all can create a life we love.
You can find Mariana on Instagram @coaching.by.mariana.