Many of us strive to find balance with our work, family, relationships, wellness, etc. We all want to feel like we’re on top of everything in our lives, but there’s so much stuff to do that it rarely feels that way.
In our society, there’s this pressure to spend time with your family, hang out with friends, be with your partner, eat well, exercise often, travel the globe, side-hustle, and post consistently on Instagram (only sort of kidding on that last one).
With so many responsibilities, how can we possibly juggle our time, energy, and attention between them all?
I don’t believe we’ll ever be 100% balanced, but there are ways to make balance more attainable. The important thing is figuring out what makes you feel balanced and how you can let go of things you don’t need in your life.
I want to share how I attempt to find balance between work, relationships, and self-care in my life, especially because I have quite a few things to juggle right now. Though I may be busy, I don’t like to use ‘busy’ as an excuse for not showing up in my life.
In this post, I’m sharing how you can balance a busy schedule to have more time for what matters. Keep reading for 6 tips to find balance with a busy schedule!
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The Balance Equation
When people ask what I’ve been up to lately or how life is going, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own answer. My life has become considerably busier over the past few months.
It’s easy to feel totally unbalanced when you have to juggle so many things at once. The balancing act isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always work out as planned. However, there are a few key things that help me find balance with a busy schedule.
6 Ways To Find Balance
- Be realistic with your time
There’s only so much you can do in a day. If you’re trying to cram in too much into your schedule for the sake of “balance”, it’s only going to overwhelm you.
You’ll also feel guilty when you can’t do it all. Instead, look at your weekly schedule and see what’s actually reasonable for you in terms of time and energy.
- Let go of guilt
The feeling that we “should” do something is the worst. It only makes us feel trapped into doing things that don’t always serve us.
If you don’t want to go to that party, you don’t have to go just because you were invited. You also don’t have to feel guilty about not being social if it’s not what you need at that moment in time.
Take the pressure off yourself and focus on activities with people (or no people) that give you energetic alignment.
- Become self-aware
A self-awareness exercise I like to do with my coaching clients is the wellness wheel.
With the wellness wheel, you rank your level of satisfaction in different areas of your life (health, relationships, work, family, etc.) on a scale of 1-10. People are often surprised when they see their results because they realize they were overlooking certain areas of their lives.
Try the wellness wheel exercise yourself so you can figure out exactly how to bring more balance into your life.
- Make sacrifices
You have to make choices that bring you closer to what’s important and that means making sacrifices with your time.
You might have to give up an extra hour of sleep to make it to the gym or say no to drinks with friends so you can spend time with your family. Balance is all about making those choices that suck at first but pay off in the long run.
- Choose quality over quantity
Balance is all about choosing quality over quantity.
Often we look at balance in terms of how much time we dedicate to things, but actually it’s about how much effort we put into them. After all, spending hours with friends doesn’t mean much if you’re staring at your phone the whole time. When you’re with the ones you love, make sure you’re staying present and actively listening and engaging with them.
That way, you’ll get more out of the time you spend with them even if it’s only a few minutes.
- Get organized
There’s no way to fit everything in if you don’t MAKE time for what matters.
Plan, plan, plan, and stick to it.
For example, I plan out my day with what workout I’ll do in the morning, what my priorities are for the day, and what time I plan to work on each project. I know planning feels like the opposite of balance, but it helps you create space for what you want to do and who you want to spend time with (even if that’s yourself).
That being said, don’t be afraid to be spontaneous sometimes. Spontaneity is good for balance 😉
How do you find balance when busy?
I hope this post has given you some actionable tips to help you feel more balanced, even with a busy schedule. Remember that being busy isn’t a badge of honor, and it’s important that you stay present and aware with what’s going on in your life.
Once you’ve mastered this, balance won’t feel so far off after all.
I think most of us would say we need a few more zzzs each night.
Unfortunately, busy schedules and bad habits often get in the way of making it a reality.
It’s easy to forget that sleep is a critical element of self-care, and it’s something I haven’t been prioritizing enough lately.
Over the next month, my plan is to tweak my evening habits and bedtime routine to make my sleep a little more…regular.
You see, I’m the kind of person who can go to bed at 10 pm one night and stay up until 2 am the next. If you’re a creative person with tons of ideas, I’m sure you can relate to getting inspiration at the most inopportune times (aka right before you need to go to bed).
I always say I love to sleep, but my actions don’t tend to match up with my words.
I know there are people who treat their bedtime like the most important appointment on their calendar, but I haven’t been one of those people in a long time.
If your goal is to get a few more zzzs each night, keep reading to learn about the habits I’m going to change to my sleep routine this month!
Why I’m Prioritizing More Sleep
Sleep is such an important foundation for health, and it can affect everything from your physical health, mood, stress, cognitive function, energy, and mental wellbeing.
My ultimate goal for this sleep challenge is to be more disciplined around the time I go to bed. Discipline doesn’t sound like much fun (which is why most of us don’t have it), but I need regularity around the time I go to bed. Otherwise, I’ll never get my recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
That means I need to stick to some kind of schedule.
Now, it’s all well and good to say I’m going to create a routine and follow it, but we all know it’s not that simple. I know myself well enough to realize that the only way I can stick to something is if there’s a clear reason behind it.
I’m motivated by reason, so there needs to be a clear purpose for me to want to do something.
One of the most important things for me is to have mental clarity because it means I can be more creative and less overwhelmed throughout the day.
Now, I know that when I turn off electronics within a reasonable time before going to bed, I get much better sleep and wake up with a clearer mind.
If I can remind myself of how good I felt when I went to bed earlier without the distractions of electronics, I’ll be more motivated to keep up with this challenge.
How I’m Creating A Better Sleep Routine
Now that I have my motivation and a clear purpose behind getting more sleep, here are three ways I’m creating a better sleep routine this month:
- Close my laptop at 9:00
I have a tendency to get sucked into things on my computer before bed, so I want to set a firm boundary around when I’ll get offline. I’ll also set an alarm as a reminder to keep me on track.
- Create a “chill-out” routine
It’s important to give yourself some time to relax before actually heading to bed. Rather than going straight from working to sleeping, I plan to incorporate some of my favorite things into my new routine.
- Reading my book for 15-20 minutes
- Having a solid night time skin routine (its is so relaxing to me)
- Taking time to stretch and get my body ready for sleep
- Lights out at 10:30
Once 10:30 rolls around, I should be totally relaxed from my chill-out routine and ready to hit the hay.
What helps you get a night of restful sleep?
I encourage you to think about your own sleep routine and how you can challenge yourself to get more sleep. It’s all about taking small but impactful small steps to change up your sleep routine.
When was the last time you felt like you had *all* of the energy in the world to accomplish everything on your to-do list? Sounds like a fantasy, right?
Many of us feel completely burned out from our jobs and the responsibilities that come with being an adult (oh, so fun). Even if you’re self-employed or just generally doing work you enjoy doing, you can still burn yourself out.
Generations older than us may roll their eyes at twenty-somethings feeling burned out, but a study by McKinsey found that many millennial women are experiencing job burnout before they even turn 30.
So what’s causing us to feel burned out? More importantly, how do we prevent it from taking over our lives?
Burnout is mostly a product of stress on a daily basis. This can be stress from having too much on your plate, or it can happen when you feel forced to put energy into work that doesn’t fulfill you.
High expectations also play a big role in creating burnout.
Our jobs have high expectations for us. Of course this isn’t true for every company, but there are so many organizations that expect their employees to be available 24/7. This can make us resent everything about our jobs and the people we work with.
We also set high expectations for ourselves. As a generation, millennials want to make an impact with the work we’re doing. We don’t want to do meaningless or mediocre work when we believe we have more to give. Sometimes we get burned out from our own negative thoughts about ourselves and the situations we’re in.
These high expectations only lead to mental, emotional, and physical burnout. Burnout can make it difficult to do even the simplest things, so everything starts to feel like a chore.
Many of us don’t even realize we’re feeling burned out until it’s too late. At that point, it’s hard to recover without doing a hard reset on your life (if only it was that easy!).
If you can bring awareness to the signs of burnout, you can take positive action before anything gets worse. Keep reading to see if you’re experiencing these 7 signs of burnout and how you can deal with them positively!
7 Signs Of Burnout (And How To Deal With Them)
Most of us only notice burnout when we’re already in the depths of it. For example, I only recognize it when it gets to the point where I feel completely drained – mentally, emotionally, and physically. If we can recognize the signs ahead of time, we can give ourselves some extra care in the moment.
Here are seven signs you might be experiencing burnout right now and how you can deal with it!
- Your to-do list feels extra overwhelming.
If your to-do list is overwhelming you on a daily basis, even if it’s things you enjoy doing, it might be a sign that you’re burning yourself out. When we try to cram too much into our day, we overwork ourselves and/or feel guilty when we don’t get everything done.
Instead, simplify your workload. Stick to three top priorities for the day and focus solely on those. If you need help planning your day effectively, check out this post I wrote about planning your day for success.
- You’re overly exhausted.
If you need five cups of coffee to keep your eyes open during the day, it’s a sign that you’re not taking care of yourself properly. This is where it’s important to check in with yourself and make sure you’re taking care of your basic needs.
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating regularly? When was the last time you exercised? Have you had enough water? Sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact on our energy levels.
- You’re struggling to find motivation.
Maybe you wake up in the morning and snooze your alarm until you have to rush out the door. You know exactly what you need to work on that day, but you just don’t have the motivation to do it. This is a definite sign that you might be burned out from the work you’ve been doing.
To combat this feeling, it’s important that you identify what’s out of alignment in your life. Spend some time thinking about your vision for the future and where you want to be five years from now. Once you’ve identified a few key things that you want to manifest in your life, use those to fuel your actions and keep you going.
- Your self-talk is negative.
Stress can play some powerful mind tricks on us. When we’re overwhelmed or exhausted, our minds tend to gravitate to a negative place. If you notice that you’re always thinking in negatives or being especially hard on yourself, it could be because you haven’t given yourself time to rest and recharge.
When you feel weighed down by a negative mindset, make sure to give yourself grace. No one holds you to such high standards as you do, and it’s okay to give yourself a break. Say positive affirmations, journal your thoughts out, and take time to truly relax.
- You keep snapping at others.
People are annoying, that’s a fact. But if you’re noticing that you’re more irritable than usual, it might be a sign that burnout is affecting your overall mood. It’s easy to take things out on other people, but it never results in anything worthwhile.
Instead, take responsibility for your time and energy. Make sure you’re not over-committing yourself and taking on things that will drain you. Set boundaries around your time and energy so you can enjoy some much-needed alone time.
- Everything feels like a chore.
If you feel like you’re doing nothing on a daily basis that excites you or brings you joy, the monotony of daily life will start to take its toll. Most of us are living on autopilot and do the same things every day, so it’s important to incorporate a little fun into your schedule.
Make a conscious effort to add things into your day that you can look forward to. Maybe that’s talking with a friend, going for a walk, listening to music, writing, practicing yoga, reading, etc. If you try to do something a little different each day, it will make life feel more fun.
- You don’t have time to practice self-care.
Self-care can be a huge help when it comes to dealing with burnout. The tricky part is actually making the time for self-care. If you don’t have time for self-care, it’s probably because you’re prioritizing everyone else’s needs above your own.
Instead, give yourself permission to rest. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, there are ways to fit self-care into your schedule every single day. Self-care is the ultimate remedy for burnout, so treat it like a priority in your life.
What are your best tips to combat burnout?
After reading this list, I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if any of these signs of burnout are showing up in your life. Of course, this list is not the be-all-end-all. There are so many different ways that burnout can manifest. The important thing is to tune into your mental, emotional, and physical well-being so you can recognize when you need to take a step back and recharge.
Are you looking for ways to add more positivity into your life? Well, my friend, your habits are one of the best ways to make that happen, day in and day out.
After all, our habits and routines shape about 40% of our existence. That means our thoughts, habits, and actions play a big role in determining our level of success.
Most of us are aware of the bad habits we have, but it’s important that we make an effort to establish positive habits that outweigh the not-so-great ones. If we want to live our best lives, we have to create healthy and intentional habits along the way.
“Your little choices become habits that affect the bigger decisions you make in life.” ― Elizabeth George
Of course, it can be difficult to know which habits are really worth the effort. Everyone’s lives are different which means our habits will serve us in different ways. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration to guide you in the right direction, here are seven positive habits that have changed my life!
7 Positive Habits That Have Changed My Life
Meditation has been a game-changer for my own peace of mind. I resisted it for so long because I thought it wouldn’t work for me, but I was 100% wrong. Even though it’s not easy, meditation helps me to find a moment of pure calm in my day. Now, I try to meditate every morning before the day gets started so that I can get into the right frame of mind. If you want to get started with meditation, read this post that I wrote when I was starting out.
P.S. I’m currently on a 30+ day meditation streak which has NEVER happened before. If you’re interested, I’ll share some tips in another post about how I’ve kept up with this habit.
I took my first yoga class when I was a freshman in college, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I always appreciate the chance to slow down after a busy day, and yoga is something I turn to when I need some calm in my life. If you want to ease yourself into yoga, I’d recommend The Journey Junkie’s 7-Day Yoga Body Bootcamp. When I finished the seven days, I felt so accomplished for actually completing a yoga challenge. #babysteps
I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Writing helps me process my emotions, and I feel less overwhelmed when I write out what’s on my mind. I find that writing on a regular basis (even if I’m not feeling inspired) helps me to feel more positive about what’s going on in my life. Lately, I’ve been using a plain notebook as my journal to freewrite. I also keep my Five-Minute Journal on my bedside table to write in the morning and before bed.
- Daily Walks
I love to get outside in the middle of the day before the afternoon slump hits. Even walking around the block can seriously do wonders for the mind, body, and soul. Usually, I’ll go for a walk for about 45 minutes after eating lunch to get some fresh air. I’ll listen to a podcast or plug in my headphones and talk out loud to myself about what’s on my mind. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.
- Listening To Podcasts
Whether I’m driving or taking a walk, I’ve usually got a podcast playing in the background. I love that podcasts allow you to absorb information while you’re doing something else. I know multitasking is frowned upon, but this is the best way to multitask in my opinion. Lately, I’ve been loving The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher and re-listening to Magic Lessons with Liz Gilbert.
- Not Checking My Phone First Thing
I’m not perfect at this, but not checking my phone is one of those things that has a huge impact on the way my morning routine flows. I find that if I check my emails or social media first thing, I will get sucked into them for at least 30 minutes. These days, I glance at my phone when my alarm goes off then immediately open my Calm meditation app. After I’ve meditated, I do my best to avoid my inbox, open up YouTube, and get started with my workout video.
- Planning The Night Before
I’ve found that writing my to-do list before I go to bed helps me in a million ways. It means I don’t have to waste any time in the morning thinking about what I need to work on first. It also means I don’t have a million ideas floating around in my head before I go to bed. Basically, writing my to-do list before bed saves me a ton of time and headspace when the morning rolls around.
Which positive habits have changed your life? Leave a comment below!