More than most generations, millennials have a hard time balancing between work & the rest of their lives. This seemed to get increasingly worse during quarantine when work is now, well, in your house! From the time I started working in a corporate environment, I always recognized the importance of setting work/life balance parameters for myself. Not only do they benefit your mental health & foster better personal relationships, but they make you a better employee overall; working while burnt out isn’t working at all.
As someone who’s married with a pup, works a full-time job, is an influencer on Instagram, & has 8 side hustles… most people think I get little sleep & am always working, but the truth is I love my sleep, & still find time to workout, binge-watch shows, hang with the hubby, pursue my hobbies, & cook dinner every night. The question I get asked a lot is, “do you have extra hours in your day”, & the truth is, I just maximize the hours I do have.
I’m a big proponent of planners & lists. I feel like without them, I wouldn’t be able to achieve half of the things I do. I think people rely way more on keeping things in their email inbox as a reminder, when the truth is, you’re just creating an ever-growing list that isn’t streamlined. Your calendar is your best friend & sometimes, that means scheduling in the things that matter to you, so you have time for them.
Here are a few tips on creating work/ life balance:
- Start work early & schedule time for lunch. Don’t be afraid to set the precedent that you get offline at a reasonable time at night & unless something is an emergency, don’t answer! I usually check email once more before bed & unless something is urgent, it just gives me an idea of what I’ll have to kick ass on in the morning
- Turn off red bubble notifications for all apps – they increase anxiety & spark excessive app scrolling. When you have time to hang out by yourself, you’ll inherently check Instagram, Tik Tok, etc., but not getting constant notifications during the day means not being interrupted every few minutes!
- Create daily/ weekly to-do lists. Daily lists should have everything you’re planning on working on for work/ personal that day & weekly can be things you want to get done that week, but don’t have a specific timeline on. This helps to show you in advance what your week will look like & you can mentally prioritize.
- Going back to email – if someone emails you they need a report by Friday, don’t just leave that in your inbox to collect dust & think it will miraculously ping you on that day. Respond that you’ve got it, move it to a folder, then put “_____ report due” in your calendar on Friday. This is how you stay on top of things without cluttering your virtual workspace!
- Schedule fun time into your week! If you want to paint your nails that week, pick a night where you don’t have anything going on & pencil in nails + wine! It seems silly, but when you do that, you’re holding yourself accountable for time to re-charge, which means you can give 100% to everything else once you have.
- Over-working isn’t something to brag about! Working effectively, is. If you use your 8 hours of work time to the fullest & stay in your lane, it’s more of a brag to say “I got my shit done & I’m offline” than to say, I had to work until 10 pm because I spent x amount of time scrolling on social media today. Just a thought!
- Look to see how you can work activity into every day. I usually have a ton of Zoom calls, but if one is a call I don’t need to be on video for, then I use that time to go for a long walk while I’m on it. Time outside helps us to stay grounded & less stressed, which in turn, makes you a better person to deal with on said calls.
- A huge time saver is planning out your dinners for the week over the weekend before. Not only does this help you not over-spend when buying groceries, but it takes the guess work out of each week night so you can plan ahead on cooking earlier in the day!
- No matter what, take time to eat dinner with your loved ones! My hubby & I eat dinner together no matter what every night. This means if one of us has stuff to do until 8 pm, we eat late that night. It helps so much to stay connected & still feel like you’re having time for each other through the chaos.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to multi-tasking where you can, scheduling out your time, & working fast. A lot of this comes down to not over-thinking, or second guessing throughout the day. You’d be amazed how much more you get done when you trust yourself. All of these things take practice & time to implement, but once you get them rolling, you’d be amazing at how good it feels to balance the scale!