Would you like more time to do what you want to do? More balance between your work life and your home life? Try these strategies to balance your lifestyle.
If you’re feeling time-stressed, you have company: more than a third of Canadians aged 15 and over feel trapped in a daily routine, with 29% feeling they have no time for fun.
Yet balancing work, family and leisure pays off, so it’s worth striving for. When your life is in balance, everything you do is more fulfilling. You also have more energy and better mental and physical health.
Take stock of how you spend time
Take a few minutes right now and think about how you spend your time. You may be surprised by what you learn.
You may want to talk to your family and ask them to do this activity with you. Then you can compare desired life balances to understand how priorities may differ between family members. Are there major discrepancies in how you like to spend your time? Your spouse may want to spend more time on some areas than you do. Be open to negotiating and think of ways to compromise. Work together toward achieving a satisfying balance for all.
Free up time and energy for your priorities
Try these ideas to make more time for your top priorities:
- Say “no” to job tasks outside of work hours that are not essential. Talk to your supervisor if you’re working too much overtime.
- Make time for down time. Stress management experts say taking time to relax is a necessity, not a luxury.
- Get organized using lists and calendars.
- Use your time efficiently. For example, run errands during lunch breaks instead of on your days off.
- Set realistic standards. For example, if both adults in your family work outside the home, aiming for a perfectly clean house all the time creates stress. Agree with household members about the standards you can reasonably maintain. Then make a chore schedule so everyone helps.
- Consider flexible work arrangements such as working part-time, job sharing or working on a contract basis.
Make an action plan to help you find balance between work and leisure. In the spaces below, write down the activities that are most important to you, then list 2 steps you'll take to find more time for each activity. Finally, put your plan into action.
Balance and rebalance
Big life changes, like a new job or baby, can throw your work-life balance off for a while. That’s normal. But when the balance remains tipped for months, it's a good idea to re-examine your lifestyle choices and reset the balance.