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
Spend 2 weeks tracking the time you spend on various activities. You may be surprised by what you learn.
Record how much time you currently spend on:
- work-related activities like doing your job, going to school, checking messages or making calls
- family and home activities like child care, cooking, house and yard work
- relationships with friends, neighbours or siblings
- leisure activities like hobbies, fitness, arts or alone time
- community involvement like clubs, volunteering or spiritual activities
Decide how to spend your time
Once you know how much time you’re spending on various activities, ask yourself:
- Are you satisfied with how you’re spending your time?
- Are your choices based on what you really want? Or are they based on what you think you should want?
- What changes would you like to make?
Plan how you will reorganize your time. For example, if you’d like to volunteer more, you may need to cut back on watching TV.
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.
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.