7 Achievable Ways to Quickly Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Do you feel like a juggler in a circus? Between planning or attending gatherings, keeping your family fed, helping your kids or aging parents, and completing your work deadlines, your time is in high demand. Add to that, preparing for visitors coming and going, selecting and wrapping gifts, and making time for some self-care (yes, self-care…I’m talking to you) it’s a lot. Seriously. How many balls are you juggling at once? How do you navigate the many roles and responsibilities you have? There is a delicate nature to finding a doable work-life balance. Many of you will probably agree that the ‘right’ balance is a constantly moving target.
When my balance is off, I look carefully at my commitments and evaluate what change is needed. Have I said “yes” too often? Have I said “yes” to things that are nourishing and energizer? One of the best decisions and yeses I made a year ago was to Marcy Stoudt, CEO of Revel Coach and Founder of The Executive Mom Nest. This visionary Executive Coach and mother of three launched The Executive Mom Nest, or The Nest, as we affectionately call it. Marcy created a team of vetted Advisors from diverse yet complementary industries, including marketing, finance, design, wellness, life and career coaching, travel, and organization. The team supports, coaches, and mentors moms navigating career, family, and self. I’m thrilled that Marcy invited me to join her team as the Professional Organizer Advisor.
For a better understanding of work-life balance, I immediately thought about these insightful Nest Advisors and their collective wisdom. We meet regularly, and I always learn so much from them. I reached out to several colleagues, Marcy Stoudt, Neela Asaadi, Lucy Carlisle, Lana Kitcher, Petra Krebbs, Alison Nissen, and Becky Roth. I asked them- What is one strategy you use to restore your work-life balance? Their responses are philosophical, practical, personal, and inspiring. My deepest gratitude goes out to them for sharing their hearts, experience, and honesty with us. WHAT IS ONE STRATEGY YOU USE TO RESTORE YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
1. Balance through Self-Care "One constant that every single human being has is time, and we have the same amount of it. What we choose to do with it is our choice. The secret to any success story is moderation and living in harmony with yourself. If something doesn't go as planned, learn from it, don't judge it. If you indulge, enjoy it, and get back on track later! If you overworked yourself, give yourself a well-deserved rest.
Strive to keep yourself grounded through fulfilling practices and rituals that fuel your soul. Morning rituals are personally my favorite way to set myself up for success, in addition to a delicious night's sleep to restore. Spend time investing in yourself. After all, it is the greatest gift you could give so you can show up as the best version of yourself for everyone around you."
Neela Asaadi – Lifestyle Designer, Holistic Health Coach, Creative & Brand Director 2. Balance through Less Negative Self-Talk “I get control of my negative self-talk. I'm a busy working mom. I'm proud of what I do. But, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, it's rarely because I am doing too much. It is almost always due to my mental chatter obsessing over my lack of time. I lose motivation, focus, and clarity when I have negative thoughts. If you are seeking work/life balance, start with the root cause: negative self-talk. When you control your thoughts, you control your day.” Marcy Stoudt – CEO of Revel Coach, Founder of The Executive Mom Nest 3. Balance through Work Satisfaction “Find a job that you love. Your career doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) constraining. If you hate what you do for work, it will inevitably seep into your personal life. When you find time for travel, self-care, or family time, work might be that dark cloud that stays over you even when you are trying to enjoy yourself. Having a job that I am so passionate about has brought me work-life balance in unexpected ways. When I unplug, I feel deserving, and when I get back to work, I feel excited and invigorated.” Lucy Carlisle – Marketing 4. Balance through Reflection “When I think of balance, I envision two bowls dangling from a stick, delicately positioned to be even. Life doesn't work like that. Instead, I find harmony in my life through reflection, joy, and growth. If I dread an activity, I ask myself what purpose it serves. If it’s a class I know will help me professionally, I can look ahead to the end date and envision the success it will bring at a future date. If, however, it’s a toxic relationship with something such as junk food, I will replace the interactions with something that brings me joy, like giving myself a few extra minutes to read a novel.” Alison Nissen, DTM – Story Coach, Blogger, Speaker 5. Balance through Healthy Boundaries “When I think of work/life balance, I think of seasons. I don’t believe there is a perfect balance to life because some seasons require more work, and some require more of life. What has helped me feel restored in each season is applying healthy boundaries. No matter the season, I keep within boundaries that align with my values, purpose, and goals. Should a season push up against those boundaries, I can adjust accordingly. When we know who we are and where we are going, then there is peace no matter the season.” Petra Krebbs – Strengths Strategist™, Jon Gordon Certified Speaker & Trainer, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach 6. Balance through Energy Management “A major way to restore my work/life balance is to manage my energy each workweek. When I break down my goals/tasks weekly, it is achievable. For example, I view the week as a pizza pie (yum) and try to eat one slice daily, so by the end of each day, I feel energized and have accomplished my daily tasks. Sure, there are weeks I’m planning special events or need extra time to cross the task of the list. By checking in on my energy rhythm, I usually feel less drained. Are you eating your slice daily or the entire pizza pie by Wednesday? Check yourself daily to understand your energy as it will balance your career and life goals.” Becky Roth, MSW, LMSW – Certified Professional Coach, Career Coach, Speaker 7. Balance through Frequent Assessment “When I'm feeling frustrated about my day, I can tell that it's time for me to restore balance. Restoring balance is a practice and needs to be assessed regularly. I have a three-step process for bringing back balance and suggest making time for this routine at least once a quarter.
1) Meditate – First, I need to calm myself down and take a moment to breathe and clear my head. 2) Process – Second, I need to make space for myself and process what makes me feel frustrated or overwhelmed. This is a great opportunity to go to my favorite cafe with a notebook and journal on the question. 3) Review - Finally, I review my calendar. I reevaluate everything on my schedule - declining meetings or removing responsibilities that no longer serve me. It's also helpful to look ahead and block some time in the future for myself, knowing how overwhelmed I'm feeling now.”
Lana Kitcher – Productivity & Efficiency Coach When life is humming along beautifully, we rarely think about balance. However, when things start going sideways, we notice. Awareness is essential for change. There are many ways to restore work-life balance. My colleagues shared their favorite strategies with you. Which ideas resonate most? What helps you create a healthy work-life balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!
Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVPO™,is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer and Coach, founder of Oh, So Organized!, Executive Mom Nest Advisor, author of The Other Side of Organized, and blogger on organizing and life balance. In addition to organizing virtually with clients worldwide, Linda presents workshops, writes, and mentors other Professional Organizers. Media features include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Woman’s Day, Westchester Magazine, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and Entrepreneur.com. Linda lives with her husband between two rivers 30 miles north of New York City, in a small, colorful home with a purple front door. They are empty-nesters as their children are in the world living their adult lives.