7 power hacks for better work-life balance

work life balance for moms

Is work-life balance a real thing and how do you achieve it? It’s time to stop separating work and life and start creating life balance.

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It seems like so many people are searching for this mystical unicorn of balance.

But here’s the thing – you’re responsible for creating balance. 

So whenever you’re searching for this elusive work-life balance, you’re making them separate as if work isn’t a part of your life, which work is usually a big part of our lives. 

It’s time to stop separating work and life and start creating life balance.

This will help you balance all of the pieces of your life so they become one. And you’ll feel more aligned with the decisions you’re making about how you’re spending your time. 

But first it’s important to figure out what’s causing you to feel like you need more balance in the first place. 

So let’s discuss how to create a better life balance. 

What does it mean to be balanced? 

Whenever you feel balanced…

  • You feel like you have a pretty good handle on the day to day of your life. 
  • You feel like you know what to expect. 
  • You feel like you’re able to juggle all of your responsibilities. 

Some days may be better than others, but for the most part, you’re handling things pretty well. 

You feel like you’re spending a decent amount of time with your family. You feel like work isn’t consuming your life. You feel like you’re not spending all of your time cleaning. 

Whenever you have a good balance on things it feels like you’re more in control of your time and more in control of your life. 

Signs your life is out of balance 

Now let’s dive into a few signs that you may notice when your life is out of balance.

Feeling burnt out 

You always have so much to do, but you’re not making any progress. Can you relate?

You’ve been doing all of this stuff all throughout the day, you’re going nonstop – busy, busy, busy – but when you go to bed at night you feel like you did a bunch of nothing. 

Like nothing you did moved you forward in any way. 

I used to go to bed feeling like that and it’s a defeating feeling. 

You’ve been working hard all day and you’re completely exhausted, yet, you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything. 

A few other signs of burnout may be…

  • You’re overwhelmed. 
  • You’re getting poor sleep. 
  • You have low energy levels. 
  • You’re short tempered. 

So that’s one sign you may be out of balance.

Life isn’t going as planned 

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and that’s okay.

Maybe you expected to graduate college and you thought you’d be living in a nicer house, or driving a nicer car, or your marriage would be better. 

You feel like your life isn’t going how you want it to go and you have little to no control over your time. 

Those are a couple of signs that your life may be out of balance. 

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7 brilliant ways to create more balance in your life 

Now that you know what being out of balance is like, let’s go over seven ways you can create more balance in your life. 

1. Get specific on what balance means to you

Balance can mean different things to different people. It’s important to know what a balanced life will look like so you’re not chasing something unrealistic.

A lot of times people will say that I want to spend less time working or I wanna spend more time with my family, but what is less time and more time? 

Get specific on how many hours you want to work per week. How much is the bare minimum amount of time to spend with your family? 

If you want to spend the evenings with your family then make it a priority that from 5pm until bedtime is family time. 

A few other questions to ask yourself may be…

  • How much time will you spend cleaning?
  • How much time can you dedicate to meal planning and/or prepping?
  • How many hours will be dedicated to homeschooling?
  • When can you squeeze in quality time with your spouse or significant other?
  • What are your designated work hours (if you work from home)?

The more specific and structured you are with your time the more freedom and balance you’ll create.

2. Limit your time wasters 

Time wasters can take up a huge part of our day without us even realizing it.

The most obvious time wasters are things like watching Netflix, scrolling through Facebook, playing video games, etc. 

They’re a big deal. 

But here are 3 sneaky time wasters that may be making you feel unbalanced and like there’s never enough time.

Disorganization 

This one is very subtle and we don’t realize how much time we’re wasting. 

Whenever you have too much clutter, you spend way too much time searching for things. 

Decluttering is one way to eliminate that clutter and get more organized. You can get back those little bits of time that you spend throughout the day looking for things and eventually all of that time adds up. 

Another caveat of being disorganized is that you want to make your home work for you. So a lot of the time you do things in your home that you see on Pinterest or YouTube, but does that really work for you? 

It’s more important to focus on practical over perfection.

If it looks great that’s nice. but if it’s not working for you and your family, then it’s useless.

You want it to be practical. 

Having the snacks on the top shelf of your pantry may look nice and may go with the flow of how you’re trying to organize things, but it may not be practical because now your kids are having to come ask you every three minutes for you to get a snack down for them.

Just because it looks great and goes with your aesthetic of how you want things to look, is it practical? 

Lack of prioritization 

This is when you’re doing things that aren’t a priority right now. Just because something isn’t a priority right now, doesn’t mean that it’s not important. 

Your priorities can change over time. 

You may be in a season of life where getting healthy is the main priority. Or you may be in a season of life where building your income from your side hustle is the priority.

That doesn’t mean the other things aren’t important, they’re just not a priority right now.

Whenever you lack prioritization, you do things throughout the day and go to bed feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and frustrated because you felt like you didn’t get anything done. 

Procrastination 

Procrastinating is more emotional than time management because if you’re procrastinating it’s usually because something is boring or feels overwhelming. 

There’s some type of emotional trigger making you not want to do the task. 

Whenever you’re procrastinating you really have to look at your emotions. If it feels overwhelming are you able to break it down into baby steps and do that one baby step that day? 

When you break down your task it may feel like it will take you a long time to get it done. But, if you’re procrastinating and not getting anything done, then at least you’re making some type of progress.

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3. Create routines 

Whenever you have routines, you’re going on autopilot. You’re not wasting brain power, thinking about everything that needs to get done and not knowing where to start. 

You feel less overwhelmed. 

And I want to point out that routines are different from schedules. 

Schedules are time based. Routines are task based.

An example of a schedule would be…

  • 9:30am: gym
  • 10:30am: shower and get dressed 
  • 11:30am: lunch 

Every task has a designated time.

Routines are focused on the task regardless of what time it is. 

An example of this would be…

  • Brush teeth 
  • Get dressed 
  • Eat breakfast 
  • Fold laundry 

It doesn’t matter what time you do the task, but you still know exactly what tasks to accomplish.

That’s the difference between routines and schedules. 

Both options allow you to know exactly what you’re going to do before you start. 

This will help you be more proactive so you can plan ahead and have less to do in the moment. 

Keeping your routines simple will increase your chances of staying consistent.

When something is easy it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, or you’re lazy, or slacking. 

The more you plan ahead you’ll feel more in control and tasks will feel simple. 

Let things be easy. 

Another part of routines is to know your energy levels. Don’t try to plan a bunch of cleaning and activities in the evening when you’re exhausted and you can barely keep your eyes open.

Plan your high energy tasks like cleaning, cooking, and errands when you have the most energy.

Listen to your body. 

Don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing and feel like you’re supposed to workout in the morning because you think it should be part of your morning routine. 

If you prefer to workout in the evening then that’s when you should workout.

Know your energy levels and pay attention to those so you can plan your day accordingly. 

Related posts…

4. Have more fun

It’s common to get so busy in your day to day life that you forget to live and enjoy time with your family.

Don’t forget about the people in your life that are important to you, that you haven’t seen, that you don’t get to spend much time with. 

A cause of low energy levels could be because you’re exhausted thinking about everything that you need to get done instead of having fun and relaxing more. 

So prioritize making time for yourself, your family, and your friends.

5. Delegate 

You don’t have to do everything by yourself. If everyone makes the mess, everyone helps you clean up the mess. 

A lot of the time people don’t delegate because they don’t know how to do it. Whenever you’re delegating, it can get tricky because you’re trying to explain to someone how to do this task. And most of the time we want the task done the way we want it done. 

So you have to be very clear on your communication of how to do this task. 

Try using the 4D technique. 

Determine 

The first D is to determine what task you’re going to delegate.

Delegate 

Assign who will do the task. Make sure you assign a specific person. 

Don’t say, “somebody needs to clean the kitchen.” You want to assign a specific person for this task to make sure that it gets done. 

If you say, “somebody do it,” that means nobody does it, right? It was nobody’s responsibility.

Assign a specific person to do the task. 

Demonstrate 

Show them the proper way to complete the task. 

If you’re trying to teach your kid how to clean the countertops properly, you want to show them by cleaning off one countertop. 

You want to show them to move the stuff off the countertop and what spray to use and what cloth to use. 

Be detailed in your demonstration so they have a higher chance of completing the task correctly.

Usually we’re delegating life skills that they’ll need to do over and over again for the rest of their lives. 

It’s important to keep demonstrating the proper way to do the task until they get it figured out. Then you’ll feel more confident asking them to do things. 

Debrief 

This is when you go in after they’re done and make sure it got done properly. 

If it didn’t, don’t be upset with them. 

Do some self introspection and think about how you could have shown them how to do it better or how you could have explained things better.

Figure out where the miscommunication was and try to fix it. 

So that’s the 4D technique for delegating. As with anything, delegating is a skill. If you don’t get it right the first time keep trying and practicing until you get it.

Delegating will save you so much time and it’ll teach your kids so many important life skills. 

And I know it feels like we’re helping our families whenever we’re doing all the cleaning and everything for them, but l not teaching them to do these life skills is hindering them.

So definitely try to delegate more often.

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6. Improve your relationships

The first part of this is to remove toxic people. If someone is toxic and bringing down your energy levels, you want to remove that person or limit your interactions with them as much as possible.

You exude the type of energy you receive. 

If you’re being bombarded with negativity, then it’s going to be much easier for you to exude negativity because you were happy and now you have someone else putting all their crap on you which brings you down. 

Surround yourself with positivity.

That way you can exude those positive vibes and positive energy. 

And the next thing you want to do is set personal boundaries.

You want to be very clear on your expectations. You don’t want to expect someone to know how to act when it comes to you. 

Don’t expect someone to be on time. 

Whenever you invite them to do something, don’t expect them to say certain things or behave a certain way. 

That’s when a lot of us get into trouble because we’re expecting them to know these expectations that we’ve set and their expectations may be completely different than our expectations. 

Being on time isn’t a priority to everyone. 

If you say we’re going to have lunch at noon, some people may think that’s noon-ish and they’re like, “okay, so as long as I’m there sometime around noon, that’s fine.” 

They don’t know you have other things to do after lunch and you really need them to be there at noon.

You need to communicate and don’t get upset with someone because you expect them to know better. 

Be very clear on your expectations of how you want to be treated

The way that I like to set these personal boundaries is by using the “If you, I will” Technique. 

This says, if you blank, I will blank. 

For example, if you keep coming over unannounced, I will not open the door. 

So if you have someone that comes over unannounced early in the morning when you’re not even dressed yet and the kids are still a hot mess, you would use the “If you, I will” Technique.

This technique is effective because you’re leaving the ball in their court. They get to decide how they want to proceed with this relationship. They get to decide if they’re going to respect your wishes or if they’re going to blow off what you say just to see what happens. 

The “If you, I will” Technique only works if you follow through with what you say you’re going to do. 

If you say, “if you keep coming over, I’m not gonna let you in,” but l you keep letting them in, you’ve shown them that you’re full of crap and you don’t stand behind what you say you’re going to do. 

Now you’ve taught them to not respect what you say because it’s clearly not important.

Definitely think about it before you say it. 

And that’s how you set up your personal boundaries. If you blank, I will blank. 

Keep it simple. 

Let them decide how they want to move forward with the relationship. 

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7. Make time for yourself 

A lot of us tend to lose our identity and forget about what makes us happy as a person.

We know that our kids make us happy. Our family makes us happy. Creating a home and life makes us happy. 

But you as an individual, what makes you happy? What do you enjoy? 

Making time for yourself helps you figure out who you are. 

This is also great because it teaches your kids that it’s not selfish to prioritize yourself. We don’t want our kids growing up thinking they can’t spend any time alone because it’s selfish. 

We’re always setting an example for our children so if you want them to feel like it’s okay to spend time alone and do things that makes them happy, you have to show them that it’s okay by doing that for yourself and being that example for them to follow. 

So prioritize making time for yourself. 

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Quick recap…

So let’s wrap up the seven ways to create more balance in your life. 

  1. Specify what balance means to you
  2. Limit your time wasters
  3. Create routines
  4. Have more fun
  5. Delegate more often
  6. Improve your relationships 
  7. Make more time for yourself

Instead of searching for more balance in your life, figure out why you feel unbalanced in the first place and determine what balance actually looks like for you. 

Then create it. 

You’re not searching for balance, you’re creating balance in your life. 

You can’t create more balance in your life if you’re not even sure what the end goal is. 

If you’re ready to be more organized and simplify your home, because you feel like that is a time suck for you and it’s taking away valuable time from your family, then grab the Productive Mom’s Toolkit.

You’ll learn how to simplify routines when it comes to cleaning, laundry, meal planning, and budgeting. 

Grab the Productive Mom’s Toolkit so you can create more balance in your life and simplify your home. 

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