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How to Find Balance in a Busy Schedule

by Kai Kahale
7 minutes read

As we get older, we tend to accrue responsibility. From looking out for our relatives to providing a stable base for our families, all the way up to working hard for a better future, charting your path through life means working hard and staying active.

The unfortunate flip side is that many people feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to commit to the tasks they’d like to focus on. Keeping up with a forty-hour work week, looking after a family, raising children, staying in contact with friends, having time for hobbies, staying in shape, and getting enough sleep can seem like a herculean effort. 

But don’t forget on top of that, you need to manage household chores, care for your mental health, stay informed of the news where possible, properly manage your laundry, and go on vacation from time to time.

In other words, it’s almost impossible not to become busy once we have responsibilities to deal with. But finding balance in an otherwise busy schedule, while seemingly impossible, can help us find our way through the storm.

In this post, we’ll discuss some helpful measures you can take when finding balance in that busy schedule:

  1. Prioritize Your Tasks

The first step to balance your busy schedule is to realize you can’t do everything in a day. That’s fine for the most part because everyone else in the world is operating via those same rules. A healthy adjustment to make is that of prioritizing tasks. 

Each night, before heading to bed, spend five minutes looking over your schedule for tomorrow. If you need to move certain tasks higher, do so. This way, you have a general outline of what habits and efforts require your attention first, and the process won’t feel like spinning plates all day. Better you complete fewer tasks well, than half-finish most.

  1. Schedule Breaks

Balance is just that, balance. It’s not about finding tricks to optimize your day or make every single minute count. As humans, we are not designed to be productive every second from morning to night. You need breaks, and you need time to decompress.

Baking this into your schedule is a wise endeavor, then. It allows us to rejuvenate our thinking and focus, while also balancing our emotions even during the busiest days. A five-minute break every two hours of work should be the bare minimum, but make sure you take enough time for meals, and at least an hour or two in the evenings to relax. 

This way, you can make breaks non-negotiable, making your work rate more productive.

  1. Learn To Say No

Most people are alike in that the number one most precious resource they have is time. It’s the one resource you cannot directly purchase more of, though of course, you can manage a schedule to benefit you.

Learning to say “no,” politely but firmly, is an essential part of this, then. For example, if you’ve committed to a full, honest work week but would rather enjoy the weekend resting and recuperating, you’re entirely to decline overtime requests from your employer. 

The same goes for family members – perhaps a non-emergency request is asked of you, but you have other priorities to attend to. The quickest way to throw your schedule off is to accept every responsibility placed on your lap. Sometimes, you have to decide between them, and that means learning the value word “no.”

  1. Delegate Responsibilities

If you have a busy schedule, you’re well within your rights to ask those you care for to lift their own weight. For example, if you’re a full-time parent and your teenage children are of a certain age, asking them to clean areas of the house during their weekend off school is more than reasonable.

That might include their bedroom and one or two other rooms to help out. Delegating responsibilities ensures your loved ones contribute to the household where appropriate. You can also manage this at work, where asking colleagues or those you manage to help with tasks can help you complete them to a higher standard – sometimes, you may need to be transactional and make agreements to benefit from this, but doing so builds relationships and is worth the effort.

  1. Limit Distractions

With the internet in most of our pockets now, it’s hard to deny just how many distractions are close at hand. It’s quite easy to sit down and become distracted for hours at a time, especially with social media content and short-form video apps grabbing our attention.

This is where making a concerted effort to limit distractions can be so useful. For example, you might set up notification limits on your social media feed or news updates so you can work without constant pings from your pocket.

At night, you might set up “priority notifications” so only your close family members, friends and employer can call you in an emergency, with everything else limited until you’re ready. Better yet, limiting social media use and consumption of digital content until ready can provide you a great deal of balance. It’s amazing how much free time becomes available when you’re not investing it in common distractions.

  1. Create A Daily Routine

It’s important to create a daily routine because doing so grants you momentum. When you have momentum, you tend to complete tasks more productively, and with more energy left over. For example, your first commute to a new job may have been a little stressful. You had to figure out the route, catch the train or set off on time, and set up ready for the day.

After a little while of doing this five days a week, the process proceeds on autopilot. This allows you to focus on the things that matter, such as starting your day by completing the hardest tasks first. A daily routine also allows you to conserve energy for the measures that matter, like a tough meeting or a family event later in the day.

With this advice, you’ll be certain to find balance in a busy schedule. Keep to these simple tips, and your free time and relaxation will be more than available.

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