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"The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man." -Stephen Covey

In past blogs, I have written about the importance of balance; today, I will revisit this issue. I am constantly working on balance issues physically and in my daily life.

Physically, I struggle with balance. I fall over my own two feet, trip over cracks in the sidewalk, break bones, and stumble much of the time. However, that is in the past. After breaking several bones and having several surgeries, I realized I had to do something about it. So, I took a balance class through physical therapy. I am still clumsy, but I have learned skills to help me keep my balance. I have not had a fall since I attended those classes.

I also must balance what I eat, which is another physical struggle. I am overweight and fight the battle between weight, medications promoting weight gain, and not eating correctly.

Work-life encompasses many aspects of my life. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Is my job demanding? Do I have a family I need to provide for, yet want to spend quality time with them? Am I going to school and working? And the list can go on and on!

Right now, my main job is to blog. All the activities I am involved in are like a second job. Often, I wonder, how will I get this all done? I am fortunate in my work world because I do not have a lot of distractions, I don’t have family nearby, and I work at my own pace. However, I have to balance my time between friends, commitments to various clubs, committees, and church, and self-care.

You may look at the above paragraph and say, “Self-care, who has time for that?” Self-care is the most important thing we need to do; nothing will be balanced without it. What do I mean by self-care?

· Getting enough sleep – This is an area where I struggle. I don’t sleep well. I have learned to have a nighttime routine to help train me to go to sleep.

o Journal in the evening to get all the thoughts out of your head. List any worries or problems you are facing. By journaling, you are getting out of your head all the issues you would let spin in your head when trying to go to sleep.

o Write down three things you are grateful for in your journal.

o Turn off the TV and put down your phone an hour before bed.

· Pamper yourself – get your nails done, go shopping, go fishing, or have coffee with a friend.

· Take time to organize your day so that it relieves some stress.

o Keep a calendar – Knowing what is on the schedule helps relieve stress.

· Read a book. (Not a book that has something to do with work; read something fun.)

Everyone has their definition of self-care. Whatever it may be – DO IT!

My typical day looks like the following.

· I get up and do my quiet time. My quiet time consists of spending time with God by reading the Bible and praying.

· The night before, I have written everything I need to accomplish, and in the morning, I prioritize it.

· I get ready for the day, shower, get dressed, do makeup, etc…

· Pick up the house.

· Start working on my blog or other writing jobs.

· Attend any scheduled meetings (and some unscheduled).

· Get home, relax.

· Get dinner.

· Watch some TV.

· Start my bedtime routine.

I am getting more balanced.

Balancing your schedule can be crucial for maintaining both productivity and mental well-being. Here are five ways to help you achieve a more harmonious balance:

Prioritize and Set Boundaries: Prioritize Tasks: Determine what's urgent and essential and what can wait. Prioritizing can help you avoid the trap of just being "busy" without being productive. Set Clear Boundaries: Define specific times when you are working and when you are not. Boundaries are especially critical if you work from home or have a flexible schedule. For example, decide that after 6 p.m., you won't check work emails.

Time Blocking: Assign specific blocks of time to specific activities. For instance, you might block off 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for focused work, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for meetings, and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for personal time or a workout. By giving each task its own dedicated time, you avoid the stress of multitasking and can dive deeper into each activity.

Use Technology Wisely: Apps and Tools: Use scheduling apps, task management tools, or digital calendars (like Google Calendar) to organize your tasks and get reminders. There are other apps that can help you manage your schedule.

Limit Distractions: Use apps that limit access to distracting sites or notifications during your focused work periods. Tools like “Freedom” or “Focus@Will” can help maintain concentration.

Delegate or Outsource: Recognize that you can't do everything yourself. If there are tasks that others can do, whether in your personal or professional life, delegate them. Delegating might mean hiring an assistant, outsourcing certain business processes, or simply asking for help from colleagues or family members.

Regularly Review and Adjust: Weekly Review: At the end of each week, take some time to review what went well and what didn’t. Adjust your schedule as needed based on this feedback. - Stay Flexible: While it's essential to have a plan, be open to adjusting it as necessary. Life is unpredictable, and strict rigidity can add unnecessary stress. Adaptability can be a strength in managing a balanced schedule.

Find a balance that works for you and enjoy life!

Have a great week.

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