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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Balance Work and Life Without Going Crazy

How to Balance Work and Life - Our Top Tips for Getting it All Done Without Going Crazy

We live in a world that is constantly busy. One question I often get when I tell people that I run a business, write a blog, volunteer and somehow manage to fit in a normal life is how? 

How as in... 
How do you have time for everything?
How are you not crazy?
How do you balance it all?
And how are you not hooked up to an IV of coffee 24/7?

But it's not a question that people are simply asking me - it's a question we're all asking. How do you balance work and life and family and everything you want to do? 

Sure you can pick and choose what you want to spend your time on, however, this is the real world and unfortunately I don't think too many of us can get away with only working two hours a week and still paying our bills and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't fare so well if you decided to only focus on work and nothing else for the rest of your life. 

Family is important. Work is important. Life is important. So how do you juggle them all? 

Whilst I don't have all the answers (sorry guys, I tried 42 and it just didn't work), I do have some tips that work for me - and I'd love for you to chime in with your own tips in the comments too. 
So here's how I juggle work and life and still stay sane >> 

How to Balance Work and Life - Create a Rough Daily Schedule

Create a Rough Daily Schedule
Rough being the operative word here, friends... 

I don't know about you but every day is different for me. Rather than create the same schedule for every day, I instead create a daily schedule. 

This does change from week to week due to the nature of my work, however, I try to keep it as close as possible as I find my week runs smoother that way. 

For example, I start my day each day eating breakfast and catching up on emails before working out and getting ready for the day. My usual work day then starts at 9am, however, on Thursday mornings I don't get into the office until 11am as I volunteer on Thursday mornings. 

The same goes for finishing my work day. Usually it's around 5pm, however, on Mondays I finish at 3:30pm to volunteer and on Fridays I finish earlier so I can be home when Jesse gets home from work. 

And what about living? After 5pm on a week day you'll never find me at my computer. Instead, you'll find me in the kitchen making dinner before settling down for the night and watching our current favourite tv show with Jesse. As a business owner, I can really work all day every day if I want to, however, I'm pretty strict with only working between 9am-5pm to ensure I make time for me!

How to Balance Work and Life - Use Technology to Your Advantage

Use Technology to Your Advantage
Because it's there, so you may as well use it!

I know there's a billion articles out there telling you that you need to use less technology - and whilst I'm all for switching off at times, I actually think you should use it to your advantage. 

Technology allows you to work smarter as it enables you to do things in less time and with less stress. For me, my top technology picks are; 
  • A great laptop
    Not only do I work in my office, I'm frequently out and about at meetings or running social media training courses at my clients' offices so portable devices are a MUST.

    I have the ASUS E200HA Vivobook which I absolutely love because it's super lightweight (it literally only weighs 98 grams... my lunch probably weighs more than that :P) and it lasts up to 13 hours on a full charge, meaning that I never have to carry around a charger. It's also installed with windows 10 so I can log in with the same profile as my desktop and log in my Google account and I have access to everything I need.

    I also use this laptop a lot for blog things - often times when I'm working at the office I'll head outside with my laptop to eat lunch and catch up on blog comments and read my favourite blogs and it's often next to me as I create or shoot recipes as the TRU2Life display means the pictures show up perfectly.

    Best of all? It didn't cost the earth either. You can get it from Bing Lee, JB HiFi, Harvey Norman and the ASUS eShop from $299. And of course, in true bargainista style, you can always keep an eye out for store discounts too ;) 
  • A phone with apps you actually NEED
    I don't know about you, but I take so many photos that I need to limit my app-age... that's a thing, friends. There's no Pokemon Go on my phone but what you'll find are a bunch of apps that help me do what I need to do.

    Things like Dropbox, which allows me to access files for clients on the go, Google Docs, PDF readers and the app version of the calendar/scheduling tool I use to book in appointments and work. 
  • Scheduling Tools - A blogger MUST
    As a blogger and a social media manager, I can't tell you how much I love social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite. Whilst I don't use it for the blog (as I'm kind of disorganised and prefer to write and publish posts as they happen), I schedule all of my client's social media posts. 
And of course there's many other different technologies out there - but everyone has different needs! 

How to Balance Work and Life - Make Time for the Things You Love

Make time for exercise and things you love!
Because all work and no play makes EVERYONE dull and boring

This kind of links in with scheduling, but I think it's so important it needs a point of its own. It's essential that you make time for you if you want to stay sane. 

For me, I make sure I keep to strict working hours so I have time to workout and catch up on blogs in the morning and have spend time to spend with Jesse in the evenings. I'm also really strict with weekends. For me, weekends need to be spent away from the computer as I spend all week sitting at it - that's why you never see blog posts from me on the weekend! 

The things I love are spending time with Jesse, hanging out with family and friends, cooking/baking, exploring new places, walking and hiking and binge watching our favourite TV shows on Netflix. Add in a sprinkle of reading and board gaming/puzzling and you have one very content Kristy.

How to Balance Work and Life - Try Overlapping Instead of Multitasking

Instead of multitasking, try overlapping

This is something I realised by accident. I am a huge multitasker but there's times where I still can't fit in the things I want to do. When I'm having a really busy week, I'll often overlap the things I need to do. 

What do I mean? 

Say for instance I want to create a new recipe for the blog but I have heaps of work on and have no time to shoot it during the day. When that happens, you'll find me cooking dinner whilst also baking said recipe so it's ready to shoot the next morning. 

On the weekend, Jesse and I often bake together and I then shoot that recipe for the blog - thus I'm overlapping blog things and still spending time with my awesome husband. The same goes with walking/hiking for Jesse - I get to move and I get to spend time with my favourite person!

There might be a hobby that you reaaaally want to pursue but you feel like you can't because you're busy with kids/work etc so why not trying to overlap the two? Your kids may love getting crafty with you or perhaps you can head out on a run with a colleague during your lunch break. Or you can do what I do and catch up on blogs during your lunch break by taking your laptop out in the sunshine!

How to Balance Work and Life - Have a Social Life

Have a social life
I don't care how busy you are, you still need to make time for other people.

Again this comes down to scheduling, however, you should make your social life a priority too! Being social doesn't mean going clubbing until the sun comes up or spending hours preparing for a dinner party... it could be catching up for a coffee with a friend for an hour or inviting your friends over for pizza. Having a social life doesn't need to be complicated - but it needs to be done if you don't want to end up in the loony bin ;) 

Plus, when you're stressed from work, spending time with the ones you love is pretty much guaranteed to get you feeling better!

How to Balance Work and Life - Outsource If You Can

Outsource if you can
If you're bogged down with a million and one chores, consider outsourcing.

You might be running yourself ragged trying to work full time, juggle your kids and somehow keep the house tidy.. so why not consider hiring a cleaner once a fortnight to help you out? 

This isn't going to work for everyone, however, think about ways you can outsource to help you manage your time better. It could be ordering groceries online if you don't have time to get to the shops (this way you're still eating healthy food!) or maybe it's paying a local teen to mow your lawn. If you're a business owner, it may be outsourcing your social media management or email newsletter creation. 

But tell me, what are some of YOUR tips for managing work and life? 
How do you stay sane amidst the busyness of life and what's one piece of technology you can't live without?


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