This post was sponsored by domain .ME; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
One part of having a successful work/life balance is taking time for oneself but it’s often easier said than done. It’s been just over a year since I announced my plan to reclaim me in honor of my blog’s anniversary and how am I doing? I’m still far from perfect but I’ve developed a few strategies that have helped shift my focus back to me, my family, and the business endeavors that are worth me pouring my heart and soul into. And you know what? I feel better.
Besides acknowledging my quest for the elusive work life balance in 2016, here are three simple strategies that I’ve used to reclaim ME that are working well.
It’s ok to say no.
As a Type A person who loves to try to do it all, being comfortable saying no has been something that has been a process. It’s taken me years to be comfortable declining evening work events in DC that make our evenings a scramble, conferences that take me away from my family for days, and whirlwind trips with brands that sound enticing at first glance.
My growing comfort in politely declining work events has also allowed me to become more confident in saying no to things as a family. Some days I look at our calendar already filled with games, sports practices, music lessons, and scout activities when an offer for a birthday party, sleepover, or trip to the movies comes in and know that something has to give. But what? How do you decide? I turn to our kids. As it turns out, they don’t like to be overscheduled either. It’s the unstructured time at home that they cherish the most so I’m happy to say no to something to indulge them so they can enjoy their childhood.
I live and die by my calendars and if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening. I like to see my week and month laid out at a glance whether it’s my work schedule or family calendar. My husband and I do a great job keeping up our Google calendars for work trips and kid activities and take the time to sit down and go over what’s on our electronic calendars on a regular basis.
Just as I lay out my work calendar, I also ensure that I pencil in time for me. These days I write in my favorite gym classes as if they’re appointments, block off time for a haircut or an overdue mani/pedi, or write down errands like shopping for treats for my son’s 3rd grade Valentine’s Party and schedule work around these tasks. I’ve found it’s way too easy to let work take over unless I’ve committed by writing these things down in my calendar.
Take time to connect.
Working at home and collaborating in a virtual space means lends itself to different interactions than I had as a classroom teacher when my days were filled with talking to colleagues and students. Connecting with others can be more effort but I’m making more of an effort to connect with friends in person as well as in the online space. Coffee dates, gym classes, and quick lunches with friends can nourish mind, body, and soul in a very short amount of time.
I’ve also found value in going back to the old “comments as currency” model in our online world. It used to be that we treated blog comments as currency but this has slowly slipped away as we have more platforms to share and monitor. But comments on blog posts, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos are more valuable than the likes that come with simply clicking a button. Sure, it may take just a bit more time but they’re far more heartfelt than just adding to the number of likes. And if you want to take it a step further, send a friend a Facebook message or a text just to say hi. Trust me when I say it makes a difference!
One part of having a successful work/life balance is taking time for oneself. While I look forward to celebrating international ME Day with domain .ME on March 16th, 2016, I realize that a whole day is a big step. Instead do what I do. Find moments of me to achieve your balance. For me, it’s an hour at the gym, a lunch with friends, or a day unplugged with family that helps me more balanced.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
Created by domain .ME, “ME Day” promotes the values of diversity, tolerance and freedom, as well as self-appreciation and importance of taking care of yourself. .ME encourages you to take time for you on March 16. Do what relaxes you and allows you to embrace yourself and your achieveMEnts. After all, taking time off lets your body and mind refresh itself so we can take better care of the loved ones in our lives or have the focus we need to attend to work-related tasks.
So who is with me for some moments of ME on ME Day?
This post was inspired by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal URLs that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, follow DOMAIN.Me on social media or apply for a Domain.ME premium URL.