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The Community Blog

Filtering by Tag: work life balance

Absolute must-have tools for achieving balance

Lisa Eberly

Note: this post is an extension of my weekly newsletter talking about achieving balance in your life. Want the full scoop? Get it in your inbox! For more on balance, check out My top 5 strategies to improve balance and Why I don't "balance" the weekends
lisa-mastela-balance-tools

Sometimes, balancing your life requires some help. Here are my must-have tools to help you achieve the most balanced life possible -- 

Tools you already have:

  1. Your phone alarm (this gem is great for time blocking!) 
  2. Google calendar (hi color coding) 
  3. Airplane mode and Do Not Disturb features on your phone  

Tools you might not have:

For time blocking (and becoming a productivity wizard)....

A suuuuper cute and functional planner for the no nonsense hustler.... (why I love it: lightweight, paperback, great space for organizing your day/week AND making it your own)

For endless inspiration from other BA ladies....

For color coding your planner...and literally everything in your life...

A planner for the inspo-lover... (why I love it: has space for a daily to do list AND calendar/notes, has plenty of inspiring quotes along the way and looks good on any desk, lightweight/paperback too)

For great inspiration to start recognizing and prioritizing the important things in your life if you're not sure where to start....

Already checked out one of these? Have tools you LOVE to keep you balanced? Comment below to share! 

- L

My top 5 strategies to improve balance in your life

Lisa Eberly

Note: this post is an extension of my weekly newsletter talking about achieving balance in your life. Want the full scoop? Get it in your inbox! For more on balance, check out Why I don't "balance" the weekends and My absolute must-have tools for achieving balance.
lisa-mastela-balance-strategies
  1. Set tangible boundaries. Boundaries can help you associate certain tasks with certain locations and creates rules that makes it easier to have consistency and motivation. For instance, my phone is not allowed in my bedroom. I used to say I’d go to bed early, and then get on my phone in bed and scroll until like midnight (achieving nothing, not going to bed early, and just feeling guilty and bad about myself for not following through on my goal). So, I set a clear boundary — removed the phone charger from the bedroom and put it in the kitchen, and didn’t allow myself to even carry my phone into the bedroom. Phone-free zone of the house. Since then, I sleep like a baby, go to bed earlier, and read in bed rather than scroll. Other ideas for you: email boundaries (ex. no checking email until after you’ve completed your morning routine or no emails after your drive home from work), or setting timers for social media or TV (there are apps to help with this!).  
     
  2. Utilize natural divides in your day. Your drive, your lunch break, putting kids to bed, finishing dinner, etc are all natural dividers in your day. Break down how many clear ‘divides’ there are in your day, then think about what you’d like to utilize them for. The drive home from work can be great self-care time with an audiobook (so your boundary is: if I’m driving home from work, then I’m listening to a great audiobook), post-dinner can be great family time (boundary: no phone/email after dinner, only quality time with family), lunch break can be great for a walk (boundary: I will eat lunch away from my desk and not return until I’ve gotten 2,000 steps). 
     
  3. Say no. Let me guess: you’ve heard this before! Saying no is POWERFUL and can help you be more realistic about your day rather than stretched. Practice saying no to at least one commitment you don’t want to do per week. If you don’t have one, try saying no to a task you have on your personal to do list. It’s empowering to say no if it means you’re serving yourself and your balance, and will make you feel great, I promise. Look at your to do list right now, pick one thing on it that doesn’t have to get done, and cross it off. Ahh, doesn’t that feel good? Now you have less on your plate and more time for the things you actually have to do. 
     
  4. Color code. Whether your to do list/calendar/planner is on paper or on the computer, using colors can help you recognize whether or not your day is balanced. If every day includes every color, you’ve achieved balance. I have 5 colors: work (light blue), side hustle (dark blue), self-care (orange), social/home (green), and my soon-to-be daughter (pink) [in case you haven’t seen, I’m due in June!]. Every week day, I make sure all the colors are there. Take prenatal vitamins/do pregnancy squats/etc are in pink, spin class/time block for an at-home facial/going for a long walk are in orange, dinner with friends/grocery shopping are in green, etc etc. If every color isn’t there, I know in advance my day isn’t balanced. 
     
  5. Space and time block. Time blocking is popular and great for balance and productivity (work on one task for X amount of time and then break), but for balance I recommend both time and space blocking, ie. never be in one space or on one task for too long. Anyone ever sit at their desk in the morning and all the sudden it’s 4 and you’ve barely moved? You could use space blocking. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every 2 hours, when it does, move to a new space and work on a different task. This is great for balance during the work day, so you’re not just slumped at the same chair all day. Maybe go to an office break room or lounge or nearby coffee shop for some fresh air, go run the stairs at your office building, or even a quick walk around the block. Taking these mental and physical breaks during the day help you feel more balanced overall, since you’re not in the same spot for too long. 

 

Which tips are you going to try? Want more help balancing your life? Join the community for support! 

- L

Why I don’t “balance” the weekends

Lisa Eberly

Note: this post is an extension of my weekly newsletter talking about achieving balance in your life. Want the full scoop? Get it in your inbox! For more on balance, check out My top 5 strategies to improve balance in your life and My absolute must-have tools for achieving balance.
lisa-mastela-reading-balance

When it comes to hustling and making moves, it requires working the weekend sometimes. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, moving up in your career, building a side hustle, etc, it takes time and work, and weekends quickly become an extension of the week, am I right? 

I used to be a total workaholic. This isn’t a bad thing at all - I LOVE what I do and working is fun for me, so it’s easy to work the weekend. The trouble comes when trying to achieve balance in life — once you start to build a social life, a relationship, a family, ‘me’ time, and other ‘life’ things into the equation.

So, I created a special “boundary” in my life — I do not work…I repeat, I do NOT work, at least one completely full day of the weekend. And I mean NO work. No errands, no emails, no metrics, NADA. Work does not exist to me for at least one full weekend day. Additionally, no house work, no to do lists, no color coding, no alarms, no laundry. I mean it — NADA.

What do I do? I spend quality time with my husband and family, I make plans with friends, I go to fun workout classes, go out to dinner, go on adventures, you name it. All normal weekend things, but the entire day is sacred and free from any type of work whatsoever. No checking emails while waiting for a table, no quick phone meeting on the way to yoga, no scrolling metrics while watching TV. I actually also put my phone on Do Not Disturb for most of the day if I can (exception: waiting on personal texts regarding said fun activities of the day!). This brings me into the new week completely refreshed, and gives me time to truly connect with loved ones with work far away from my brain. 

Okay, okay, but what about the other weekend day? This is up to you. If things are slow and I feel like I can draw this fun out for two days, absolutely go for it. Typically, that’s not always possible. So, one day works for me, and the other is about 1/3 personal errands and to dos (laundry, meal prep, Target runs), 1/3 side hustle time, and 1/3 fun personal time (I typically save my self-care for this day, so this time is spend reading or doing something else I enjoy to relax). 

Try it out this weekend — you and your business will survive, and maybe even come out and thrive from it!

- L