Everyone is busy with work and family life, so the idea of achieving work/life balance seems impossible. Perhaps maintaining the perfect work/life balance is impossible, but you can certainly make it better. Use these tips to achieve a better balance for yourself.

Acknowledge Everyone Has the Same 24 Hours

It’s become a culture idiom to complain about being busy. We don’t have time to exercise, cook at home, or enjoy meals out with friends. The problem is that every single person has the very same 24 hours a day that you do, even celebrities, politicians, and Antarctic researchers. The people that do exercise, work, and enjoy time with friends choose to spend their time this way and you can, too.

Know You Have Complete Control of Your Schedule

Ultimately, you choose how you spend your time. It’s hard when you have kids demanding attention or a boss that wants you to work overtime. Even so, you have options with regards to these aspects of your life. To achieve more work/life balance with your kids, consider hiring a babysitter or getting them involved in activities outside of the house so you can take back some of your down time. With your job, evaluate what happens if you say no to overtime work. If you consistently aren’t available when your boss asks you to work overtime, your boss may stop asking. If your boss threatens to fire you if you don’t, look for another job that better aligns with your schedule. Your boss cannot force you to work there.

Turn Off TV and Social Media Platforms

Americans spend much of their day watching TV shows they hardly remember and scrolling through social media feeds for people they don’t even know. Spend a week really evaluating your social media and TV habits. Do you love watching every show you DVR or do you watch some shows just because? What happens when you only check Facebook or Instagram once a day? Odds are good that you won’t miss out on anything and that you’ll gain back precious time to relax, spend time with friends, and accomplish the things you wish you had time for.

Prioritize What Matters to You

As we become adults, nobody asks us what we want to be or do like when we were kids. However, it’s important to periodically spend time thinking about what matters to you and what your priorities are to make sure that how we spend our time aligns with these goals. Maybe you want to spend time writing a novel, raising a family, or rehabbing dogs. Identify four or five priorities and stick with them for a while knowing there isn’t time for more than that and you can always change your mind.

Set Realistic Goals

During the week, you create a to-do list of tasks you want to complete over the weekend, such as stopping by the mall, cleaning out your fridge, and taking your dogs on a long walk. The list grows as we try to identify what we want to accomplish. We end up with a frustrating and impossible list that leaves us feeling behind and overwhelmed because we didn’t establish realistic expectations for what we can accomplish over the weekend. Instead, only plan a number of activities and tasks that you can finish this weekend. Save the rest for another day.

It isn’t possible to achieve perfect work/life balance. This is okay. Use these tips to continually improve your work/life balance and stay aware that what works for you today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.

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