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“How do you balance it all?” That’s the question I get asked more than any other. Sure, my life is full, I’ll admit it. (I’m not exactly relaxing everyday on a beach eating peeled grapes.) With five sons, work, my books (Breaking Busy is especially relevant here!) and the normal craziness of life- my secret is great systems and amazing technology.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite tips, tricks and strategies on work productivity and life balance with you.
I’m obsessed with Gcal. I not only put all my appointments in it, I use it to schedule my life. I realized that if I want to actually live on purpose, I had to dedicate time to my priorities. With Gcal, I learned to schedule blocks of time for prayer, Bible study, for exercise, for paying bills, even to call a friend.
We have to make time in advance for things that are important to us and things that bring us joy. It’s all about balance!
If we fill up our calendars with busywork we won’t make time for what makes us happy. (Click to tweet that)
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Not only do I order all my home office supplies from Amazon (OK, if I’m honest 90% of everything I buy comes from Amazon) I even get everything from vitamins, groceries, to mascara auto-delivered every month. This saves me from running to Target and buying twice as much as I need because it’s cute and right in front of me. 🙂
We all love our to-do lists and have the habit of listing 20 things we want to get done in a day. Most days we accomplish five of those things and beat ourselves up over the rest. Instead of listing out everything, look for the three most important things for the day and focus on those.
In Breaking Busy, I shared the ‘5 F’s of Decision Making’ (click here to download the free downloadable printable) and my favorite part of the framework is focusing on the future version of yourself.
I ask myself “What will ‘Future Alli’ say about this decision next month or next year?” It helps me say no to new obligations, pass up opportunities, and make decisions without worrying that I’ll regret them later.
When I face a big project, a time of busyness for the family, or even struggles in my own energy level I try to remind myself to think of life as a series of seasons. In some seasons I may have to work longer hours (for book writing, it means I lock myself away for 6 months of Saturdays to write).
In some seasons with the family we are just flat out going to be more stressed. Between activities, sports, and the constant desire for less parental rules (ahem)- Mark and I keep perspective (and our sanity) by reminding ourselves and each other that it’s a just a season.
Digital clutter is the worst. The stress caused by wondering where that article you wanted to reread is, where that shopping list went, and where your files are can be overwhelming. The key to reducing stress is to keep everything organized in one place.
I use Evernote to organize my whole life. It’s like my extra brain. Here’s a whole tutorial on how I use Evernote.
We all know that nothing is ever really perfect. There’s always an issue, a problem, a small flaw somewhere. If we aren’t careful we can allow ourselves to focus on little issues and get stuck. I say, “Done is better than perfect” and strive for growth, not perfection.
Hope you enjoyed these seven strategies I use to achieve more and stay sane while juggling a full life. If found this article helpful please share it with your friends on Facebook.
More resources you will love:
The (Free!) Breaking Busy Toolkit
Should you post that selfie? Let this flowchart be your guide.
Could Your Busyness Be Breaking You?
The Truth About Perfectionism and How to Overcome Procrastination