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The Perfect Work-Life Balance Starts With Saying No

Some simple strategies to navigate our complicated lives.

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We want the best of both worlds. We want to have an important job, make good money, and also have relaxed weekends and the flexibility to go on vacation once in a while. But what happens when all of those things collide? Here are some strategies I've found that allow you to find a healthy work-life balance.

1. It's ok to say no

Saying no is a learned skill, and it can be hard to start practicing it. But once you get into the habit of saying "no" when you need to, your life will be much easier.

If you're always on the go, it's easy to feel you have to say yes to everything that comes your way—but that's not necessarily the best thing for your mental well-being. You don't want to burn out, right? So try saying no when someone asks you to do something outside of your comfort zone or if it would take away from an important family event or project.

Related: 10 Leaders Who Set Good Work-Life Balance Examples

You should also ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable in terms of time and effort required; otherwise, they might be more stressful than helpful!

2. Set realistic goals

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives, but it's important to make time for ourselves. After all, the only way we'll be able to find time for what matters most is if we can set aside those things that don't matter. So take a step back and think about what you want out of your life—not just in terms of career or family, but also in terms of personal growth and enjoyment. Then take some time each day (or at least once a week) to do something that helps you get closer to those goals.

It could be something as simple as taking an extra hour during lunch or doing yoga in the morning before work. Whatever it is, make sure it's something that helps you feel more fulfilled and less stressed out about life!

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

3. Try to make your calendar work for you

By now, you know that the best way to get organized is by making a calendar. It's true! So here's the thing: once you've made your calendar, it's time to start working with it.

Many people think calendars are just for scheduling things like meetings, but they can actually be so much more than that. The key to finding the perfect work-life balance is scheduling your fun.

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget about taking time for yourself. But you have to make time for what makes you happy. If you don't, you'll burn out before you know it.

Take a few minutes at the end of every day to think about what made you smile that day or what will make you smile tomorrow. Then set aside time for that activity as soon as possible. You'll be much happier in the long run—and so will everyone around you!

It might seem silly at first, but it'll help keep you focused on what matters most to you in life—and that's always a good thing.

4. Stay connected to your friends and family

When you're feeling disconnected from your family and friends, it's time to take a step back and reconnect.

If you've been working on a new project for a week straight and don't feel like talking to anyone, take a break! Shut down your computer, put away your phone, and pick up a good book. Reading can be an amazing way to get in touch with yourself and what makes you happy (and it's also just really fun).

If you feel like you need to talk to someone but don't want to call or text, try sending an email instead. It's a great way to express yourself without having the pressure of speaking out loud or worrying about whether or not they'll respond right away!

Related: Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible? (Infographic)

5. Take time out of your day to exercise

Exercise is a great way to clear your mind and feel better about yourself, but if you don't have the time or energy to make it happen, you might be tempted to skip this step. But here's the thing: when it comes to living a balanced life, exercise can be one of the easiest things to squeeze into your routine—even if it's just for 15 minutes at a time.

Whether it's a quick walk around the block or even just a few minutes of stretching at your desk, taking time for yourself will help you feel more energized and relaxed throughout the day. Plus, when you're able to take care of yourself physically, it will give you more energy and motivation to take care of yourself emotionally as well!

6. Get plenty of rest each night

You know what they say: "early to bed, early to rise," or something like that.

The point is, for your body and mind to function at their best, you need to give them time to rest. It's important not just for your mental —you might feel better and more energetic when you get up if you've slept enough—but also for your physical health. helps keep your immune system strong and prepares the body for the next day. So try and get at least eight hours of sleep each night!

7. Outsource where you can

If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's time to get outside help.

Don't worry about what other people will think of you—outsourcing is a great way to get more done without spending more time. There are tons of companies out there that can do everything from bookkeeping and data entry to research and writing for you—and if you need help getting started, we have a list of vetted companies on our website!

We need more than just a good salary and benefits from a job

It's also good to remember that you aren't simply a "work drone," and your job isn't the only thing in your life. So don't be afraid to find a balance that enables you to pursue other passions. You never know—taking the time to nurture other areas of your life might just lead to more fulfilling work.

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