guest post | Can’t Keep Up? Five Steps to Simplify Your Work/Life Balance

today we have a fabulous guest post from a new 'biz buddy' i have been fortunate enough to meet online. Xin Gu is a personal coach, helping people to overcome mindsets and create a path to success.

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You have a business, family, social life, inner life… Mompreneurs like you know just how hard it is to juggle it all. If you Google “Work/Life Balance,” you will find scores of tips on how to simplify your life. So much is written on the topic because it is so hard to do!

The problem with not keeping tabs on work/life balance is that one side will invariably falter, or worse, both. 

Before I offer help on the subject, take a moment to appreciate the fact that you are dealing with big dilemma that’s tough to solve. Way to fight the good fight!

I know the last thing you need to achieve work/life balance is more fluffy tips that sound great in theory, but don’t actually create change. Instead, here’s a proven system you can use to tackle this whole issue once and for all.

Step 1: Establish your criteria.

By circumstance and personal choice, we all have different priorities. What’s important to you? List your top five priorities in order of importance now.

Read your list and recognize that this list represents what you really want.

Step 2: Track your time.

Now that we know what you want, let’s see how your behavior supports these wants.

Record your activities every half hour in a small notebook for a week. Then view your activities as a whole when you’re done. Load the information into a spreadsheet like this one here. This activity log will give you a true understanding of how you are really spending your time.

Step 3: Analyze.

Looking at your activity log, assess which of your actions aligned with your top priorities, and how much time you spent focusing on them. Next, assess which actions fell into the “other” category, and how much time you spent focusing on them.

You now get to make a decision: How do I actually want to spend my time relative to my priorities? Generate a firm answer now, keeping in mind which activities are most meaningful to you.

Step 4: Plan.

Using the insights gathered from the previous step, schedule your next week’s activities. Schedule activities related to your priorities during time slots when you are most alert and able to focus. Limit and handle activities that don’t fit into your priorities during the non-critical time slots.

Step 5: Try it out.

Try out your new schedule for a whole week. When you come across kinks, refine your schedule, but stick to it. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to focusing on your most important priorities, which is key to finally striking that elusive work/life balance we all desire.

Here’s to an even-keeled 2012!

do you have any strategies for managing your work/life balance? add them to the comments below. remember: you are the boss of your biz. so be the boss of your time! (click here to tweet that.)

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Performance Coach Xin Gu helps clients remove their mental blocks, align closely with their ambitions and achieve success. She puts you in a capable, active and resilient mindset, and teaches you to be an effective high performer. To learn more about optimizing your inner achiever via Xin's eCourses and private services, visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter Cut to the Chase.