Finding Harmony: Creating a Work-Life-Fitness Balance

by | Nov 13, 2023

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Does creating a work-life-fitness balance seem daunting? Is balance even possible?

Being a mom is a full-time job in itself, and when you add work, family, and exercise into the mix, life can quickly become overwhelming. Finding the right balance can be challenging, but with effective time management systems in place, you can reclaim your time and reduce stress. Here we’ll explore various time management strategies and tools that can help moms successfully manage their busy lives, from professional and personal responsibilities to self-care and nourishment.

The very first step to creating a work-life-fitness balance

Define Your Priorities!

The first step in creating a work-life-fitness balance is to identify your priorities. Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you. What are your career goals, family needs, and personal fitness aspirations? By understanding your priorities, you can make informed decisions about how to allocate your time and energy. A good practice to figuring this out is to ask “why?” five times until you get to the very root of your intentions.

The word “balance” easily gets a bad rap, but in a world where we want to do all the things and have even more coming at us that we feel pressured to take on, figuring out where the natural ebbs and flows are for us individually is important. I talk about my personal experience in creating a work-life-fitness balance for myself in an interview you can read here.

Time management strategies for creating a work-life-fitness balance

Create a Weekly Schedule

Once you know your priorities, create a weekly schedule that allocates specific time blocks to each one. Consider using digital tools like Google Calendar, Trello, or a physical planner (Simplified has been my go-to favorite for over a decade now) to help you organize your time efficiently. A well-structured schedule will provide a visual representation of your commitments, making it easier to spot available time slots for exercise and family activities.

By committing to these time blocks, you ensure that none of these areas gets neglected. Remember to be flexible and adapt your schedule as needed, but stick to your commitments as closely as possible.

A weekly schedule should also have room for margin. Set your rest time like you would anything else and protect that time just as you would any other task.

Embrace Time Management Techniques

Effective time management techniques can significantly aid your efforts to balance work, life, and fitness. Consider using strategies such as time blocking, to-do lists, and setting clear boundaries to optimize your productivity and avoid overextending yourself.

Time Blocking

Time blocking is a powerful time management technique that involves dedicating specific blocks of time to particular tasks or activities. For moms juggling multiple responsibilities, this approach can be a game-changer. Set aside specific time blocks for work, family, and exercise, and stick to them as closely as possible. This prevents the blurring of boundaries between these essential aspects of your life.

28 Day Cycle vs 24 Hour

Working within the female’s natural 28 day cycle vs the standard 24 hour cycle can also be a game changer. By understanding when you have more energy, more need for nutrition, more capacity for what you’re trying to take on, you can be less hard on yourself, make better use of time, and still have space for rest.

Creating a work-life-fitness balance that is in sync with our bodies natural rhythms opens us up to a whole new freedom and way of operating. An excellent book that covers this topic is Do Less by Kate Northrup. I also have a couple blogs on optimizing fitness utilizing our 28 day cycle that can be found here and here.

Other strategies for creating work-life-fitness balance

Seek Support

You don’t have to do it all on your own. Don’t hesitate to seek support from your family, friends, or colleagues. Communicate your goals and challenges to them and ask for assistance when needed. Having a support system can make creating a work-life-fitness balance much more manageable.

Delegate and Outsource

Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks whenever possible. Whether it’s assigning chores to your kids, hiring help for household tasks, or collaborating with your partner, delegating responsibilities can free up your time for work, family, and exercise. Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Part of creating a work-life-fitness balance is knowing when to take things on and when to let go.

Make Efficient Use of Breaks

Moms often find themselves with short breaks throughout the day. Use these moments wisely. During your lunch break or when the kids are napping, engage in a quick workout or attend to personal tasks. By making efficient use of these precious minutes, you can maintain your exercise routine without sacrificing other priorities.

While we can very easily waste time in little pockets throughout the day, we also want to make sure that we aren’t going so nonstop we don’t have a minute to breathe. While I am not a fan of multitasking, I am a fan of using your time efficiently so you can have margin in your day.

If you can do one task better at a certain time of day, don’t do it right now just because you want it done. The morning school rush may not be the best time to also try to workout or prep meals for the day. Where else can you fit those tasks in so that your day is not overloaded or overwhelming?

Making efficient use of breaks is also knowing when to act then and when to slow down and lean into the space at hand. Creating a work-life-fitness balance also needs to account for time to rest, recharge, and restore our bodies and our minds.

Set Realistic Goals

Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. It’s essential to set achievable goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed. While it’s great to want to do all the things, it’s equally important to recognize your limitations. Set specific, realistic goals for work, family, and exercise to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Unrealistic expectations can lead to stress and frustration. Break your goals into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your achievements along the way.

You do not have to do it all. Just because it is on Pinterest doesn’t mean you’re failing if you can’t create activities and meals and memories that are picture perfect. Do what works for you, your family, your values, and your energy.

Combine Activities

Honestly, I hate multitasking. It’s not effective, it distracts us from being present. It makes tasks take even longer to complete. But there is something to be said for bringing things together in a harmonious way. Engage your kids in your workouts. Invite them in to make meals with you. Turn on music and have a dance party while you make dinner.

Look for opportunities to merge work, life, and fitness. Integrating these aspects of your life can save time and make your efforts more sustainable.

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Your physical and mental well-being should be at the top of your priority list. While many moms continue to pour from empty cups every day, it is not sustainable or healthy. Make time for exercise, adequate sleep, and relaxation. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges that come your way, both at work and in your personal life.

Self care is another one of those words like multitasking that I just dislike because of what society has turned it into. Self care is not bubble baths and manicures. Self care is how you show up for yourself each and every day in a way that supports your own optimal well being and success.

Lack of self care and prioritizing one self is the number one cause of chronic stress, which over time leads to chronic disease and illness. We MUST take care of ourselves to be our best selves and give our best to our family and our lives. I’ll even go as far to say that creating a work-life-fitness balance needs to be viewed as an act of self care not as a way to take care of everyone else.

Learn to Say No

As a mom, you may often be asked to take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Learning to say no gracefully is essential for maintaining your sanity and preserving your valuable time. Prioritize what truly matters, and politely decline additional commitments that don’t align with your goals.

One reason we are so overstimulated, overburdened, and worn out as women is because we have a condition I call “yesitis.” We feel a chronic need to say yes to everything all the time, even if we really want to say no, or we want to say yes but have no more capacity left to add more to our plates.

A good strategy for combating yesitis is to think “is this a absolutely, positively, without a doubt YES?” If not, start with no. You can always revisit later if you find margin. But backpedaling a yes into a no is significantly more challenging that moving from a no to a “now I can.”

Saying “no” is a skill that can help you maintain balance. It’s essential to recognize your limitations and decline additional commitments that could disrupt your equilibrium. Politely declining tasks or responsibilities that don’t align with your priorities allows you to focus on what truly matters.

Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

Creating a work-life-fitness balance and maintaining it is ongoing process. There will be days when things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself and avoid self-criticism. Embrace imperfections and keep adjusting your approach as needed. Remember that balance is not about perfection; it’s about making continuous efforts to prioritize what matters most. Self compassion is the ultimate form of self care and ensuring whole body health and balance.

Creating a work-life-fitness balance is a journey that requires dedication, self-awareness, and smart time management. By defining your priorities, setting realistic goals, and maintaining a well-structured schedule, you can successfully harmonize your professional life, personal life, and fitness goals.

Prioritizing self-care and learning to say no are essential components of this balance, as is seeking support from your community. Your well-being is essential, and by taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your family and excel in your work. Above all, remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate this path toward a healthier, more balanced life.

Further resources for creating a work-life-fitness balance

Hi, I’m Stephanie! I help everyday active women nourish their goals and fuel their lives.

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