Reading Length: 6 minutes
“Work-life balance.” This word seems extinct in a world that is constantly pressuring us to hustle, grind and work. In school, we’re overwhelmed with endless assignments, exam dates, jobs and expected to still “have a life.” After graduating from school, we’re then expected to quickly search for a decent or high paying job and work long hours. We’re always expected to hustle and work or else we’ll be considered the losers of society. So how do we find balance and time to “have a life?” What does that even mean?
After a lot of fun burn out sessions and crying, I’ve finally figured out how to get my life together in all of the life’s mess. I’ve learned to prioritize what really matters to me in life. Not money, reputation or success. But happiness. As a chronic workaholic, I’ve constantly neglected my health, family and friends. Which makes me wonder, how do I still have friends? But when we’re neglecting a certain part of our life, not only do we suffer but those who care about us do too. So I’ll share with you guys the one habit that has been helping me establish a better work-life balance.
The One Habit You Need
The one habit we need is to regularly review our life. Yes, this sounds simple but I will go more in depth about this. Maybe you’ve seen this wheel before. It’s known as the wheel of life. No, not the game. Real life ain’t as fun, sadly. This wheel serves as a guide to reflecting on all your life’s areas.
There’s so many different wheels available online. But the one I’m sharing with you here is divided into 5 categories: personal growth, work, finance, health, and relationships. Let’s get into the steps of how to use this wheel.
Step 1: Choose a specific day and time every week to review your life.
Reserve just maybe 1 hour of the week to review your life balance wheel. I personally do this on a Sunday at 5pm before the week starts. It doesn’t have to be that same exact day for you. Figure out what day and time works best for you. Ideally, choose a time when you’re less likely to be interrupted or feel overwhelmed. For most students, maybe a Sunday night is too overwhelming since that’s blocked off for some Sunday night cramming and internal dying. So figure out what day and time works best for you. Time block these review sessions on your calendar or set a reminder for yourself.
Step 2: Personalize and design your wheel.
Brainstorm what are all your most important life areas. Like I said before, it doesn’t have to be exactly the one I showed you. That’s the general one that most people use. You may add or remove some categories if you wish. For example, my life areas are: Health, Family, Friends and Other Relationships, Work, Finances, Spirituality, Hobbies, Spanish, and YouTube and Blogging.
Step 3: Reflect on your current life.
This is the time when you got to be brutally honest about your life. On a scale of 1-10, give yourself a rating for each life category. I know how painful this step could be but it’s very important to be truthful in order to get an accurate assessment. I highly doubt you’re going to score a 10 on every single life category. This is where us perfectionist need to suffer. Here are a few questions for you to reflect on to help you figure out your rating.
Step 4: Take action now!
After giving yourself a rating, now you know which part of your life you are seriously neglecting! Once you’ve figured out which category you’ve scored lower on, now you know what your agenda for this week will be. You can write up some specific action steps you should take to work on that category.
Here are some example action steps to help you get started:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes for 3-5 times.
- Drink 9 cups of water (women) / 12 cups of water (men) a day.
- Eat fruits and vegetables everyday.
- Cut down on unhealthy eating habits like junk food and processed fats.
- Take vitamins everyday.
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
- Engage in an activity with loved ones.
- Spend time with close friends and loved ones.
- Do something special for loved ones.
- Expand social circle by meeting someone new.
- Keep track of my expenses.
- Save 10-20% of my income.
- Save $1000 dollars.
- Spend money on things that are only valuable long term.
WORK & CAREER & SCHOOL
- Learn something new and make progress.
- Focus and be productive for at least 60-90 minutes.
- Learn something new everyday.
- Make progress in goals.
- Journal everyday.
- Listen to an inspirational podcast or audiobook everyday.
- Do something out of your comfort zone.
HOBBIES & LEISURE
- Engage in a past time activity that brings peace and fulfillment.
- Practice self care for 10 minutes daily.
- Take regular breaks from work.
Step 5: Reflect every week.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. I’ll keep saying that until we’re all sick of it. Don’t just do this once and forget about it. I know that life can get in the way but I can’t stress how much consistency matters in any good habit established. Besides, it’s not a habit unless you do it consistently. Stick with your set date and time of reflecting on your life balance wheel.
Optional Step (If you’re an extra person like me).
If you want to take it a step further, you can consider transferring your wheel and action steps to an excel sheet. Arrange it by your life categories and then write up the action steps underneath the categories. Feel free to edit it based on your own categories.
- The One Habit You Need. This is to regularly review your life using a life balance wheel to reflect on all your important life areas.
- Step 1: Choose a specific time and day every week to review your life. Reserve at least one hour of your week to do this. Choose a time when you’re less likely to be interrupted or feel overwhelmed.
- Step 2: Personalize and design your wheel. Brainstorm all your important life areas you want to track. It does not have to be the exact one I showed you earlier.
- Step 3: Reflect on your current life. On a scale of 1-10 , give yourself a rating for each life category.
- Step 4: Take action now! Write up specific action steps for the week on a life area that you have been neglecting or scored lower on.
- Step 5: Reflect every week. Stick with your set date and time every week. Consistency matters!
- Optional Step: Transfer the wheel to an excel sheet. Arrange it by your life categories and then write up the action steps underneath the categories.
I know that this habit itself can seem extra and time consuming at first. But it’s truly worth it to really start getting a better work-life balance. Don’t you think it’s worth it to just reserve one hour of your week to make your life much better? We pay more attention to what we measure. If we’re measuring our life, well, that’s what we pay attention to! I’ve also posted the wheel of life templates, checklist and worksheets for you to download below. Hope it is helpful for you!
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