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How I Balance Work, Home, and Social Lives

Maintaining a balance between all aspects of your life can be a tricky thing to accomplish.  I know that I have many different compartments of life that all have to work together to keep me sane.  Here's how I do it.

Scheduling

It sounds like an obvious solution, and it is.  But I create and maintain an updated calendar at all times.  Once it's in place, I do my best to adhere to it.  Obviously, some days work better than others, and that's ok.  Give yourself the freedom to be flexible when necessary.

I break my day into 30-minute slots, then block out what I'm going to do at any particular time.  I'm still flexible when I can be.  For example, if my lunch ran over the hour I allotted for it, that would be ok.  There are certain immobile items, like work or specific appointments.  Those are pretty much set in stone.  

Flexibility

If something happens and I can't accomplish something I wanted to, then I simply reschedule it.  The key is to not beat yourself up over these things.  Life happens!  

There are so many things that we can't predict.  Maybe traffic is really bad one day and it doubles your commuting time.  Maybe that thing you scheduled one hour to finish takes closer to three hours.  These are things that you really have very little control over.  Allow yourself some flexibility and tell yourself that it will be ok.  Yes, it's scheduled, but it's not law!

Breathing Room

Lastly, the thing I find most important is what I call Breathing Room.  I often leave slots open for me to do whatever I feel like doing at that time.  Maybe it's sit on the couch and watch television, or reading a book, or chatting on the phone.  Those are times when I can just relax and do nothing.  I've found that having this mental break is a lifesaver, and very necessary for me to maintain my sanity.  

How do you manage to balance work and home lives?