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How To Achieve Work-Life Balance With Your Journal [13 Ways]

Is there anything worse than being stuck inside working, watching summer life happen through your open window?

You want to be outside, in the park with your friends. But instead you’re at your desk, staring at the screen, counting down the minutes until you can step out that door…

Well, let’s try and get you there a bit quicker. This is how to achieve work-life balance, with your journal.

Woman lying on a flamingo inflatable in the ocean

1. Use your journal to figure out what work-life balance looks like for you

Work-life balance is different for everyone. For some of you, it might mean being able to pick your kids up from school each day. For others, it’s having the time to read your book in the garden a few times a week. Or maybe it’s simply more sleep and less stress.

Whatever work-life balance looks like for you, the important thing is that you’re able to recognise it. Use your journal to define your work-life balance goal so you know what you’re aiming for.

Bonus: if it’s a feeling, use your mood tracker to monitor it. If it’s being able to do things, use your habit tracker to assess your progress.

2. Track your energetic peaks and troughs

Some of us are super productive first thing in the morning. Others are night owls, with inspiration only arriving once everyone else has gone to bed.

If you’re going to welcome more balance into your life, you need to be working at the times you’re most productive.

Use your journal to track the times you feel most focused (and the times you don’t). That way, you’ll be able to schedule in your breaks, and a bit more “life time”, at the moments you need to rest the most.

3. Add a theme to your schedule

In the same way, you might find that you’re more creative in the mornings. Whilst your afternoons are best served for administrative tasks that require a little less brain power. Or, you might be the other way around!

Use your journal to group your tasks, adding them into your schedule at the times you’ll feel the most ready to tackle them.

4. Create a realistic schedule

It should go without saying: if you’re trying to do too much, you’re always going to be disappointed.

This is the oldest tip in the book. And yet we all still get over-zealous with our to-do lists, adding in just “one more task” to a mountain that’s already impossible to climb.

Use your journal to monitor your to-do list each day. Are you constantly missing those magic check marks? That’s your cue to aim a little lower and be a bit kinder to yourself.

An open journal showing a colourful daily schedule

5. Write down your distractions

Whilst we want you to welcome more balance into your life, we also want to help you get your work done quicker. Because when your work’s done, you can dive straight into the things you enjoy!

Use your journal to write down your distractions. Each time you pick up your phone, open a new tab, wander off to stare aimlessly into the fridge… write it down.

That way, you can track what’s causing your distractions and when it happens. It might be your cue to take a few more breaks throughout your day (because yes, breaks make you more productive).

6. Connect your daily tasks with your big picture goals

You’ve written your goals in your journal, right? Now you want to make sure your daily tasks match those goals.

If they don’t, take them off your list. They’re not moving you forward in the right direction, so they don’t belong there.

Use your journal to break your big picture goals into smaller milestones. Then, break those milestones into tasks. The Power of 3 method will help you with this.

7. Learn your productivity hacks

We all have things that help us get more stuff done. Noise-cancelling headphones, that perfect playlist, the piping hot coffee, the extra comfy outfit…

Use your journal to keep track of the things that help you get in the zone for work. That way, they’re easy to reference when you need a little extra focus.

8. Schedule in the things that bring you joy

It’s so easy to say “yes” to everyone else. But how often do you say “yes” to yourself?

It’s time to turn your happy hobbies into non-negotiables in your diary. Use your journal to write moments of joy into your schedule and add why this time is important to you. That way, you’ll be a little more likely to stick to it.

A hand holding up an open book, with blue sky in the background

9. Separate must-dos from nice-to-dos

There are some things that you have to get done each day. Your boss is waiting on them, there’s no getting around it.

But then there’s the nice-to-dos. The things that you’d like to get ticked off your list, but could wait one more day.

Use your journal to separate the must-dos from the nice-to-dos. So, when your friends come calling and there are just a couple of things left on your list, you’ll know what to do.

10. Start a vault of boundaries scripts

One thing that’s bound to mess up your work-life balance plans is saying “yes” to people when you need to be saying “no”.

When they ask for that evening meeting. When they add another project to your Trello board. When they ask if you’ll be checking your emails on holiday. Use your journal to write down your favourite boundaries scripts for every situation.

Bonus: if you need some ideas for your scripts, you’re going to want to check this creator out.

11. Create personal goals as well as work goals

When you’re trying to add more balance to your life, it can help to think of your life as a whole (rather than “work” and “life” as two separate things).

Use your journal to flesh out your personal goals. By having both work and personal goals, you’ll be able to see how one goal supports the other as you start to grow in the right direction.

Undated goal planner showing goals being ticked off

12. Make a list of creative break ideas

Achieving work-life balance isn’t just about working less. It helps to find ways to make work a little more fun.

Use your journal to make a list of creative break ideas. Whether it’s dancing in the living room, walking to your favourite cafe for a flat white or spending 30 minutes trying out some new fonts, adding the things you love to your working days brings a whole lot more joy your way!

13. Monitor your emotions throughout the week

You might have balance in how you’re spending your time, but what about in how you’re spending your emotions?

If your mind is always consumed with an upcoming project, stressing about feedback at work or trying to figure out a problem, your energy is going to be drained.

Use your journal to monitor your emotions throughout the week. When it looks like balance but doesn’t feel like it, dive a little deeper into what’s really going on.

Your work-life balance is unique to you and how you achieve it is too. Use these tips to get you started and find a journal that feels flexible enough to help you achieve that happy medium. Good luck!

Plan for balance, with the Power of 3