Working, family care, household duties, exercising, and going to social events … striking a work-life balance takes practice and patience. While we can do it all, juggling back-to-back commitments all day isn’t sustainable long-term. If you’re constantly feeling overstretched, then your first thought might be to cut back. Luckily, that’s not always necessary. Instead, consider making minor adjustments to your day. After trying numerous tactics ourselves to avoid burning the candle at both ends, these are the tips we have come up with to save time and live each day more freely and fearlessly.

Track Where Your Time is Spent

First things first: where is all of your time going? If you reach the end of the day and don’t know where the hours went, then it might be time to slow down and consider what you’re spending time on. Often, we don’t realize how much time we spend picking out clothes in the morning or talking with colleagues in the office or mindlessly scrolling the internet. We recommend taking a couple of days to write down everything you do from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. If you would like an easier method than pen to paper, then try using Toggl, which logs time exactly. You will likely learn about some things on which you spend needless time. These “time sinks” can be pared down to make for a better, less crunched day.

Wake Up A Little Earlier

Setting the tone of your day on the right note is essential. When you wake up early, you don’t feel as rushed and have some time to yourself in the mornings to prepare for your day. The act of waking up slowly--rather than in a hurry to get going--will actually save you time in the long run and you’ll have a better mindset for the day. When you’re stressed and late, you’re more likely to make mistakes and lose precious time fixing them.

Master the Art of Saying ‘No’

We all know how difficult it can be to turn down invitations to social gatherings, events and happy hours, but if you’re starting to feel exhausted all the time, it’s time to start saying ‘no.’ You’re not going to enjoy an event when you’re tired and overworked, so do yourself a big favor by resting at home instead. There will always be more events to attend.

Put Your Phone Away

Every time your phone buzzes, it is an instant distraction that brings you away from your work. Once your focus is disrupted, it takes time to get back into the flow of work. Even when your phone isn’t making a sound, just having it in your line of sight can be a distraction as it can tempt you to check whether you have notifications for social media, emails, etc. We constantly feel the need to check our phones and it’s a huge time waster during a busy day. So try locking your phone in a drawer for an hour or two.

Women working at a laptop

Focus On One Thing At a Time

Many of us are master multi-taskers but juggling a lot of different tasks isn’t actually saving us time. In fact, it can pave the way for more distractions. Before you know it, hours have passed and you haven't done anything that you actually needed to get done. To help you focus, write down the one task you’re working on and don’t let anything else distract you for at least 45 minutes. After that time, set the task aside and move on to something else.

Make Time for Family and Yourself

It’s not the hours you spend, but the quality. Being with your family for two hours while doing laundry (and texting and and and . . .) is not the same as spending 45 minutes truly present without multi-tasking. Whether it’s sitting down to play a favorite game with your kids, going on a family walk or making dinner together, being present can do wonders for making you feel connected with your family.

Scheduling regular “me time” is a great way to refocus when there’s so much going on. It’s easy to put off time for yourself, but allowing yourself the luxury of winding down with a luxurious bath, reading a good book, taking a walk or listening to a podcast are all ways you can recharge so you feel rested, reinvigorated and your best self for family, work, and all the commitments in between.

Need some easy ideas for pampering yourself? We’ve got some wellness tips that are perfect for that “me time” you’ve been needing.