Work life balance

Life-hacks

Ever wonder how some people manage to succeed despite all odds? They have kids, have an active home life, the same set of errands as the rest of us, yet they achieve much more with their time. How is it possible?

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Life-hacks! They have help.

I always knew that most executives have a lot of help managing their home and professional life. What I didn’t realize is how easily I could implement it for myself too. It became obvious to me when both of my coaches reiterated it over the last year.

Previously, all activities, goals and dreams would be me-dependent. That is if I had the time for it and decided to work on it, I would be disciplined enough to achieve it. But, if I didn’t have the time, that activity would get delayed and postponed to obscurity. Fall of the wagon. Not get done.

There are so many things that did not get done because of that. Awards and speaking opportunities I didn’t have the time to apply for. Writing and reading that I didn’t do. Meetups that I have had to cancel because I had work/errands to do over the weekend. So, have you, right?

Here are 3 life hacks I implemented late last year. They have helped me, and I hope they help you too.

Virtual assistant

Getting a virtual assistant seemed unnecessary to me previously. I thought, who am I to have an assistant? However, when my book publication neared, and my work life started getting busier and busier, I realized I simply did not have the time to give all my goals a 100%. I needed help. After a few months, I found a wonderful virtual assistant who helps with social media posts, email organization, marketing my first book and data collection for my second book. We do a ½ hour weekly check in to go over tasks and questions. She reminds me of important things I need to do. I mentor her on her career goals. This way it remains a win-win.

Cook

Having someone come home and cook also seemed like a frivolous expenditure. It became hard for me to justify it since it is just the two of us at home. Why couldn’t we manage all our errands ourselves? It turns out however, that this help is worth its weight in gold.

Our cook comes home once a week and spends two hours preparing meals that would last us at least 4 days. She prepares a healthy, balanced Indian diet which includes fresh rotis! If my husband and I would have to do all of this ourselves, we would never find time to exercise, read, write, or work on our hobbies. Plus, neither of us grew up cooking daily. It is an errand we are not efficient with. What takes Aunty 2 hours would have easily taken us both 3x of that. This small change has given us the gift of time and I don’t see how we would go back from here.

Sleep

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

Sleep is the most important source of energy in life. Even as teenagers and young adults, it is crucial to get enough sleep. I used to think I could sleep at 12 AM and still feel fresh in the morning at 6 AM, but now that I’m in my 30s, I can’t do that anymore. We need to sleep at least 7-9 hours to feel rested and refreshed. Getting enough REM sleep helps problem solve and develop critical thinking skills in our waking hours. The book, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is a great way to learn about our sleep cycles.  

Trying to change habits around sleep is challenging because it requires you to change certain activities you do in the evening. That’s a lot to change!

One such activity is watching TV while having dinner. Did you know that on average, most American’s watch up to 4 hours of television per day? Its alarming to note how addictive binge-watching television can be. It’s time we will never get back and the value-add to our lives might be minimal at most.  

One small change I made recently, in order to get more sleep, was change the direction of the sofas in our living room. Instead of having them face the television, they now face each other. We were inspired to do this after listening to James Clear on Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast. Making this simple change has led us to break the habit of watching TV while having our dinner, saving at least an hour in the process. Now, we can eat dinner while talking to each other and still have time to read or work on our hobbies after the meal is over. And, we can go to sleep earlier!

Do you have any life-hacks that you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!

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