Getting a balanced work-life equation is not an easy task, yet each one of us is trying our best to attain this balance, to maintain a strong physical, emotional and mental well-being but also to keep growing and improving in our professional career.
But let’s start with defining:
What is the work-life balance?
This term means simply the state of equilibrium that a person attains when he equally prioritizes the demands of his personal life and those of his career.
A poor work-life balance can be triggered by many reasons such as an increased number of responsibilities at work, long working hours, having children, and being a single or divorced parent, a huge number of responsibilities at home ….
When someone gets to ensure a good work-life balance, he can prevent many negative effects like chronic stress, the bore out sensation, the turnover, the risk of burn-out, depression, and many others.
That’s why companies who put their employee’s well-being first, can have fewer cases of absenteeism, and guarantee a more loyal, productive, and happy working force.
So here are 8 ways to create a better work-life balance:
Find a job that you love
Even if a job is an anticipated societal norm, yours doesn’t have to be restrained.
It is obvious if you hate what you do, you are going to be miserable, and your working hours will be plain, boring, and long. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in love with each aspect of your job, but it needs to be motivating and exciting enough to get you out of your bed each morning without feeling like you have been punished.
It will be better that you work in something that you are passionate about to be fully motivated and eager to surpass yourself in order to succeed.
Accept the fact that there is no perfect work-life balance
A perfect work-life balance where you have an extremely productive day, you leave early enough to spend the other part of your day in good company with your friends and family, is ideal but definitely not realistic.
Don’t push yourself to have a perfect plan for your day, but try to have a realistic and achievable plan.
On some days, you might strive to accomplish heavy tasks at your work and be very productive, but on other days you might have more energy and time to focus on your hobbies or just spend quality time with your loved ones.
The right balance is achievable over time, not each day. You only need to be flexible and open to assess and adjust your needs on any day.
Don’t be afraid to unplug
Sometimes you need to cut your ties with the outside world; this allows you to recover, restore your energy and have new ideas. Unplugging can simply mean practicing meditation, turning your devices off when you get out of your work… setting boundaries, and allowing yourself to escape from time to time.
This doesn’t mean that you need to travel or to do extreme stuff sometimes you can simply go for a tour, walk in nature or simply listen to good music…don’t forget to give yourself some breaks to decompress and recharge your battery…overworking and pushing yourself can lead you to a potential burn out.
Prioritize your health
Your physical, emotional, and mental condition should always remain your number one concern.
If you are collapsing under anxiety or depression try to get professional help and fit those sessions into your schedule. If you are sick or have a chronic illness, don’t be afraid and call in sick. Overworking yourself will not only prevent you from getting better but also push you to take more days off in the future.
Prioritizing your health will make you a better employee, happier, and more productive and this can be simply attainable with a daily exercise or meditation session.
Make time for your loved ones and yourself
Your job is certainly important, but it should never be your entire life.
Before taking in this position you were an individual that have a full life, a family, and hobbies …don’t forget those elements by making your work your only and most important priority.
No matter how chaotic your schedule might be, you have control of your time and life, always remember this.
When you plan your time with your family and loved ones, you can use a calendar to remind you of dates, important events, birthdays. It will help you be organized, spend quality time with them and avoid work-life conflicts. Even if your work keeps you busy, you should not neglect your personal relationships.
Realizing that no one at your work is going to love you the way your family does, or that everyone is replaceable no matter how important his job is, will always help you to draw the line and to know your priorities in life.
Set boundaries and limit your working hours
Setting boundaries for yourself will help you prevent burnout.
When you leave the office, avoid overthinking about your future projects, your next tasks, or answering your company emails.
Consider having a separate computer or phone work, so you can turn it off when you leave the office, if not possible use separate browsers, email addresses for work and personal life.
Set specific work hours and notify your team members and manager about boundaries beyond which you will not be accessible. This will help you proceed and ensure that they perfectly understand and respect your workplace limits.
Set goals and priorities and stick to them
Define some achievable goals that you are excited about, with respect to your health, career, and relationships.
Determine what are the most important tasks for attaining a healthy and fulfilling work-life balance. Try to have a productive day by using time management strategies, defining a realistic to-do list, and cutting out tasks that have no added value.
Identify the time when you are most productive and block it for your most important tasks. Avoid checking your email, or your social media account each 5 min this will diminish your attention and productivity, having a structured and well-organized day will allow you to relax outside of work.
Take a vacation
Sometimes, unplugging and taking sometimes for yourself means taking a good vacation and shutting off your work for a determined period. Whether your vacation consists of two days or a week it is important to take time off to physically and mentally recharge.
Don’t be afraid of losing the workflow or having to face a backlog of work when you return, the benefits of a long-deserved vacation outweigh the downsides.
With good planning and a well-organized schedule, you can take time away without burdening your colleagues with your tasks or having to face a huge amount of work when you came back.
Check our other tips and articles to have a successful career and ensure a balanced life.