Always being on the go isn’t an easy task, especially when you have a million things to do, a family to feed, deadlines to fulfill at work, etc. Imagine a world where both work and your personal life can meet and negotiate a way for you to put this constant tug-of-war at ease. I am going to share some tips to help ease some of the stress and anxiety.
Let’s first define work-life balance. According to the Business Dictionary, work-life balance is, “a comfortable state of equilibrium achieved between an employee’s primary priorities of their employment position and their private lifestyle.” What the root of this definition is trying to get to is that work-life balance is not a break from one world to be able to enjoy the other. Nowadays with telecommuting being available, those breaks are unheard of. Instead, it’s trying to grasp at the fact that work-life balance is about being able to prioritize and evenly distribute your time both at work and with your personal responsibilities. Now let’s get into those tips.
- Learn how to say no when you know that there is absolutely no way that you can give your undivided attention to the task or responsibility. You can’t spread yourself thin all the time; if you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you need some guidance on how to say no without saying no, check out my team member Jen Rutledge’s blog post for some more insight. How to Say No Without Saying No
- Take the time to prioritize your day. Write down the most critical things that need to be done for the day, those are the tasks that need to be marked complete. Instead of making a list of ten things that need to be done, try making a list of three to five that you know can absolutely be done. By achieving those goals, your motivation will be lifted, and you will be ready to take on the next day’s tasks. From there, create a plan or set of goals for your bigger objectives that are longer term and lay out a process on how you are going to get there, whether it’s a quarter, a year, or five years. By doing this, you are holding yourself accountable to your aspirations.
- Unplug when you are not on company time. It’s hard to not bring work home with you, especially with all the technological advances. Our phones are constantly with us, but we have the power to shut them off. When you are home, make the point to make quality time. This can be waiting to respond to an email from your boss until the next day if you know it can wait, putting your phone away when having dinner with your family, or simply just closing the computer to spend some time by yourself. By taking the time to end your workday, you will not only be able to enjoy your personal life more, but you’ll feel more revived coming back to work the next day with your new set of tasks.
- Limit activities that are a waste of time. To do this, start by creating a list of the most important things in your life, and set boundaries for each one. This may differ from person to person; however, the goal is the same — devoting true quality time to the activity at hand. By doing so, you can see how you’re spending your time, who you’re spending your time with, and you can drop things from your schedule that aren’t important. A great tool to help with this is getting an app to help minimize the amount of time that you’re spending on your phone and browsing the Internet.
- Make an effort to schedule time for fun and relaxation. This is critical to function in our day-to-day lives. This could be setting aside an hour a day to participate in an activity you love, working out, going to yoga, dancing, or taking up a new hobby. These are all things that help us take our minds off the constant grind of deadlines and responsibilities. It’s ok to have fun once in a while.
Overall, work-life balance is a day-to-day effort that is comprised of YOU making the time and putting in the effort to achieve it. I hope these tips are helpful in your journey.