- June 30, 2019
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Happiness
Enjoying good work-life balance is important if you want to live a life that is enjoyable and fulfilling.
However, it can often feel difficult to get the balance right.
This article will explain the importance of work-life balance and share several essential tips for living a well balanced life.
Why work-life balance matters?
Here are just a few reasons of the reasons why you should strive for good work-life balance:
Not having enough time to get all of your work done or not being able to spend much time with your family can lead to chronic stress.
It is a very dangerous condition that can impact your physical and mental health, increasing the risk of several illnesses including anxiety, depression, obesity, and diabetes.
When you have the right work-life balanced, your stress levels will plummet.
You will feel more in control of your life and will have sufficient time available for the things that truly really matter in your life.
Researchers have discovered that employees with a good work-life balance are much more productive.
One study found that people happy with their work-life balance worked 21% harder than those that were not.
Having time to enjoy a busy social life will give you additional energy and momentum throughout the work day.
Good work-life balance is essential for maintaining good health as it ensures you have enough time to eat well, exercise, and relax.
Good work-life balance also looks after your mental health, ensuring you don’t suffer from burn out, which might lead to dangerous illnesses like depression or anxiety.
A more enjoyable life
Good work-life balance means you have the time to develop your career and enjoy the many great things that exist in the world.
It means you have time to take up multiple hobbies, enjoy fruitful relationships, read more books, watch great movies, go to concerts and much more.
But it also means you have allotted enough time to develop your professional skills and become great at your job.
When you live this way, all of life becomes more enjoyable and your happiness levels will go through the roof.
Tips for maintaining a good work-life balance
Here are several essential tips that make obtaining good work-life balance much easier.
#1 – Identify your priorities
Start by defining the things that really matter in your life.
Common priorities for a balanced life include:
- Developing a successful career
- Spending plenty of time with the kids
- Catching up with friends every week
- Having some one-on-one time with your partner
- Maintaining fitness levels
- Making time to eat a healthy diet
- Reading a few chapters from your latest book
- Spending a few hours improving your skills
Create a list of these “essential” tasks.
This will help when you begin to prioritise your time each week.
Your goal is to “always” make time for these essential activities.
This list will also help you identify any non-essential tasks currently on your schedule which can be eliminated.
#2 – Set boundaries
One of the biggest impediments to obtaining good work-life balance is the demands placed on you by other people.
This could be a boss who constantly sends you text messages when you are at home or a relative who constantly asks for favours.
Set clear boundaries regarding what you are willing to do.
Tell your boss you can’t take his text messages unless it is an absolute emergency.
Explain to your relative that you don’t have time to pick up their shopping or run errands for them.
Avoid saying “yes” to any requests immediately.
Think about what they are asking then decide if you have the time available to help.
Think about what you would be sacrificing in order to help them.
If you don’t want to provide help, be polite but firm in your denial.
You may have to say no a few times before they finally get the message and learn to look after themselves (or find someone else to pester).
#3 – Leave the work at work
Make an effort to separate your work and home life.
Don’t answer work-related emails or phone calls while at home.
Do your best to keep your mind off work and concentrate on the activity and people in front of you.
Do whatever it takes to work out of your private life, even if it includes turning your phone or the Internet off.
One useful tip for separating work and home life is to use lists.
When the workday is over, write down any unfinished tasks which you will tackle the next day.
This can provide a sense of closure and prevent your mind from obsessing over these work-related tasks when you get home.
#4 – Work smarter
One of the common reasons why people suffer from a poor work-life balance is that they aren’t as productive as they could be.
While at work, they procrastinate or work slowly during certain times each day, which results in them working later or working from home.
Use some productivity hacks including:
- Create to-do lists for everything important in your life
- Working chunks using the Pomodoro technique
- Setting SMART goals
- Get into the habit of entering a state of “flow” (getting “in the zone”)
- Use a time management app like Todoist, Trello, or Wunderlist.
- Use site blockers to ban social media and other time-wasters during work hours
- Turn off automated distractions like smartphone and computer notifications
- Use templates for repeated tasks and automate tasks when possible
- Only check email during certain times
- Learn to say “no”
- Outsource and delegate
- Listen to music without lyrics while working for a productivity boost
By focussing on productivity, you could find another 2 or 3 hours in each day, which you can use to improve other aspects of your life.
#5 – Use habits to ensure life priorities are achieved
Habit creation is one of the best tools for ensuring your work-life balance remains healthy.
Start by taking another look at the life priorities you identified in tip #1.
See if any of those priorities can be turned into a habit.
Let’s say exercise is an essential life priority that you want to perform regularly.
For the next 66 days (how long it takes to form a life habit), get into your tracksuit and get your butt out the door at exactly 7am, or whenever you want to schedule your workout.
After the 66 days are up, that life priority is a part of your day-to-day life and skipping it will feel very uncomfortable.
You can use habits for all kinds of life priorities. If you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, make it a habit to have a good glass of wine and a “real” conversation (no smart phones or distractions) every afternoon when you get home. It will become your “new normal” and an important part of your work-life balance.
#6 – Stop trying to be perfect
Another common theme amongst people with poor work-life balance is the need to be perfect at everything.
This trait causes some time-constrained people to become fixated with mundane tasks.
It can also make it harder to separate work from the rest of your life.
Make an effort to give up the compulsion to be perfect.
You don’t need to hand in the world’s most extensively researched project or have a home that is impeccably clean.
Remember that enjoying your life is much more important.
Who cares if you don’t make your bed on a Sunday morning if it gives you more time to go for a walk with your family?
Enjoying a happy life should always be your #1 priority.
Thanks for reading Tips For Finding The Right Work-Life Balance.
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