8 min read
Since the world has transitioned to working from home, it has gotten easier to blur the line between your personal and professional life. As a result, finding a work-life balance can seem impossible.
Successful people are all over social media telling you to hustle and grind until you make it. So, is there any time left for personal care?
We'll discuss 13 work-life balance tips for productive days and restful nights.
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Before you learn how to find that perfect work-life balance, let's discuss what a work-life balance is. It can have various meanings. It means incorporating travel and work into daily life for some. For others, work-life balance means having time to enjoy meals with friends and family.
To define work-life balance for you, take a second and think about all the most critical aspects of your life. These aspects could include family, friends, vacations, climbing the corporate ladder, going on dates with your spouse, etc.
If you find yourself giving up too many or ALL of the facets you pictured in your head, you probably haven't found the right work-life balance.
The Importance of a Good Work-Life Balance
The human mind is excellent at focusing on small parts of a larger puzzle. When you compromise the things you value for your professional life, you'll spend more time fixating on what you gave up than what you earned.
It's an endless spiral that leads most people to a place of unhappiness. By finding a work-life balance, you can avoid this outcome altogether.
Besides, why should you shove a part of yourself aside when you don't have to? There are ways to have the best of both worlds, and navigating that sweet spot is vital.
Tips for Better Work-Life Balance
Reading this list isn't going to change your life overnight. But learning that is the most important part. Major changes including balancing your life and work take time and require you to START not just think about how nice it would be.
For example, if you want to travel the world and bring work with you, start researching businesses or freelancing opportunities that will allow you to do so. This might require further education or changing industries. But by taking action, it's totally possible.
Make a Schedule & Give Yourself Breaks
If you're burnt out, it can be challenging to accomplish anything. Set a reasonable schedule that gives you time to meet deadlines and enjoy your personal life to avoid this.
For example, let's say you work remotely in web design. Your company has assigned you three websites to code by the end of the day. You should set aside thirty minutes for breakfast and coffee to wake up and energize.
Then, you schedule an hour of looking over client preferences and planning color schemes and menu placements for each website. You include incremental breaks between each coding session and even take your dog for a walk during one. Maybe you incorporate yoga mid-day to destress.
Including these breaks and giving yourself time to think and process the day will leave you feeling much happier when work is over. Additionally, you're more productive during your work hours when you have these breaks rather than grind it out from sunrise to sunset.
Learn to Say "No"
It can be hard to choose between what you want and what you feel you have to do. It's human nature to please people, but sometimes you should prioritize yourself.
Maybe this means you refuse to take on that extra assignment your boss wants to add at the last minute or it might mean declining a social invitation that you don't feel enthusiastic about. In any case, you have to learn to fight your instinct to please and say "No" at the right times.
Do Not Over Commit
While on the subject of saying no, let's talk about over-committing. It can be tempting to take on a large project load to make more money, but everyone has a breaking point.
As deadlines approach, stress tends to come with them. This can lead to poorer work and may be counterproductive anyway. Instead, truly consider whether you have the ability to commit to a project or social engagement before saying yes.
During your consideration, you might be able to find some changes in your workflow or ways to switch tasks with colleagues to get more done. But try not too simply work more hours, pull all-nighters and/or eliminate breaks from your day.
Have a Set Space Solely for Work
If you're working from home, set a designated space only for work. This doesn't have to be a dedicated home office; it can be a small corner where you only do work and nothing else. This will allow you to have an "at the office" mindset and stay focused while in your workspace. But this will also allow you to truly be at home and away from work whenever you step away.
It's best if you don't use the area when you're not working. It's all about creating the right mindset, and combining personal with professional can pull apart the work-life balance as you're constantly tempted to think about work on your off time.
Plan Your Day With Clearly Set Goals
Use a to-do list software or a project management system and set goals for the day. These small wins will put you in the mindset that you can accomplish your goals and will help to keep your motivation and productivity up throughout the day.
In fact, research suggests that people who write their goals down are 20% more likely to accomplish them.
Practice Time Chunking
Time chunking is when you set a period of time for each task, with incremental breaks in-between. First, you take everything you need to do and put each task on paper.
Next, group the tasks by similarities. For example, start with each research assignment and then move on to each report assignment. Completing tasks with commonalities in succession will make things easier and more efficient.
The last two steps include connecting the tasks to a purpose and taking action. The overall goal here is to get the most out of the time you set for work so you can fully enjoy your time off.
Multitasking can seem like the way to go when you have multiple assignments due soon. Instinctively it can feel like you're getting more done but it fractures your focus and slows your productivity overall.
You might be tempted to think you're a good multitasker and the exception to this, but a prominent study found that only 2.5% of the population can multitask effectively.
Make Time for the Things You Enjoy
Life without enjoyment isn't life at all. So, prioritize the things you love to do.
You can utilize the previously mentioned breaks to practice this by going for a walk or having lunch with a friend.
Also, try taking the time you get back from the productivity tips above to enjoy hobbies you've been neglecting.
Unplug From Technology
The world is constantly connected, and that can feel overwhelming. This is especially true when a computer and a phone consume your entire workday.
A practical solution is to turn off your devices and self-reflect. Try meditating or journaling—anything to take your mind away from stress and instant gratification.
Studies prove that disconnecting from technology helps reduce stress and anxiety. You don't have to go on a long retreat to unplug. Just leaving your phone behind when you take a walk or scheduling "unplugged time" in your day can help you feel mentally refreshed.
Take Time Off Even If You Don't Think You Need It
Sometimes, your burnout meter can break and leave you thinking you can handle more work when that's not quite the case.
Instead of convincing yourself you can manage, take time off and prioritize your well-being. Make a list of all the things that make you happy. During your day off, try to do at least one of the list items.
Schedule Daily "Me Time"
Don't let professional priorities fill your entire calendar. Also, save some time for self-care - time for you to be completely alone and not stress over deadlines or meetings.
Take a bubble bath and reflect. Sketch and listen to music. Do a facemask. Whatever it takes to relax and process your thoughts is what you should do.
Stop Chasing Perfection
Last but certainly not least, throw away the idea that perfection exists. This complex fantasy is nearly unattainable, and you'll waste time striving for it.
Instead, learn to embrace flaws. Every good thing in this world has flaws, even the work you turn in to your boss. If you receive constructive criticism, it will steer you toward improvement.
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These tips will help you create a work-life balance. Some will take effect right after you implement them, while others will require time and patience.
Remember that you form habits over a series of days, weeks, and months. While the world has trained you to expect instant gratification, it's better to be realistic and put in the effort to see results in the long term.
Finding the balance between your professional life and the aspects you value in your personal life will help you achieve mental well-being and happiness. Hopefully, these strategies will work for you and allow you to find a work-life balance.
Learn more about how you can improve your well-being and work-life balance with our free resources. And if you need a little extra help, visit our shop for the best natural supplements to help you succeed!
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as medical advice. If you have immediate concerns about your health, please seek the help of your physician.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
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