Healthy work life balance
With an ever-growing number of internet companies, 24-hour businesses, and an instant gratification mentality, having a healthy work-life balance in a career today seems like a pipe dream. Many people believe that you can either have a successful career or a healthy home life, but not both.
Thankfully, this sad belief is far from the truth. The good news is a healthy work-life balance is possible. The not so good news is that it takes a lot of hard work and time to make it happen, as having a balanced life between home and work is not an accident. Here are 12 tips to start balancing life and work in a healthier manner:
Prioritize your time
Making a list of all that needs to happen in a workday is a great place to start balancing it all. Categorize all of your tasks according to how important they are. Are they time sensitive? Are they urgent? Can they be started today and completed tomorrow or next week? Having a prioritized list helps focus the tasks and puts them in order of what needs to be done when, essentially planning out the workday in the most effective manner.
Establish and stick with work hours
Set your work schedule and keep it. If you are working 8-5 p.m., make it a goal to keep these hours…meaning do not take a 4:45 p.m. meeting. This takes some work but keeping your schedule tells your family and your employer that you are reliable and they can count on you to be available when you say you are.
It is also crucial to keep specific work hours if you work remotely from home. This will help you work from bleeding into your home life and making it feel like you are never truly “off the clock.”
Set manageable goals
Set goals for the workday, work week and even the month, and be sure they are manageable. This ensures that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew in an already very busy day or season and helps maintain any boundaries you have set for work and home.
Limit time wasting activities
With a set number of hours in the workday and a list of priorities and goals to complete in that time frame, the best way to sabotage the plan is to waste your time. Limit social media checks, water cooler breaks, and sports updates with coworkers so as to finish as much work as possible while you are at work.
Be realistic, not perfect
Perfection is the thing that may make you stand out above the crowd of other employees, but it is also guaranteed to keep you working many extra hours and bringing work home with you to get it all done ‘just right’. While doing the bare minimum at work is not advisable, it is okay to do a good job and move on to the next thing on the list.
Take a break
One good way to be productive is to occasionally take a break. It allows you to clear your head and come back to view a project or problem from a different angle. If you aren’t wasting time throughout the day, you can afford a ten-minute walk around the building or lunch outside of the office and still keep your schedule.
This is simple but so important. In addition to the healthy hormones that your body produces while exercising, a regularly planned workout will increase your attentiveness, improve sleep, and give you more energy to participate in all those family activities after a long day at work.
The best way to balance you home life is to be there when you are there. Essentially, that means being present while you are home with family or friends. Unplug from your social media, disconnect your work email from your phone or lock it away until a designated time to check in, if necessary. Guard your time at home by disconnecting from work and connecting with family.
Take a vacation
Not only does a vacation help you unwind and not focus on business, it also tells the people important to you that you value time with them and are willing to take time away to prove it.
Plan personal time for yourself and family
Plan ahead for self-care and for family time. This ensures a healthy relationship with others through quality time as well as a healthy balance of your emotional, physical, and spiritual self.
Limit time online
This tip goes for home as well as on the job. You have more time for yourself and others when you aren’t wasting it on mindless activities like online games or social media. If you really enjoy it, set a time limit for yourself and stick to it.
Be realistic, not perfect
Another repeat, because it is that important. Life is all about adventure, not perfection. Sometimes a rainstorm can threaten a perfectly planned day, literally and figuratively. But the day isn’t ruined until you allow it to be. Being real instead of perfect is not a popular idea in our ‘highlight reel’ world, but dancing in the rain is so much more fun than sulking in it. Spoiler: Insta-stories, snap-filters, and Pinned-wins are not real life.
A well-balanced work-home life may seem impossible but give a few of these steps a try. As you begin to create new patterns and routines for yourself, you will find that a healthy work-life balance is within your reach!
For more tools on balancing life, check out Light Mind Counseling