Balancing your professional and personal life can be hard. However, it is important for your general well-being. We always seem to put work over everything else in our lives. That strong desire to succeed professionally can make us lose sight of many things.
Creating a good work-life balance is easier said than done. However, it is important for your emotional, physical, and mental health. In this article, we’ll discuss various ways you can achieve a better work-life balance.
Work life balance meaning
What is work-life balance? Work-life balance is dividing your hours between work and your personal life. However, it is much more than that. It is how you split the hours between the two so that you lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
Signs you lack work life balance
You may not even be aware that you suffer from poor work-life balance. Here are a few signs to look for. Recognizing and dealing with these early enough can give you a chance to rebalance your scales.
You stop prioritizing your health
Signs to look for:
- Staying up late
- Having trouble falling asleep
- Not exercising as you used to or as often as you’d like.
Your mental health is suffering
- Feeling stressed
- Getting irritated quickly
- Anxious about everything
- Feel angry towards others for little things
- Suffer from panic attacks and mood swings
You doubt your abilities
- Spending longer hours at work without getting much done
- No longer sure about your capabilities
- Always dread doing tasks
- Worried about being fired due to poor performance
You feel disconnected from the world
- Feelings of loneliness even though you’re surrounded by people
- No meaningful interactions with anyone
- Feeling disconnected from those in your personal and professional life
5 tips on how to improve work life balance
Many think that achieving work-life balance in their life is nearly impossible. Here are some work-life balance tips to achieve work-life balance. These tips can help you lead a happier and more satisfactory life.
There is no perfect work life balance
Most people view work-life balance as this perfect division of their time. You get all your work done and you still have time for family, friends, and doing the things you love in a day. This is ideal but not always possible. Improving work-life balance starts when you tell yourself there is no perfect work-life balance.
You don’t have to create a perfect schedule. Create a realistic one. For example, some days you may spend more hours at work. On other days you may spend more time doing things outside of work. Keep in mind that a healthy work-life balance is achieved over time and not each day.
Stay fluid and assess where you are with goals and priorities regularly. This way you can make adjustments to ensure you are making the most of your time.
Go for a job you love
Society expects us to have a certain job to feel successful. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your job shouldn’t stress you out and make you unhappy. If you hate your job, it’s going to be hard to stay motivated. You don’t have to love everything about your job. However, you need to like some things about your job that gets you excited to want to do it.
If your job makes you unhappy and you find it hard to enjoy life outside of work as well, then something is very wrong. It could be possible that you are working in a toxic environment or don’t like your job. Try to think about what you want your ideal work environment and company culture to look like.
Put your health first
Your overall health should be your number one priority. This includes your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Work-life imbalance can make depression and anxiety worse. If you do suffer from these conditions, it may be best to see a therapist. Make time in your schedule to do so even if you have to leave work early or miss the gym. If you suffer from a chronic condition and are having a rough day, call in sick.
Ignoring, pushing yourself, and working long hours when you are unwell does more harm than good. It may backfire and you may need to take more time off work in the future. You shouldn’t feel guilty about putting yourself first. A healthy and happy you will be more productive than a sick and miserable you.
Putting your health first doesn’t require anything extreme or drastic. You can start by doing meditation or exercise to promote work-life balance.
Technology has become so powerful and advanced that we’re always connected. Some of us even take work home to do in our downtime. Remote work has become quite popular in recent years. However, if you don’t have a flexible schedule, remote work can do more harm than good.
Unplugging at home can help give you a chance to recover from weekly work-related stress. Cutting ties and reducing screen time can give your brain a chance to come up with better solutions and ideas.
Instead of reading work emails or checking up on the latest on social media, do something that relaxes you. Unplugging can be something as simple as meditating on your commute instead of being on your phone.
Being connected all the time can eventually lead to burnout. Remember taking time to unwind is essential for success. It can help you feel more energized and motivated when it’s time to work.
Take your vacation
You have vacation time for a reason. It is set aside for you so you can relax and come back revitalized. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-day vacation or a two-week trip somewhere. Take the time set aside for you to physically and mentally recharge.
According to a study by the US Travel Association, 52% of employees had unused vacation days left at the end of the year. Most employees worry that taking vacation time will disrupt their workflow. They also feel like they’ll come back to a backlog of work when they return from vacation. If you are feeling this way, try to tell yourself you need this break to be better.
Tell yourself that the benefits of taking time off greatly outweigh the disadvantages. If you plan properly, you can take your vacation time without worrying that you’ll have a huge workload when you return.
Take time for yourself and your loved ones
Your job is important, there is no denying that. However, your entire life shouldn’t revolve around it. Your home life is also important. You were your own person before this job so take time to do the things that make you “you”. Make personal time to do the things that make you happy.
You need deliberate action to lead a healthier work-life balance. If you don’t make time for yourself, you’ll find that you never have time to do anything outside of work. Always remember that you have control of your time and even a busy schedule shouldn’t stop you from putting some time aside for yourself.
When planning to spend time with loved ones, create a calendar with events. It can feel weird to plan one on one time with those you live with. However, it will make sure that you spend quality time together and nurture the bond you share. Remember no one at work is going to love and support you like your family and loved ones.
Define boundaries and work hours
Set clear boundaries and work hours to avoid burnout. When you leave your office, try to stop yourself from thinking about work. Do not check work emails or do anything work-related. You can try having a different computer or phone for work. This way you can put it away after working hours. If not, use different browsers, emails, or filters for work and personal platforms.
Set goals and stick to them
Setting goals is easy but sticking to them can be a problem. To ensure you stay on track, implement time management strategies that can help. For example, go over your to-do list and remove tasks that offer little to no value.
Try to figure out what period during the day you’re most productive at work. Once you figure that out, reserve that time to do your most important work-related activities. Turn off your phone and email notifications. This way you won’t get distracted every time your phone pings.
Work life balance conclusion
Work-life balance and work-life integration are things that you have to keep working on constantly. It is an individualized process and what it looks like to you will be different from others. This is because your goals and priorities change from time to time.
It can be challenging to find the right balance. However, an unhealthy work-life balance is worse. Remember to take it slow and remember that it takes time to find the right balance for you. Keep at it and implement the proper steps to achieve that equilibrium between work and life.
Struggling to find the right balance? If you’re an entrepreneur or employee struggling to find the right work-life balance. Reach out to the experts at Scorpion. They offer various marketing tools that can make your job easier which can result in more downtime.