In a world that never seems to slow down, finding the right balance between work and personal life can be a challenge, even though it is vital for your ongoing physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
It is well known that work-related stress is one of the biggest causes of anxiety, overwhelm, depression and even physical health problems, so striking the right balance between work and life is key if you want to thrive in both these important areas.
Here we reveal ten practical tips to help you achieve that, so you can be successful in both your work and personal pursuits without spiralling into overwhelm or stress that can eventually take you out:
Set Clear Boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal time is essential. This generally means defining specific blocks of time dedicated to work that are focussed and sustainable, enabling you to disconnect and recharge during your personal time;
Prioritise Your Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is a mindset that leads to the practice of simple, repeatable daily habits that will allow you to have the physical and mental stamina to excel in both your work and personal life. Whether it be regular morning exercise, adequate sleep, moments of relaxation, or making time for your hobbies and passions, self care should be a non-negotiable if you want to experience the benefits of healthy work-life balance;
Sometimes Learn to Say No: Overwhelm and stress is a common problem that surfaces when you simply take on too many projects at one time. By being in tune with your limits and learning to say "no" to certain opportunities, it will help you to stay focussed and able to give the best of yourself to the things that matter most. This is a key to avoiding burnout and ensuring that your work life does not infiltrate your personal life and spiral out of control;
Designate Tech-Free Time: Even in today's highly digitised world, it is a good idea to consciously disconnect from technology for a block of time throughout the day if you can. This allows you to be present in your personal life, to decompress your mind and take a break from the inevitable distractions that come with technology and work-related notifications;
Create a Structured Schedule: Structure your day with a well-defined schedule. Allocate some personal time and exercise time first thing in the morning, plan your daily tasks and even your pre-bedtime/sleep timing. By having a basic structure to your daily/weekly routine, you will stack the odds in your favour in terms of ticking boxes and achieving both your work and personal related goals each week, which means progress!
Establish a Dedicated Workspace: One of the best ways to create work-life balance if you are challenged in this area, is to separate your work location from home if you can do this. If this is not possible and you work from home, at least set up a designated work space that is as separated as possible from your home and family life. This will help you to mentally separate work from home, even if you're working remotely, contributing to a healthier work-life balance.
Quality Over Quantity: Focus on the quality of your work rather than the quantity of hours spent. Many hours in a work day can be spent doing unproductive tasks, however high achievers greatly value time - which means they are very proficient at not wasting time. The more efficient and focussed you can be in your work life, the more productive you will be and the more free time you will manifest to enjoy in your family and personal life. This is key for healthy work-life balance.
Communicate with Your Team: Whether you are an employer, employee or have remote work colleagues, communication is an important tool for maintaining work-life balance. When you have an open line of communication with those you work with, you are able to manage expectations and set simple boundaries to help ensure that work does not unnecessarily cross-over into your personal life. A supportive work environment where there is open communication and understanding can significantly contribute to a healthier work-life balance;
Schedule Personal Time: Too often work, family and other commitments take precedence over time with yourself. However, when you're able to schedule personal time with the same level of priority as these other important commitments, it can help you to recalibrate and reset so that you're able to stay energised and refreshed, meaning you'll be the best version of you for those who depend on you. Try to schedule 30-60 minutes of quiet personal time for yourself at either end of the day to allow yourself to unwind and relax. This is an important step for achieving healthy work-life balance.
Regularly Evaluate and Adjust Where Needed: Life is dynamic and forever changing, so you need to be intuitive when it comes to evaluating where you're at on the spectrum of your work-life balance. Regularly reassess your commitments and priorities, make adjustments where necessary when you feel like you are off-track, overwhelmed or spiralling towards being unfulfilled. One of life's great skills is being able to notice when the environment around you is changing so that you can adjust accordingly with it.
The Main Take Away
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a conscious choice that can lead to a happier, more fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle.
Here, we have shared with you a number of tips that can help you balance out your work and personal life so that you can avoid stress, burnout and be the best version of you for yourself, your work colleagues and your loved ones.
Embrace these suggestions and make them part of your work week and you'll go a long way to ensuring you're able to cultivate and experience long term work-life balance which is so important for your overall health and wellbeing.