In a time where technology takes precedence in making sure that we are accessible around the clock, work life balance can seem like an idea from a fairytale. Most of us are able to take our work home with us, and we end up having our eyes fixed on the screen for long enough, we forget that the surroundings have changed.
We all should aim to find a balance but in this day and age it has its challenges, most of us can admit we are in desperate need of work life balance tips that suit our individual needs, but somewhere in between all the planning and the managing of expectations, we tend to lose our sense of direction. And we may even question; what is a work life balance anyway?
For some of us we leave our ‘life’ time till the weekend, and as Sunday afternoon hits, you mourn the weekend and share your apprehension for the working week ahead. In the quiet corners of your minds, you report it as a robbery of time, and you sigh, because you know it's another 5 days until the next one.
In a constant attempt to prove our worth and succeed, we juggle our lives the best we can. What we don’t realize is that instead of time-managing a billion different activities, we should learn how to identify what really matters.
To help you kick off 2019 with the best work life balance, we have put together 5 bulletproof work life balance tips for you to try. This way, you’ll know what to do next time your inner voice asks you; what is work life balance?
Our Top Work Life Balance Tips
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1. Don’t be Accessible When you’re not at Work
Technology can be somewhat of a frenemy when it comes to finding a healthy life balance. On one hand, it serves as a perfect source of information and entertainment, while on the other hand, it often leaves us feeling empty-handed.
Because so much of today's work is internet-based, it’s only a handful of people these days that don’t have emails and notifications chiming in on their phone when dinner is about to be put on the table. Many of us might wonder, why not just answer that briefing query about next week’s meeting? Or why not continue on that project I left unfinished so there’s less stress tomorrow?
This might be one of the hardest habits to break, but this is work life balance tip number 1!
When you’re not at work, don’t be accessible unless it’s absolutely necessary. Whether it means having two phones; one for work and one for home, or it involves leaving your phone at home when you go to next Sunday’s soccer game. Do it!
According to Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, not reacting to updates from your work, when you’re not at work, will help you develop a stronger habit of resilience. As opposed to being reactive, this will leave you with less stress and feeling more in control of your own time. This way, you’re sure to develop a work life balance that’s just going to keep on giving.
2. Learn How to Say no and Let go of Being a Perfectionist
When you’re caught up doing something you love or feel certain obligations towards, it’s hard not to turn into an overachiever. Often, your work life balance goes out the window, because you don’t mind standing on the verge of burnout as long as you get to see your accomplishments.
Having a perfectionist approach when you’re a child is one thing, but trying to apply it to adult life where on a daily basis there are mounting tasks, won’t serve you well. In order to obtain a good work life balance, we need to acknowledge that we are enough, expect great things are coming to us and know that perfection is a goal that can never be achieved. So go easy on the self pressure!
There’s no shame in saying no to tasks that you simply can’t squeeze into your calendar, or opting out on something that doesn’t, in fact, suit you. It's about prioritizing what's important to you. Saying no, empowers you and gives you back control, and letting go of that perfectionistic outlook might be the best thing you’ve ever done.
3. Prioritize your Time: a Work life Balance-saver
When asking; what is work life balance? most of us know that the answer lies with our priorities. The sooner you start identifying what’s important to you, the sooner you can start prioritizing things in a way that leaves you fulfilled.
One of the biggest investments you can make when it comes to ensuring a work life balance lies with prioritizing your time and determining what needs to be trimmed from your schedule.
More often than not, you can let to-do lists control your time, and to a certain extent, it can make you feel like you are no longer in charge. You run around, out of breath and you are led to believe that with this satisfaction of ticking things off the list equals happiness. In reality, it’s all about focusing on what matters.
Time is elastic, and once you figure out a way to toss away this idea of time-management and fill your calendars with what really deserves to be there, you focus on what matters. When you fail to achieve optimal work life balance, you usually go to bed regretting how you spent your time. However, if you just made time for the things that are important to you and learnt to effectively use work life balance tips, prioritizing might not even be necessary.
4. Make Time for Yourself and don’t Feel Bad About it
Before you can take care of anyone or anything else, you need to take care of yourself. We all know this lesson by heart, yet very few of us actually strive to make it count. Caught up in the business of our surroundings and our duties, we forget to nurture ourselves, which is the one person we so heavily rely on to get everything that needs to be done, done!
Whether it’s going for a run before the rest of the household wakes up, signing up for those meditation classes you’ve been meaning to take for a while, or catching up with a hobby you tossed to the wayside because you simply didn’t have the time anymore, you need to make time for yourself.
When you ask yourself; what is work life balance? The real answer is right in front of you! because who else can define your work life balance better than yourself. A great work life balance starts with you. And for that reason, you need to implement self care.
5. Remember your Daily Exercise
Yes, you do have time for it! In spite of being the last of our work life balance tips, it’s without a doubt one of the most important ones. Not only is exercise good for your overall health, but it’s also an effective stress reducer and a happy provider of the beloved feel-good endorphins.
When you take care of your physical health, you are rewarded with a sharper mind and an improved ability to take on the challenges ahead of you. Whether it’s hitting the gym, doing pilates or leaving the car at home and walking instead. Daily exercise will boost both your well-being and your life balance.
Whether you are living to work or working to live, neither are an ideal situation, creating balance in every aspect of our lives should be our main priority to get the most out of life.