Work-life balance is possibly the biggest issue that many working professionals struggle with. Seriously, browse through any magazine or talk to anyone about their lives…it is the number one thing that we are trying to understand and achieve.
But what is it?
Work-life balance is about separating yourself from your work and seeing the value in doing so. It’s about time: balancing the time spent in the pursuit of career success and the time spent with family and personal interests.
It’s about knowing when to turn off the phone. Knowing when to shut down the email, take off the smart watch, silence the notifications and focus on the personal.
The benefits of creating more work-life balance are enormous. This balance creates a sense of peace…of things being in harmony…of having time. From a business perspective, people who have a better work-life balance are more productive, have lower absenteeism, are happier and less stressed, experience improved health and well-being, are more positive, more committed and more motivated towards their goals.
So how do you know if there’s a problem?
- Your “to do” list appears to be massive.
- You feel very busy but not sure if you are accomplishing anything.
- You feel burned out. You’re constantly tired and have other physical and emotional signs of stress.
- You feel like you are living someone else’s schedule and have lost your direction.
Whether this balancing act is a constant struggle for you or you’re just thinking that you want to reset your intentions regarding work, here are some ideas that can get you started.
Take a break from technology. It doesn’t have to be off the entire time…just take a break.
Maybe just try to implement a technology-free hour each day. Read, have a conversation, spend time with your kids, make dinner or enjoy a glass of wine with a significant other or friends. Be sure that your computer/phone is on silent and somewhere far enough away that you won’t be tempted. It’s amazing how freeing this can feel.
2. Turn off notifications after hours.
Notifications can drive you crazy.
Unless you’re used to them. Then they are a constant reminder to check-in, be present, reply. It’s a reminder to connect that goes wrong in all kinds of ways when the notifications come from every avenue: social media, emails, texts, messages, etc.
It might take some getting used to at first…it might actually feel quite stressful…but it’s necessary to help you achieve the ability to shut off the working part of your brain. Creating this space is imperative in achieving a better work-life balance.
3. Schedule time for yourself.
When you actively make plans ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last minute or letting your work dictate your availability, the chances of actually going through with them radically increases.
Everyone is ‘busy’…we schedule ourselves crazy! It takes effort to create space in your calendar for something that isn’t work, but is meaningful to you in designing a better balance to your week. Whether it’s a family movie night, date, or appetizers with friends, set it up on the calendar so you can be accountable. Better yet, tell your friends or family to hold you accountable. Remember, this balance is something that YOU are trying to create for the good of YOU.
4. Let go of being perfect.
It’s imperative to this process that you acknowledge and accept that you can’t do everything all the time. You only have so many resources: time, energy, money, etc. and while you want to accomplish all the ‘things’ and please everyone, you are only one person. So stop; take a deep breath and regroup.
All you can do is all you can do. And, all you can do is enough!
5. Learn how to say “No”.
In order to make time for some of the things you want to do, you’re going to have to let go of some of the things you ‘should’ be doing. There is only so much time in the day, therefore if you’re going to add in personal time, you’re going to have to take away from some business. You’re going to have to say no. That’s ok too.
6. Focus on your purpose, passion or intention.
There will always be something we need or should, do. The joy is that we have a choice about how we live our lives, activities to be involved in and the relationships around us. Be aware when it feels like your life is out of balance, and reconstruct it to take back your sense of control.
Ultimately having a better work-life balance is essential to our health and our feeling of success and happiness. A skew either way too far and we are aren’t as happy, productive, peaceful or successful as we want to be. Keeping this balance is a skill…a skill that is developed over time. So practice…take time, create the balance you deserve and take a breath. Love this life!
If you need help achieving better balance in your life, I would be happy to have a conversation with you. Click here to schedule your call.