Work-life balance is seemingly impossible to achieve today. This is because technology makes employees accessible around the clock, so they’re working almost 24/7 now.
A study by Harvard Business School discovered that “the vast majority of professionals (94%) worked 50 hours or more a week, and almost half worked more than 65 hours a week.”
This is stressful on relationships, health, and even your happiness. Achieving work-life balance is now more important than ever, which is why you need these tips to help you.
Things You Can Do Only at Work
Taking your work seriously comes without saying it but you really do need to separate your work and personal life. When you’re at work, there are some things you can do to make this easier.
Set manageable goals each day as this will give you a sense of accomplishment and control at the end of the day.
Research shows that the less control you have over your job, the more stressed you are throughout your life and the younger you die.
This is why it’s so important to be realistic about workloads and deadlines and ask for help when necessary.
Make sure that you use your time at work efficiently.
Procrastination makes tasks seem insurmountable. This is why you need to create a defined plan around time frames that you’re willing to sacrifice to obtain.
You can view this as a sacrifice that will let you spend more time and energy in other areas you’re passionate about in the future.
To make this possible you need to divide big projects into smaller tasks and then complete them in the order listed before moving on. You can make this more enjoyable by giving yourself small rewards for each task you complete (e.g. a 5-minute break, a walk to the coffee shop).
At the same time, Forbes says you need to limit time-wasting activities and people. Start by identifying what’s most important in your life. Since this is different for everyone, you’ll want to make sure that your list truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s.
Once you’ve created this list you’ll want to draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities in your life. This will make it easier for you to determine what you need to remove from your schedule.
Although some people would think these things are selfish, they really aren’t. If you don’t spend time taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to take care of those people around you.
Additionally, the better you do take care of yourself, the better you will be at work and in your relationships too. This is also why you put an oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on anyone else.
Things You Can Do at Home
Once you go home for the night, try to leave work behind. By making yourself available 24/7 you’re bound to quickly burn out.
There are a few other things you should keep in mind here as well, including:
- Make sure you and your partner share your home’s responsibilities equally.
- Don’t over commit or you’ll feel stressed every time you look at your calendar. It’s important to learn how to say “no” here so you can avoid this feeling.
- Ask for help from friends and family.
- Remain active so you can release your stress and not grow anxious or depressed. This will also save you time you’d otherwise waste at your doctor’s office. You’ll also want to eat well, get enough rest, and resist the urge to use drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.
- When you need help, make sure you aren’t afraid to ask for it. Seeing a therapist doesn’t reflect negatively on you. It isn’t a sign of weakness. Taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.
Even with the best-laid plans, there will be times when you’ll need to work from home. When this happens, business conference calls can help.
Things You Can Do Online to Promote Work-Life Balance
It’s also important to understand what you can accomplish online. This is something new that a lot of people don’t think about but you should understand that you don’t have to spend every moment in your office in order to be productive or meet your professional goals.
With so many different online management tools available, you can do a lot of work from home.
For instance, with a remote task tool, you can collaborate on projects, delegate responsibilities, and make sure work is progressing like it should. When you need to talk to someone, simply grab an instant messaging or video conferencing app. You can even make business conference calls from your smartphone today.
Balanced work life would be the first to remind us that we need more than some tools to help us successfully manage our work online.
We also need to be motivated and know how to manage our time or we may end up being unproductive. This is why we need to make sure that we set aside time for work and make sure people know that we’re unavailable for social engagements during that time.
When working from home, you also need to make sure you have a work area that lets you focus and gives you easy access to the technology you need. Things like fast internet, an adequate computer, and the other tools you need make it easier for you to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Related: How to Have Energy All Day When You Work from Home
Even if you have the things you need and permission to telecommute, you should still go into the office occasionally and always do your best to communicate effectively with everyone during the rest of your time. This is where virtual meetings are beneficial.
Achieving a work-life balance is about being realistic. You need to learn what you can do in one area without jeopardizing another area.
Sometimes this means that achieving your goals will take a little longer. This is healthier than being stressed out about these things all the time though.
About The Author
Peter Davidson is a senior business associate. He strives to help different brands and startups to make efficient business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through well-researched content.