In a world where people find themselves working all the time; from sending emails to receiving phone calls and attending meetings, how do people achieve and maintain work-life balance? It can be very difficult to strike a healthy work/life balance because the lines are becoming more and more blurred. Don’t fret because there are certainly a few ways to achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
1. Analyse Your Time
Analysing your present situation is the beginning step in achieving a balanced life. Keep a time log of everything you do for one week, including work-related and personal activities. This data will serve as an eye-opener, helping you understand how you are using and where you are losing your time!
2. Set Work Hours and Stick to Them
Develop a mental on-off switch between work and home. It helps to establish a transitional activity between the two realms. This might consist of listening to music or recorded books during your evening commute, exercising at the gym, running errands, or keeping personal appointments. Scheduling such activities immediately following your normal work hours also prevents you from spending those extra twenty minutes at the office which then turns into several hours. This will give you something to look forward to everyday or every week depending on the frequency of your activities.
2. Master the Art of Saying ‘No’
Don’t even think about saying “Yes” to another work project or family engagement if you are already overwhelmed by what you have to do in both areas of your life! If you are the type of person who usually regrets saying ‘yes’ later; please note the art of saying ‘no’ will be extremely valuable.
It is definitely not a sign of weakness however it can be a very a hard thing to say. Why not think about ways to turn things down firmly and politely?
3. Create Personal and Family Time
In order to regain some stability in both areas of your life it is important to schedule work time and personal time. Prioritise family time and schedule it in your diary as you would schedule work meetings. If family is not scheduled it is often times left to holidays such as Christmas, rather than forming part of everyday life.
4. Ask for Help
There is nothing worse than being overwhelmed and stressed and feel like you have no one to turn to. Stop trying to be superhero and don’t suffer in silence. Find a superior and explain the situation; you’ll find that situations can usually be alleviated from just talking about it. Also, if you feel that the pursuit of the work life balance continues to be extremely frustrating then perhaps you should consider talking to a professional- counsellor, mental health worker etc.
Work-life balance isn’t an exact science. Each person must find their own way of combining career, relationships, and personal care into an integrated whole. What is right for you now will likely change as new circumstances arise, so periodically review your situation and adjust accordingly.
Don’t get overwhelmed by assuming that you need to make big changes all at once. Even if you implement only a few of the above strategies, they will have a positive and measurable impact in your life. Start with one clear goal — then add another, and another.