We’ve all been there before, that place where your work consumes you and it doesn’t really seem like you have time for much of anything else. Your personal life seems to play second hand to the professional one. You make sacrifices to your workout and health routine, personal time, time spent with loved ones, whatever it may be, it seems like everything is coming in second place to your work. Every now and again that’s okay, but it’s a slippery slope, and if this continues, you could be sacrificing your life side of the work-life balance.
We live in a society that largely values our work life over our personal life, but at what cost? Yes, you probably need your job to pay your bills, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be the only thing you invest your time in, nor should it. When you value all the aspects of your life it actually benefits your work life AND your personal one. Here are 8 ways you can find your work-life balance:
1. Find a job that you’re passionate about.
This is huge and arguably the most important. Everyone has something that lights their fire, and if you’re lucky enough to work with that passion then you’ll never work a day in your life. We know that not everyone can find a job related to the things that they’re most passionate about, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t love your job and still be passionate about it.
Find something that somewhat interests you and get excited about it. Invest your full attention and energy while you’re there. The extra investment might just help you value the job more and in turn be happier while you’re there. If you absolutely hate your job, then LEAVE. We know it’s a huge, frightening step, but we promise, you’ll be much better off and there are always other opportunities out there. Life is too short to do something you’re not excited about.
2. Design your ideal day or week.
Take some time to do some journaling and see what it is you really want. You might surprise yourself. Jot down the things that the perfect day would consist of, now do the same for the perfect week. Be as specific as possible! This could and should be for anything: what meals you’ll be eating, what time you want to wake up and go to bed, when to work out and how, when to see your loved ones or schedule time for yourself, a beach break, a quick jog through the woods. You name it! This is where you get to be creative and think of the things that you truly love and value and actually find time for them.
3. Make a list of the things that are important to you. Prioritize them.
After designing your perfect day and week, you’ll have a better idea of some of the things that are important to you on a consistent basis. What else is there? What do you value? What are the things you don’t want to live without? Take some time and look at these things. What are you neglecting? How does that make you feel? How can you change that?
4. Schedule you time.
This is another very important one. Whatever “you time” means to you, make sure that you’re getting enough of it in. Take a solo weekend trip, get outside, meditate, go to a cafe, read a book, paint, whatever it is, make sure you realize the importance of this one. If you’re not willing to take care of yourself and value what you care about, then you won’t see that reflected in any of the other areas of your life either.
5. Take a Vacation.
Take some time off! Clear your head and enjoy some of that oh-so-wonderful “you time” or spend it with your loved ones! There’s truly no better way to feel refreshed than with a nice vacation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a staycation, just some time away from work to really enjoy some of the other things you’re passionate about.
6. Make strict work hours.
Hold yourself accountable. After looking at your ideal week, find out what hours you’ve reserved for work and leave it at that. Sure maybe every now and then something will come up and you’ll have to make an exception, but stick to it. Work hours are work hours and free hours are free hours. Keep it that way.
7. Start your morning off right.
Take the time to do one of those things that you love first thing in the morning. This is a great way to start off your day. Make sure you have time to enjoy your mornings; don’t rush yourself. This is a good way to look forward to every day, not just the weekends!
8. End your day giving thanks.
You’d be amazed how much of a difference this makes. Being thankful can actually make you happier. It’s a simple thing to do, but so often we forget to do it or don’t even consider it. However, if you take the time at the end of every day to express your gratitude for the big and small things whether it be hand-written, verbal, or mental, you will notice a difference.
Still need help? Try reading a book! Designing Your Life: How to Live a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is a great one to start out with!