Juggling a career, kids, pets, friends (the list goes on) and life in general isn’t easy. And anyone that says it is, is definitely lying. Right? As soon as work is going really well, and you’re really busy, something else has to suffer. It’s a catch 22. This is the modern day life we live in.
Work-life balance is important because having a balanced lifestyle makes us feel fulfilled in all areas of our lives and not lacking in a few. In fact, managing work and life can often be seen as one of the highest levels of success one can achieve. Having a good balance of life actually helps you be better at your work as you're more focused, positive and energetic towards your work. We know success is measured in different spheres and not just our career. And being busy doesn't mean being successful. We need to put our energy into all aspects of our life. Is there one easy way to do it? No, we're afraid not.
We have, however, broken down a few tips into different sections, to help you with some work-life balance you may be struggling with. We all give our attention to different areas of our lives more than others, so here are a few tips on how to add more balance into your life in those areas.
While technology can often help us track and manage our time, it really isn’t helping our work-life balance. Your phone makes you contactable any time of the day, and your work email notifications make it difficult for you to 'switch off' from work-mode. One of the first things you can do to achieve better work-life balance is to disconnect your phone when you are dedicating your time to an area of your life that needs attention.
Quit being so perfect
If you’re going to start balancing your time well, you’ll need to stop analysing your work to perfectionism, or else you’ll never be able to leave work at the door and separate your time. Start handing in good work on time, rather than perfect work that’s late. This will help you work smarter, not harder and have more time for yourself.
You don't need to book a holiday to Disneyland just to spend some quality time together. Enjoy the little moments – a kiss goodbye from your partner, a hug from your child or a home-cooked meal that the family shares. These are small, daily happenings but if you learn to switch off (phone included) and be present in the moment with your family, you’ll start to appreciate those small moments a hell of a lot more.
Try and join a gym near your work or home. If it’s close by, it’s easier to just pop in for a quick gym session. If you’re struggling to make time to exercise, schedule it in your calendar like a meeting – that way you’re more likely to plan your day around it and make sure it gets done.
You can also invest in a fitness tracker. This will track your steps throughout the day and remind you to get as much exercise in as possible, even when you’re at the office. Exercise is a very powerful de-stressor which will lift your mood and benefit all areas of your life.
Your body needs to reboot, every day. This is certainly one we shouldn’t neglect. When you don’t get enough sleep, it has a ripple affect on all aspects of your life. You’re tired, grumpy, lethargic and not at your peak performance. We spoke about disconnecting phones earlier. This is mega important when it comes to sleep. Looking directly at your phone before you sleep is not good for your eyes and can interrupt your sleep. Quality sleep recharges us and allows us to be on top form. There are also many natural sleep supplements you can take to help you nod off.
Be selfish as often as you can – you come first, always. Say no to that colleague that wants just one small favour, or that friend you really don’t have time to see right now. If it messes with your work-life balance in any way, just say no. Saying no will change your life and allow you to focus on what you want to focus on, and not be dictated by what everyone else wants you to do.
Lastly, ask for what you need. As the saying goes, 'If you don't ask, you don't get.' Talk to someone at work about your needs. Project managers are there to help facilitate a manageable working environment, and that includes keeping employees happy without working overtime. Maybe you need flexible hours for a week, or a standing desk for a healthy posture at work. Whatever you need, ask for it. You may be surprised at how accommodating your workplace is.
There's no right way for someone to find work-life balance, so set your own rules and work out what's best for you. Make it up as you go. Don’t forget to take your vacation time because leave is crucial for resetting your work-clock.