Written By: Chris Ladd
“Work-life balance” is a desirable goal that many of us work really hard to achieve, but seem to always fall short of attaining. Meeting the ever-growing demands of a heavy workload while maintaining healthy relationships outside the office, and with yourself, are equally important.
Work-life balance simply means manifesting a healthy equilibrium between your work life and your personal life. That said, this doesn’t necessarily mean there is an even split between the two. The correlation can also be different with each person. Ideally, the ideal work-life balance would be a scenario where one would never be sacrificing one for the other. It also means pushing yourself professionally but also having ample time to enjoy your hobbies, family, and friends.
Creating a life of success on your terms by:
- Prioritizing and focusing on what is most important to you and those you care about
- Ensuring your own mental and physical well-being
- Being in control
- Delegating the tasks and relationships that bring on stress and frustrating
In the past, work-life balance seemed easier to navigate and control. In today’s world, your work life is more likely to invade your personal life – making it harder to maintain a good work-life balance. Living in a time that technology enables constant connection can allow work to flood into your personal life. Working from home can also fog personal and professional boundaries. Still, with all the factors that can potentially blur work-life balance, it is absolutely possible with a little discipline and focus.
Having a poor work-life balance can increase the chance of suffering from the following:
- Lost time with loved ones and friends – If you find yourself working too much then you can lose chances to spend time and make memories with your loved ones and friends. This can lead you to feel lonely and empty inside.
- Poor health – Being under stress can create or worsen pre-existing medical conditions. Stress can also lead some to stray towards substance abuse.
- Fatigue – When you overwork yourself, your ability to think clearly and work productively may suffer. This can take a strain on your professional reputation or lead to making costly mistakes.
By setting boundaries and keeping the proper perspective on what’s most important to you at heart, you can accomplish the work-life balance that works best for you. You may ask, how do you set limits from your work-life?
Here are a few examples of some things you can do to ‘detach’:
- Manage your time more efficiently – Do not overbook yourself. Make sure you give yourself time to get all your tasks done in a timely manner by using a calendar to plan out your weeks. Don’t forget to include personal time on your calendar and treat that time the same as you would with an important business meeting.
- Detach from your work – As hard as it can feel, put down the phone and be present with your friends and family when away from your job. Even with pressing deadlines, the phrase “it can wait until later” generally applies in most scenarios.
- Time Off – Everyone needs an off day now and again. Not only is it something positive to look forward to, taking time away from work can provide the necessary rest and clarity required to perform your best
Maintained a healthy lifestyle is vital to achieving a desirable work-life balance. Having a healthy diet, getting the right amount of sleep, and including physical activity in your daily routine will allow you to make better decisions, stay more disciplined, and perform at your highest level for longer periods of time.
In addition, you should also aim to include the following examples:
- Volunteering – Studies show that helping others can improve the connections you have with others, make your life feel more purposeful, and lower psychological distress.
- Develop a support system – Do your best to surround yourself with like-minded people who want to see you succeed. All of us thrive better in environments with people around us who are truly supportive and empathetic.
- Relaxation – Make sure to put time aside time for quiet activities that bring you peace of mind. Some examples, are meditation, reading, gardening, walking, fishing, and home improvement projects.
Even though having a successful career is important, always make sure to keep a healthy balance between your work and personal life. Be diligent with spending as much time as you can on what you love to do and with the people you love the most. The success you obtain in your career along the way will be much sweeter if you do!