How to Achieve Work-Life Balance in 7 Steps
Most of us prioritize work over everything else. But in that process, health gets pushed aside thus leading to a poor balance between work and life. When one’s desire to succeed reaches dangerous levels, it can cause mental, emotional, and physical harm. Below are 7 steps to achieve work-life balance.
And it’s your career that ends up getting affected the most. For this reason, you must learn to balance the demands that accompany both professional and personal life. Many events in life diminish the balance. It could be increased responsibilities at home or work, longer office hours, or having children.
A good work-life balance is indispensable for the overall well-being of both employees and employers. It greatly reduces the risk of burnout and has numerous other positive effects. Therefore, we have laid out a few work-life balance strategies for you here:
1. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
When you are on a quest to improve both personal and professional aspects of your life, doing so would be extremely difficult without adopting a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, you must strive to attain good physical health.
It helps you clear your mind and remove a lot of clutter from it. Apart from that, it allows you to dissociate yourself from triggers that lead to stress. Only in your prime physical health can you be optimally productive at work.
According to Mayo Clinic, different forms of exercise such as yoga and aerobics can help you manage stress. However, if you have any health concerns, it’s best to consult a doctor before making any changes in your routine.
2. Maintain a Flexible Work Schedule
One of the great ways to improve work-life balance is to maintain a flexible schedule. You cannot possibly make time for yourself or your family if your job takes up all of your time.
If employers can offer some flexibility in work timings, most employees can fulfill their social and personal responsibilities as well. Hence, it certainly bodes well for stress management.
Apart from that, employees must set work boundaries to avoid burnout. Don’t stress about answering company emails or upcoming projects after your work hours. If possible, keep a separate phone or computer for work to avoid distractions and make the most out of your time.
That brings us to our next strategy:
3. Learn Time Management
Many professionals find themselves at lack of energy to work on their personal goals. It is because they are so overwhelmed at work that they hardly find any time to manage everything else.
Achieving a work-life balance necessitates good time management skills. You may find the Pomodoro Technique is quite helpful for the same reason. It was invented by Francesco Cirillo and it’s easy to learn.
- Pick a task that holds most value
- Set 25-30 minutes timer for that task and get to work
- Take a short 2–3-minute break when the buzzer sounds
- Repeat the above three steps
- Take a longer break, say 30 minutes
- Get to the next task post break
4. Take a Vacation
While it may sound cliché, but we tend to underestimate the importance of taking a vacation. At times, truly unplugging yourself is what you need to achieve optimal productivity levels after the vacation.
It could be a two-week trip to an island or a one-day staycation, you will feel mentally and physically recharged. Unfortunately, many employees have unused vacation days left every year! They often worry about the backlog or disruption of workflow once they return.
However, a much-needed break far outweighs the aforementioned downsides. With proper planning, it is possible to manage the workload after the trip.
5. Alleviate Your Stress Levels
The thumb rule of achieving a good balance between work and life is to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit. Your work should not come at the cost of your health. Moreover, if you are struggling with severe mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to seek therapy.
Delaying your call for help would only complicate the matter. Prioritize those therapy sessions – even if you have to take some time off work. Besides, if you are living with a chronic disease, some days can be quite rough.
On such days, don’t hesitate to call in sick. Overworking yourself will result in more sick days and thus more time off work.
6. Set Your Priorities
We mentioned the Pomodoro Technique earlier while talking about time management. Well, it only works if you prioritize your tasks. For instance, projects that hold great value and need your immediate attention must be finished first and so on.
Apart from that, you should identify the time when you are optimally productive. Utilize that time only for important work-related activities. For example, if you believe that you function your best during the early morning hours, finish most of your work at that time.
While doing so, avoid checking your phone or emails every few minutes. Without a doubt, that derails your productivity as well as attention. This way you will have more free time to invest in your personal development and commitments.
7. Don’t Strive for Perfection
In the end, you should realize that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect schedule’. You can only work towards a realistic one. It’s not possible to be 100% productive every single day. Even though it’s the ideal situation, you want to remain fluid in your schedule.
There will be days when your children need your time or when you want to dedicate your time to your hobbies. On the other days, you may have to travel for any number of reasons. The idea is to maximize your productivity without being too rigid.
Achieving a work-life balance wouldn’t remain a far-fetched dream if you follow the aforementioned strategies. You should learn to prioritize activities according to their level of importance. When your professional and personal life are in tune with each other, it reflects in your performance at work.
Moreover, when employees are happy and satisfied, organizations too never fail to achieve their goals and objectives. Therefore, companies must push towards a work culture that encourages a good work-life balance.