“Work is part of life. Life should be part of work, in that we should be able to bring our whole selves to work — or more of ourselves, at least” – Dr. Tracy Brower.
Maintaining a work-life balance in today’s fast-paced life is almost an impossible feat and a daily challenge. Having to fit in the responsibilities of the workday, home life, and loved ones, all in a mere 24 hours, can get overwhelming if you need to learn how to set boundaries and truly unplug.
This article will uncover the importance of work-life balance and provide you with bulletproof ways to achieve it.
But first, let’s dig into the definition of work-life balance.
What is work-life balance?
Oxford Advanced American Dictionary defines work-life balance as the number of hours per week you spend working, compared with the number of hours you spend with your family and attending to other personal errands.
However, the current era of technology has reshaped this definition entirely, making it difficult to fully switch off from work after office hours. And after the pandemic, many switched to a new mode of work, remote or hybrid, which made it even more essential to find a healthy work-life balance.
Why is work-life balance important?
A balanced life on all fronts makes life easier, promotes happiness and emotional stability, and makes you feel more in control of both the demands of your career and personal life.
When you achieve a healthy work-life balance, you are enhancing your physical and mental health, your time management improves and hence increased productivity. You are also promoting creative thinking and in turn you feel happiness and fulfillment in all aspects of your life. But most importantly, you become a better-rounded person with interests and hobbies outside of work.
How to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
Work-life balance is less about dividing the hours in your day evenly between work and personal life and more about having the flexibility to get things done in your professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life.
1- Create a personal and professional to-do list.
Planning ahead makes you more in control of your time and more efficient at work and home. Create a daily to-do list for work and personal time, as this will give you structure and a plan to stick to. The rule of thumb is to never bring work stress home with you and vice versa.
2- Practice self-care
Prioritizing self-care and your own health needs will help you show up better at work and in your personal life. Start by eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, unplugging technology every once in a while, meditating, and simply switching off from the daily stress to give yourself enough space and time to come back feeling refreshed and empowered to tackle your challenges.
3- Ask for help
The first step to having the balanced work-life you aspire for; is to get over your reluctance to ask for help. Not only will asking for help enable you to manage your workload and improve your productivity, but it will also help you develop stronger relationships with your coworkers and create a collaborative work environment.
4- Make time for yourself
It’s not about splitting your time evenly between work and home! Dedicating some time off of your schedule weekly to meet with friends or a simple 10-minute walk during work can help ease stress and lift your mood.
5- Most importantly, start small
To guarantee a healthy work-life balance, start with one small change at a time. You won’t feel the change immediately, and remember that it takes time to get to where you want to be.
Creating balance on all life’s fronts is an ongoing process, constantly changing as your interests and circumstances change over time. It is best if you continuously revisit your priorities every once in a while to create the lifestyle balance that works best for your current needs.