It seems that everyone is talking about how to achievework-life balance, and for a good reason. Flexible working hours have become more the norm than the exception in today’s business environment – especially with work from home becoming an ever-increasing norm and expectation from employers. The buzz word ‘work-life balance is no longer a phrase reserved for human resources (HR) discussions; it’s becoming more mainstream as companies are starting to realize that their employees are more loyal, hardworking, and productive when they have the flexibility to operate with a healthy work/life balance.
A great work-life balance is critical for a happy and healthy lifestyle. But what does a good work-life balance mean? A work-life balance means finding the perfect balance between the time you spend working and doing things you enjoy. It’s about creating a routine where you have time to relax, exercise, meet friends, attend family functions, and more. It’s also about being strategic in your approach to managing both your personal life and professional life.
Studies have shown that achieve a healthy work-life balance can benefit you in numerous ways:
- Less Stress
- A better ability to be present in your day-to-day life
- Lead to increased engagement and productivity at work
- Increase in Creativity
- Higher levels of success
Balancing work and life is challenging for anyone. In today’s fast paced business world, it has become difficult to enjoy your life outside of work. If you are not well-rested and burnt out it will be harder to succeed in your job making you less productive and more stressed and this cycle can only continue until you reach the end of your rope. This can seem especially hard to accomplish when your office & home are the same space.
3 steps to achieve work-life balance
A lot of people get bogged down by the overwhelming concept of work-life balance. What they don’t realize is that work-life balance doesn’t mean throwing everything away and starting from scratch, it means making the lives you are currently living better. So, the first step to a better life is to make small improvements.
Small improvements are the key to achieving an overall balance. Find your version of work-life balance – it may not be the same as someone else’s and that’s okay.
Smart Small Example
- Eat a perfect breakfast
- Write a Monday morning to-do list and enjoy every minute of it
- Go out on Sunday night but still get up early enough to go for a morning run
If you start making little things in your day better, you’ll find yourself managing the less relaxed hours easier. A burnt-out brain needs more than a week off – it needs a change in routine and commitment to change. One small change at a time.
It’s no secret that our digital world is completely immersed in technology. We expect answers, solutions and even relationships to come from the screen of a mobile phone. In a business sense, we view outbound communications as the most effective way to potentially bring new business in the door. But more than ever, people are lamenting about how stressful it is to be constantly connected to work. The key to dealing with these ever-present temptations and helping you achieve work-life balance is a fairly simple one: disconnect. A good suggestion for getting started with this is asking yourself if a given action really needs to take place at that certain moment. If the answer is no, then it’s OK to go ahead and simply ignore it most of the time. Working at the office, working at home, checking your email constantly — those are the enemies of work-life balance.
Making time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself is one of the most valuable time investments you can make. It allows you to feel more refreshed, more productive, and more motivated to start your day in a productive manner. While it is incumbent upon you to establish a routine for yourself, technology has fundamentally altered our habits – and we don’t always know how to find balance. By disconnecting from technology and making time for yourself, you may find that you are happier and more productive in your personal life as well as at the office. And if you can still get your job done after taking a break from all the distractions of our digital world, it will be well worth it.
Set Boundaries (and stick to them)
In professional life, your work-life boundaries get blurred frequently. They get blurred by temptations from office, by the growing list of unending to-dos and by the negative emotions that come from both sides. But it is important to remember that these very separations are not to be considered as something obvious; they are to be identified and marked explicitly by you. Without these self-imposed lines of demarcation, you may find yourself getting stuck in a zone where you don’t feel like an altogether happy-go-lucky employee and you also don’t feel like enjoying your life the way you should while failing to provide the best of your work to your organization.
We all must learn where and how to establish boundaries, to better enjoy our work/life balance. There is no need for us to feel guilty about working from home, but we do need to be aware of boundaries that we want – and need – to keep a healthy balance between work and the other obligations we have in life, be they family-related or otherwise. The benefit of setting boundaries is they help you manage expectations in your life and allow you to say no to things that don’t support your career or overall health.
The definition of work-life balance keeps changing, but its importance hasn’t dwindled. Many of these concepts may seem obvious, but they’re something that many of us forget on a regular basis. In the end, finding a healthy work-life balance is a highly personal endeavour. There’s not really a “one-size-fits-all” solution to this problem. By setting time aside for what you love, you’ll find yourself feeling refreshed and ready to face the challenges of work without feeling so overwhelmed by them.