Sometimes the challenging professional life pushes us to forget to spare the necessary time to our personal life. For many people, it’s a real struggle to have a good work life balance because most of us, might not even notice the existence of such a concept. In our day, with our mobile phones and laptops, we are 24/7 online, which can somewhat make us feel like we are always working. The competitive work environment can usually push us to try to do more. To climb the career steps faster, we may think that we have to be always at the top in this status quo professional game, and respectively try to perform our best performance. In brief, without even realizing it, we are devoting ourselves to work in order to be more successful.
If we dedicate ourselves 100% to work and not answer the demands of our personal life, this situation is probably going to affect our physical and psychological health and also our productivity in the workplace.
So what does this ‘work life balance’ mean and how do we achieve a good work life balance? Firstly, the work life balance doesn’t mean dividing our time between work and private life equally. Work life balance is a matter of prioritizing something over another and being able to focus on more important things. So it’s a flexible concept, it may and should vary for everyone and also on a daily basis, following some basic principles.
The work life balance is hard to manage but it is really important for being a more healthy and happy person, also ensuring a successful career. It may seem impossible, but it’s not. However it’s not something you can change immediately. Starting with baby steps will lead you to achieve a more balanced and happy life.
Here are some important tips for ensuring a good work life balance.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Maybe it’s the key and the most important principle to achieve a good work life balance. Before starting the week, set your top priorities at work and also find something that you will look forward to. It may be a dinner with friends, a concert or just some relaxing time alone. This will motivate you to work more effectively.
While working, instead of multi tasking, focus on one thing. Divide your time between tasks, finish the most important ones first, then focus on the minor ones. If you make a to-do list daily, checking off the tasks one by one will make you feel relieved. It will be also a good reminder of how much work you have done and how much is left.
In other words, do not work harder, but smarter. Avoid to be a perfectionist, because it’s not a productive habit, on the contrary it can be destructive.
If needed, delegate some activities to your team members. It will motivate them as well and you can be more focused on more important tasks.
Thanks to technology, we can be always online, on the commute, in the bed before going to sleep or during a family dinner. Does that sound like the ideal way? It is not. Sometimes we have to go offline and enjoy the moment. Of course being able to be online can help us as well. For example we can send an urgent mail with our smartphone without opening our laptop. But this ‘urgent’ concept must have limits. Leave the work at work and if you are with friends or family, be really with them without checking your mobile. This will give you a real relaxation, not a superficial one, like when you are out of the office but still worrying about work.
Going offline doesn’t always mean to shut down all your electronic devices. You can spare some time for improving yourself, such as taking an online certificate course or a language course. You can enjoy a quite evening at home with your family watching a good movie all together.
Your mental health depends on your physical health. If you really try, it’s not hard to add some movement to your life. Don’t set some unrealistic goals such as “I will go to the gym every two days”. If you are not used to do it, probably you won’t be able to make it happen. Instead, set smaller goals. Creating a habit for exercising may sound difficult and time consuming but if you start small, you can fit it into your daily routine easily. If possible, walk to office twice a week, if not, get off from the public transport a couple of stops before.
Experts say that meditation is also a good way to achieve work life balance in life. And it even requires less effort then exercising. You can perform some breathing exercises, or you can spare less than ten minutes after waking up for a quick meditation. Meditating helps to arrange your mind and to be a calmer person.
Everyone has a couple of guilty pleasures. As the name implies, they are giving us pleasure. But scrolling thorough the social media aimlessly when you have to work on a project, or going out with friends from work third time in a week when you could spend some time with your children are some examples of time consuming habits. That’s the point where the pleasure becomes harmful.
Instead of checking the Facebook news-feed every ten minutes, you can limit yourself to do it for instance, three times a day. You have to learn to say no to people, if you think they are taking too much of your time, instead of other people that you want to spend time with. These kinds of habits take a meaningful of our time without we even realize it. If you start to trim them down one by one, you would see how many time you will gain back and this way, you’ll become even more efficient then before.
So even with all these tips, balancing work and personal life is still a hard struggle, but it surely is worth trying because the outcomes that we will get from it are great: a calmer, healthier, more happy private life also a more effective and productive work life.
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