Maintaining a harmonious work-life balance is crucial for a happy, fulfilling life. But this task has never been easy. Many people struggle to balance out working hard at work, with taking care of themselves, and finding time for friends, family and hobbies.
And today, it’s even more challenging. That’s because technology has made work accessible around the clock. Working from home often blurs professional and personal life boundaries, and your desire to succeed in more and more demanding workplaces can push you to set aside your personal well-being.
However, finding the right balance between working effectively, and having enough time and energy for life outside of the office is essential, not only for your physical and mental health, but also for your career. Balance reduces stress, prevents burnout, and allows you to be in control of your life. That, in turn, helps you to work more efficiently and productively.
Оf course, a perfect work-life balance means something different to everyone, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this matter. But here are ten simple but, at the same time, very effective work-life balance tips that anyone can implement right now to start living a more stress-free and fulfilling life.
#1 Let go of perfectionism
There’s nothing wrong with trying to do everything as well as you can. However, it’s crucial to understand the difference between excellence and perfectionism.
Perfectionists' habits can be quite dangerous. They slow your work down and put too much pressure on you.
So, stop setting extremely high, unrealistic standards for yourself, and aim for excellence instead.
#2 Take care of your body and mind
When your calendars fill up, the idea of skipping the gym, cutting off an hour or two of sleep, or eating fast food might be tempting. But actually, regular exercise, enough sleep, a healthy diet, and meditation will help you to stay motivated and productive.
So, investing a little more time and effort in taking care of yourself will help you to reach a better work-life balance in the long term.
#3 Detach from work
Technology makes it easy to access work at any time and from anywhere. But it also makes it harder to leave work behind after the workday has ended.
Answering job-related calls while cooking dinner, or reading emails early in the morning, makes you feel like you’re always working. This can lead to chronic stress and depression.
So, set clear boundaries with your colleagues and clients, and don’t work outside your standard business hours. If bringing work home cannot be avoided, at least give yourself a time limit and don’t work beyond it.
#4 Limit time-wasting activities
Have you ever been in a situation like this... You’re about to start working on an important task but decide to check what's new on Facebook. Then you end up mindlessly surfing your feed for an hour.
Well, you’re not alone. Everyone procrastinates from time to time.
However, if you want to have more time to enjoy life outside of the office, you need to make sure that you stay productive during your workday. And one of the most effective ways to increase your productivity is to limit any time-wasting activities.
#5 Say no to unimportant tasks
Sometimes finding the right work-life balance is impossible without making your to-do list shorter.
Evaluate all your daily activities and decide what’s actually important to you. Then cut out tasks that have little to no value, and consider delegating those tasks to others.
For example, if cleaning your apartment each Saturday drains your energy, maybe it’s time to start using a cleaning company.
#6 Do one thing you love during the work week
Just because your work keeps you busy during the week, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the weekend to invest time in your hobbies, or seeing people you care about.
On the contrary, simple things like grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend on Tuesday, or going to a yoga class on Wednesday, can keep you energized and motivated. It’ll also allow you to lead a more balanced life.
#7 Simplify your life
Most people’s days are full of tasks, from the early morning to late evening. These tasks include; tasks at work, personal errands, taking care of kids, grocery shopping, cleaning, hobbies...
Obviously, the more things you have on your plate, the more challenging it is to find the right balance between everything.
So, by simplifying your life you can make more room for what is really important to you. By scaling back your belongings, schedules, and commitments, you will create free space in your home, calendar and mind for the things that truly matter to you.
#8 Block time for personal activities
Another efficient technique for achieving work-life balance is scheduling your personal activities.
If you block time in your calendar for hobbies, exercises, or seeing friends, you’re much more likely to stick to the schedule. And this way, you’ll avoid situations where ‘you never have time for anything outside of work’.
#9 Allow for flexibility
A work-life balance doesn’t mean that your time and energy will always be equally divided between work and your personal life.
Accept the fact that there’ll be times when it’s necessary to give more time to your career, or to your family. So, don’t get stressed out if you have to adjust your schedule. Just change your routines as needed.
#10 Start small
And the last thing to keep in mind: don’t commit to drastic changes in your life.
If you attempt to change too many things at once, you’re more likely to give up before seeing any success.
For example, if you’ve never exercised before, the plan to start running five kilometers every day starting tomorrow, might not work out. It’s better to start with a short run a couple of times a week, and then increase the frequency and distance over a period of time.
Building new habits requires time. So, take small steps and build up from there.
Having a good work-life balance is a continuous process. Your responsibilities at work might change, you may find new hobbies, and some tasks are more important at different periods in your life. But hopefully, these strategies and tips will help you to reach your goals and live a more balanced life.