4 Steps to Achieve and Maintain Better Work-Life Balance
In this demanding society, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. You’ve probably been in one or more of these scenarios: messed up schedules, missing out important family events and losing your fire for your personal passion. Sometimes, the boundaries between these two realms step into one another, leaving you fatigued, stressed and less productive than you ought to be.
If you find yourself burning out, less motivated and tired after clocking 20 hours of work, seven days a week, here are the best four tips to get your balancing act together.
1. Create Boundaries
Don’t bring your work home. Even if you do work home, you need to make sure that when work is done, it’s done. Create a schedule so that when you need to focus on work, your mind and spirit is there and not someplace else. Work-at-home entrepreneurs have the liberty to do what they want with their time, but they also fall prey to working too much or working less. The best that you can do is set a schedule and stick to it.
2. Don’t Feel Guilty About Saying No
Saying “yes” all the time is like putting yourself into unnecessary stress. You can say “no” when you feel its right to say so, and not feel guilty about it. Let go of the things you can’t commit to, such as those twice a week brunch with girlfriends or after-work party with your colleagues. When you carve time for work, you try to keep personal non-emergency things on schedule, and the same way with your personal life. You need to focus on what matters more to you even if that means turning down things and events that are not aligned with your goals.
It could be difficult to turn off and disconnect from your work when you’re used to being on-call for every single little issue. Even if it feels “off” to turn off your work-related communication system, do it. Keep your phone away from the dining table so you can connect with your family and bond with them. When you’re on a vacation or holiday, let your staff, business partners and customers know so they don’t unnecessarily disturb your peace and quiet. Enjoy the moment, recharge then face your work when you get back with more vitality.
4. Accept Your Imperfect Schedule
Would you still drag yourself out of bed and hit the gym at 6am even if you’re sick? Sure, you can mess up your schedule at one point or another, but forgive yourself. Life happens and your schedule won’t always be perfect. Sometimes, you may need to refuse a social gathering to be there for your kid’s ballet recital. Other times, you may miss your kid’s practice because of a business trip. Even when you strive for work-life balance, you should expect that it won’t always go like you plan. However, you can make the most of your time by deciding and prioritizing what’s most important for you.
While many people still struggle to find the right system in achieving work-life balance, you can begin yours with these tips. Don’t feel frustrated or upset about letting go of some events to give way for others that require your attention and presence. At the end of the day, you didn’t live to work, but you work to live.