5 Foolproof Ways to Maximize Your Work-Life Balance
Do you have good work-life balance? If not, this guide is for you! Here are 5 rules to follow if you want to achieve perfect work-life balance. Check it out!
We’ve all heard the expression: “Work hard, play hard.”
But, we don’t all take that advice.
Some of us spend a lot more time working than relaxing and enjoying life. It doesn’t have to be that way!
For some people, a healthy work-life balance seems unattainable. The good news is, it’s not!
Here are the five rules to live by to maximize your work-life balance.
#1 Improve Your Time-Management Skills
The easiest way to enjoy more time outside of work is to make your time at work more productive. The way to do that is to master those critical time-management skills.
There are a few simple steps you can take to get more done at work:
Write To-Do Lists
Make a to-do list and create calendars for all of your most important tasks – both high-level and nitty-gritty. Block out specific times for each project, and schedule in some downtime.
Set aside two or three blocks of time throughout the day to reply to emails and return phone calls. That way, you can focus on other tasks for longer periods (without interruption).
If you want, use a time-tracking program to avoid distractions and stay on-task.
Breaks are important. They give you time to clear your head. So, spend a few minutes unwinding each morning and afternoon.
This doesn’t mean it’s okay to slack off. But it is okay to take five or ten minutes in between projects to get your head ready for the next project.
And when lunch break comes around, make sure you actually eat lunch. Don’t check your work-related texts or emails. Just focus on yourself and take the opportunity to clear your mind.
#2 Learn to Enjoy Your Days Off
The only way to achieve true work-life balance is to enjoy life when you’re not at work – especially weekends and vacation days.
I recommend unplugging your devices altogether. But if you’re unable to do that, resist the urge to check emails when you’re not on the clock.
The less time you spend thinking about work, the more you’ll enjoy time with family and friends.
It can be difficult to disconnect completely – but it’s worth a try. And if you’re on a holiday or away on vacation, it’s an absolute must.
#3 Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to put your health on the backburner when work gets busy. But you have to prioritize your physical and mental wellness.
If you’re not feeling 100%, you won’t be able to do your best work. And that will only lead to longer working hours. In turn, you’ll have even less time to do the things you enjoy.
Make regular doctor appointments (and stick to them). Don’t put your health and wellbeing aside because your boss tossed you an extra assignment or your kids have a science project to do.
Taking care of yourself also means eliminating or cutting back on doing things you don’t love.
Can’t stand waiting in line at the supermarket? Order your groceries online and have them delivered!
Hate cleaning the house and doing laundry? Hire someone to help with the mess!
Offloading the tasks you dread will cost a few bucks, but can help you lead a happier, healthier life.
#4 Find a Job You Love (Or Work from Home)
The type of job you have can make a huge difference in how you perceive your work-life balance. When you work a job you love, even ten-hour days fly by!
Find a career that you’re passionate about. The more you like what you do, the less frustrated you’ll feel about doing it.
If you can find a job that allows you to work from home, jump on it! When you’re home, you can take care of little chores (like laundry or emptying the dishwasher) throughout the day. Then, you won’t have to do those chores when you return home from a long shift.
Not every company will allow you to work from home – but it never hurts to ask. Remote employment, even if it’s one or two days a week, can make a big difference in your work-life balance.
#5 Set Boundaries
Boundaries are important, both in the office and at home. A lack of boundaries leads to burnout.
In the office, stick to a schedule. Leave at the same time every day and only put in extra hours when absolutely necessary.
If a big project or crisis arises, tend to it. But on typical days, you should arrive and leave at a regular time.
At home, make sure your spouse and kids know what you can and can’t do for them.
Set some house rules for everyone to live by. Have the kids pitch in with chores. Ask your spouse to do a load or two of laundry. Think of them as roommates – if you were living with friends, you certainly wouldn’t do all the chores yourself!
Along with setting boundaries, learn how to say no. If you need a quiet night alone, decline your friends’ dinner invitations. While socializing is important, sometimes a little alone time provides the best balance of all.
Finding work-life balance may seem impossible, but it’s entirely possible.
Improve your time-management skills so that you’re more productive during the workday. Learn to enjoy your downtime, especially weekends, vacations, and holidays. Prioritize your health and set some boundaries with your colleagues and family members. The less the burden falls on you, the better off you’ll feel.
And, if possible, find a new job you love or consider working from home. The more flexible your schedule, the easier it will be to find time for the things you enjoy!
About the Author
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. With more than ten years of experience in the student housing industry, he works with Dwell College and Crown to optimize their marketing efforts.