Work-life balance has steadily increased in value over the years. More employees are prioritizing personal needs over working 24/7. While the siren call of hustle culture can be loud, listening to it can often result in an unhealthy lifestyle.
A poor work-life balance can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress. Additionally, overworked employees have limited time and motivation to exercise and get a good night’s rest. All of this can lead to increased health issues that could be avoided simply by improving one’s work-life balance.
The good news is that balancing your work life and your personal life is partially within your control. There are a lot of things you can do to improve this balance in your life. It’s well worth the effort, so give these tips a try to better balance your life:
1. Get Your Finances in Order
Why do you work? You may love what you do, but at the end of the day most people work to make ends meet. Bills need to be paid, groceries need to be purchased, and subscriptions need to be renewed. Working for money is the only way to make that happen unless you’re independently wealthy.
If you’re feeling stressed about money, you might feel inclined to work more hours. Doing so can be detrimental to your work-life balance. While it may be necessary to pick up some extra hours occasionally, managing your finances is a better long-term alternative.
Write down a budget, and follow it. Download a debit card app, and track your spending. As you get your finances in order, you can relax more and focus on your personal life without so much stress.
2. Schedule Your Time Better
If you want to make something happen, schedule it into your calendar. Keep in mind that you can schedule more than just work tasks — your personal life deserves dedicated time, too. Being intentional about your daily itinerary will make your aspirations for work-life balance feasible. Each calendar event you create is a goal to achieve and an obligation to fulfill. This will change your mindset when it comes to planning time for work and family.
Don’t be shy about creating reminders for what’s important in life. For example, when was the last time you scheduled a family dinner into your calendar? Adding this simple activity to your schedule will make it happen even if you’ve fallen out of the habit.
3. Set Goals for Both Areas
If you want to achieve anything in life, goal setting will be your best friend. It’s not enough to simply say, “I want a better work-life balance.” What does that mean to you? Goals need to be attainable and measurable so you can take actionable steps toward achieving them.
For example, one of your work goals could be to stop working late so often. To accomplish this, create a plan that helps you complete your daily tasks within the window of your shift.
Next, look at the rest of your life. A lot of people have work goals, but what about personal goals? What do you hope to accomplish when you’re not at work? Say you have a goal to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year. Then think about the actions you can take to make that happen.
4. Fall Into a Routine
One of the most powerful time-management techniques you can implement in your pursuit of work-life balance is a routine. By following the same pattern every day, you can keep your work and personal life from spilling over into each other.
A consistent work schedule makes it easy to build daily routines. You can wake up at the same time each day and get home at the same time to focus on your personal life. Not everyone has a consistent schedule, however. So you might have to get creative with the routines you put together.
5. Try Working From Home
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a new work-from-home culture that was necessary at first, then preferable for many workers later. This kept businesses running while reducing the spread of the virus before vaccines were available. Even though offices are starting to get back to normal, many workers want to keep working remotely because of the better work-life balance.
Working from home provides incredible flexibility for employees. Remote work is also a win for companies. Approximately 83% of employers say the shift to remote work is a net positive for productivity. Remote workers can more easily rearrange work schedules to attend family events or pursue hobbies during the day. As long as deadlines are being met and the quality of work doesn’t dip, a remote worker’s schedule is a blank canvas.
If you decide to work from home, be sure to show discipline when planning your schedule. There are great opportunities for balance. But it’s also dangerously easy to allow one side of your life to overtake the other when work happens at home. So make a daily plan, and stick to it.
6. Speak With Your Employer
This will be the most challenging step to take, but it also has the most potential. Some aspects of your employment will be out of your control until you speak with your employer about them. By addressing your concerns, you might be surprised to see how willing your manager is to work with you.
Smart employers worry about employee retention and happiness. It has been proven time and time again that employees who are content work hard and stay longer. Turnover is costly and difficult to manage, so most managers want to avoid it.
That being said, your manager may totally be willing to adjust your schedule and hours to the best of their ability. You’ll never know until you ask. Even if the answer is no, you’ll never have to wonder if there was something more you could do to achieve the perfect balance.
It’s important to work, but it’s also important to enjoy the many other things that life has to offer. Start working on your life balance to end the year and 2022 will be filled with so much joy and opportunity.
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