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Is Work-Life Balance Achievable?

Achieving the obscure “work-life balance” can often feel like an unachievable goal, especially for people who strive to give everything 100%. In today’s “do more with less” competitive reality, is it possible to manage careers and families, and feel satisfied with both?

People who study workplace culture emphasize that someone’s best individual work-life balance will vary over time. The right balance for you when you’re single will change when you marry or have children. Experts also say that a few small steps can go a long way toward staying sane at work and home.

Here are things you need to do for a possible work-life balance;

Set Your Priorities

Figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself, “If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?”

That answer is your top priority. What would you focus on second? Third? Fourth? Fifth? You’ve now identified your top five priorities.

Track Your Time

For one week, track how you spend your time. How much time do you spend doing things that don’t matter to you? Or that don’t align with your priorities? Eliminate these things from your life, or delegate them. 

Learn Your Employer’s Policies. 

Inquire about your company’s policies on flextime and working from home. If you’re a strong performer, you have a better chance of negotiating an arrangement that works for both you and your employer.

Use Technology to Your Advantage. 

Virtually every piece of technology has an off button, so use it. It is not easy and for many people this is the hardest thing to do. Technology should help make your life easier, not control it. Ban technology at certain times so that you can focus on your family or friends.

Concentrate on One Thing at a Time

Forget multi-tasking. It’s not possible to focus on two things at the same time. Instead, devote your full attention to the task at hand.

When you are working, work. When you are spending time with your family, focus solely on them.

Learn to Say “No.” 

Remember that you can respectfully decline offers to run the PTA or serve on an extra committee at work. When you stop doing things out of guilt, you’ll find more time to focus on the activities that truly bring you joy.

Set Objectives; Schedule One Thing You Look Forward to Each Day.

Book some time to play tennis with a friend, go to an art museum, or have a massage. The activity doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated, or expensive. Put aside some time on your schedule to read a book, take a walk, or just to be alone. 

Respect Your Private Time

An emergency would most likely have to come up before you’d reschedule an important work meeting. Give your own time the same respect. Once you’ve put private time on your schedule, protect it, unless there’s an emergency

Appraise Yourself; Take a Look AT Your Personal Habits and General Lifestyle

Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and bad exercise habits can cause you to feel a lack of balance in your life, and can counteract any efforts you are making to achieve work-life balance.

Fight the Guilt. 

Real people can’t devote 100% to everything they do. Stop feeling guilty if you miss an occasional soccer game or bail on a colleague’s going-away party.

Take a Vacation

At the very least, take two weeks off from work per year. You don’t need to go far and you don’t need to spend lots of money, but you do need to recharge your batteries in order to be the most productive, creative, and happy person possible. Turn off your cell phone and computer, and enjoy.

Reward Yourself

Rewards are important because they are the something extra you have been working towards. So, after you have set your goals, and you’ve achieved them – take the reward.

In taking rewards a good technique is to focus on making money, not just saving money. There are many ways to make additional money, outside of work, such as buying and selling real estate, day trading on the share market, cleaning out your garage and having a sale, or commercializing a hobby. With the additional money you make you can afford the reward. A big part of Work/Life balance is feeling great about yourself, a very good way is to have lots of rewards. By doing this, everything will become more enjoyable.

Get a Personal Life Coach

A personal coach can assess your current work-life balance, and can tell you what you can do to achieve optimal balance.

Hear Some Music

Listen to your favorite music at work to foster concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and stimulate creativity. According to Mental Health America, Studies dating back more than 30 years show the benefits of music in everyday life, including lowered blood pressure. Be sure to wear headphones on the job, and then pump up the volume and your productivity.

Exercise and Treat Your Body Well

Exercise relieves stress, clears your mind, and ultimately makes you more productive. Don’t skip it. You’ll find that you greet work, family, and personal commitments with renewed vigor. Being in good shape physically increases your tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. Eat right, exercise and get adequate rest. Don’t rely on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress; they’ll only lead to more problems.

Love Your Job

Career development is a journey and with every journey it’s more enjoyable if you enjoy every stage. Enjoy the tasks, the people, the environment and the opportunities. You can maximize your enjoyment by undertaking a number of professional development courses. Your enhanced knowledge and understanding will increase your control and with this control you will achieve a better balance. So, to enhance your work/life balance it is so very important to enjoy what you do, or change what you do.

References:

Jacquelyn Smith (2013) 8 Ways of Achieving Work-Life Balance. Retrieved from www.forbes.com

Dawn Dugan (2014); 14 Ways to achieving Better work-life balance. Retrieved from www.sallary.com

Craig Cincotta (2015); 5 Secretes to achieving and maintaining work-life balance. Retrieved from www.entrepreneur.com  

Glenn Carter (2015); Top 10 tips on work-life balance. Retrieved from www.pmpconnect.com

Mental Health America. Work Life balance. Retrieved from www.mentalhealthamerica.net 

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