One of the keys to living a truly successful life is having work-life balance or also known as work-life integration, more and more people are focusing on this and working towards obtaining the ideal work-life balance.
Work-life balance refers to the level of prioritisation between your personal and professional life, so in other words making sure that you spend equal amounts of time socializing as well as working on your career.
Being able to continuously obtain a healthy work-life balance creates a sense of overall wellness which in turn creates success.
Being able to achieve a continuous work-life balance can be very challenging as it is something that you need to work on each and every day. It isn’t always easy to make time for family, friends, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other activities, as well as focus 100% on your career. The key is to first be aware that a change needs to be made and then make an effort to work on this daily until you have mastered it and once mastering it to not let the wheels fall off.
9 Tips Towards obtaining the ideal work-life balance:
- Accept that the word “perfect” Work-Life Balance doesn’t exist – No matter how hard you try you will never achieve a perfect work-life balance, there will be days that you are extremely productive at work and will need to stay at work a little longer and then there will be days where you are not focused at work and can’t wait to just get out of there. Remember that you always need to remain realistic and that means continuously working towards a as “perfect” work-life balance as you can and if things slip a little just get back on track.
- Make use of your time wisely – It is extremely important not to give yourself a To-Do List that never ends. We all know that there are things that MUST happen during the day and then there are certain things that can be done the next day. The first thing to do is take the last 10 minutes of each working day and write down the top 5 things that you have to do the next day, prioritizing them in levels of importance. Make sure that when you get to the office you don’t get distracted and start with these immediately. As you complete each task add something new to your list but make sure that there are never more than 5 tasks on your list at a time and make sure that you complete each one before adding a new one. Another thing to do is work full out for 180 minutes and then give yourself a 10 minute break. You can’t concentrate for more than that until your brain needs a break, make sure that you have no distractions around you and that you remain focused on the task/s in front of you. Taking a break just gives your brain some time to rest and then you are good to go again.
- Learn to say no – It is important to remember that you are only one person so you can’t go around helping everyone else when your work is left behind. You need to learn to say no, “No I can’t help you now” or “No, ask Susy to help you”. By learning how to say no you are not only empowering yourself, but you are able to complete all your own tasks and won’t end up spending too many late nights at work. If you are the only person that can help, finish what you are currently busy with and then go and help the person, don’t stop half way through what you are doing.
- Have set working hours and stick to them – Make sure that you set yourself reasonable working hours and then stick to them. If you aren’t strict with this you will catch yourself working till you are the only person left at work or if you work for yourself you’ll end up working till all hours of the morning. You have to be very disciplined when it comes to your working hours.
- Exercise – Make exercise a must-do in your daily life rather than if I have time. It is so easy to say that you will exercise tomorrow and then tomorrow never comes. A healthy body means a refreshed mind, which in turn means more energy and as a result of this you will be more focused.
- Disconnect after hours – The minute you walk through the door at home or stop working from home put your cellphone/laptop to one side and don’t look at it until the next morning. Social Media, emails and messages consume our lives and if we don’t make a concerted effort we will sit glued to either our cellphones or laptops the entire evening. It doesn’t help that you are at home sitting in one room with your family but you are glued to these devices.
- Leave work at work – Once you leave the office, you leave everything that comes with it behind you, don’t fall into a trap of speaking about work from the minute you arrive home until you go to bed or if you are going out on a dinner date you don’t want to speak about work the whole time, you will definitely end up boring the person across from you. If you really need to speak to someone about work limit yourself to 10 minutes just to get what you need off your chest and then forget about it.
- Find a career that you love – Believe it or not this plays a important role in your work-life balance, if you love what you do then you will be extremely content with your life and integrating work and life will be easy. If you hate what you do, your career will drain you and you will have absolutely no drive or energy to participate in anything outside of work and you will permanently be miserable.
- Take a vacation – Your body needs more than a couple hours of time-out, your body needs a couple of days of quality time-out. Make sure that you take a vacation each and every year and when you go on vacation go on vacation don’t pack in your laptop, also remember to disconnect your emails on your cellphone. Time away restores your mind, body and soul and you will go back to work 100% better being able to give your all again.
The worst thing you could ever do for yourself is let your career consume you and having your family live a life without you. Don’t wake up one day when it’s too late and want to change things around, live each day as balanced as you possibly can.
“Never get to busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”Dolly Parton
Always remember that you only get one life so live it to the fullest and always aim at living your best life. Don’t ever live with regrets.