Maintaining good work-life balance involves separating your professional and personal lives, so that they do not encroach upon one another.
It ensures that all aspects of your life get the attention they deserve, which can help you enjoy a more balanced and rewarding life.
In this post, I’ll explain the importance of finding a good work-life balance share some simple strategies for doing so.
Why Is Work-Life Balance Important?
Protecting Your Mental health
If your have a poor work-life balance you may find yourself often experiencing stress, as you never have an opportunity to completely wind-down and relax.
This type of ‘chronic’ stress can significantly impact your mental health, increasing the risk of several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression.
If you experience chronic stress over a long period it can also result in ‘burnout’ — a state of severe emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion.
If your work-life causes you to develop a mental illness or burnout it can have a dramatic impact on your relationships and the overall quality of your life.
Fewer health problems
Having a poor work-life balance will also impact your physical well-being.
Work-related stress can cause several physical symptoms including low energy, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, tense muscles, insomnia, and impotence.
It can suppress your immune system leaving you with a higher risk of contracting an illness.
When you have a poor work-life balance, it will also make it more difficult to find the time to exercise and eat well.
This can increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Good work-life balance gives you more time to invest in your personal and professional relationships.
You will be able to give your friends, work colleagues, and family members the attention they deserve.
This will improve the quality of your life by bringing you much more happiness, joy, friendship, and career advancement.
You become a more well-rounded individual
The interests you have outside of work are what make you an interesting, sophisticated, and well-rounded individual.
If your life is solely focussed on work, you will find yourself becoming very one-dimensional, which will impact everything from your relationships to your employability.
Several studies have found that employees with a good work-life balance are more engaged and productive while at work.
They have more energy available for work thanks to the satisfying private lives they have time to enjoy.
Simple Strategies For Finding A Good Work-Life Balance
Here are a few useful strategies that can make balancing your work life and private life much easier.
Begin tracking your time
Start by tracking exactly where your time is going.
How much time are you spending at work or thinking about work-related issues each day?
How much time do you get to spend with your friends and family?
Are you wasting any time on unproductive or pointless activities?
This information will help you determine how out of kilter your work-life balance is.
It can also help you identify opportunities for improving how you use your time.
Set priorities and goals
Think about your current life goals and how you will need to prioritise your time to reach them.
Do you want to spend more time with your family or do you want to focus on your career?
What do you need to start doing?
What do you need to stop doing?
Begin scheduling everything
The best way to make the most of your day is to schedule everything.
This will help you successfully complete your daily tasks and ensure that no time is wasted.
Having a schedule will also make it easier to work towards long-term goals and ensure priorities are met.
Many people with a poor work-life balance take on work on behalf of other people.
They are happy to complete the work of a colleague or perform chores on behalf of family members.
Eliminate this practice by setting fair and realistic limits on what you are willing to do for other people.
You should also set boundaries for when you are willing to do certain tasks.
For example, you could tell your boss that you are not reachable during the times of the day that you have set aside for family activities.
Exercise and eat well
Your health is a part of your life that you should never compromise on.
Set aside at least 30 minutes for exercise each morning.
Leave enough time in your daily schedule to prepare and eat nutritious meals.
This is a critical part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Make time for yourself
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t just about having time to ensure your work and daily obligations are completed.
It’s also about caring for your self.
Include time in your weekly schedule for meditation, reading, watching movies, massages, and any other self-care activities that you enjoy.
Think of technical and logistical solutions to improve work-life balance
Look for clever solutions that improve your work-life balance.
For example, you might be able to work from home a couple of times a week, which reduces the time you spend commuting and makes it easier to spend time with the family.
Other options include job-sharing, flex hours, and compressed work weeks.
Also, look for technological solutions that can improve work-life balance like online scheduling applications and video conferencing.
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