If there is one thing in life that you must have, no matter what kind of career you have or what your family life is like, it is a good work-life balance. So often we get completely caught up in our work, and that can mean that, although we think it’s important – and it could well be – our homes lives suffer for it. We miss out of spending time with our families or neglect our own self-care to the point where we become unwell, either mentally or physically.
At the very least it’s good to have a fair work-life balance in order to allow yourself to have a rest, and to have fun. Work should never be everything about your life; if it becomes this way, your retirement won’t be enjoyable either.
Here are some ways that you can create a work-life balance that works for you.
Remember How Much Time You Have
When trying to create a great work-life balance, it’s important to remember just how much time you have; there are only 24 hours in a day, and part of that will be spent sleeping. What you’re left with is what you need to work (and play) with, and trying to fit in more than the hours you have will allow is what will make you depressed and frustrated. It’s what will make you feel that you’re not good enough, or that you need to compromise somehow (usually by spending less time with your family) to fit in everything that needs to be done.
Make A Plan
Understanding how much time you have for the day is the first step, but if you don’t have a plan to stick to, then it can be hard to tell yourself that you can do it all – or remind yourself that you can’t (which is no bad thing). By blocking out specific times of the day for work, family time, and self-care, which could be time spent seeing friends, enjoying a relaxing massage, or perhaps trying some yoga, you will more easily be able to fit everything in without feeling stressed, rushed, or as though you have to sacrifice one thing for another.
Combine What You Can
If you do have a lot to do, why not try to combine tasks when you can? You might want to exercise, but you also want to meet up with friends, for example. In that case, you could walk to the meeting point, or perhaps go for a jog together. You can catch up with your friends and get fit at the same time.
Multitasking is not something that is recommended; it reduces productivity and increases stress. However, combining two or more tasks like this is a different matter – you will certainly get more done and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.
It may seem like a simple idea – if you work less you’ll have more time to be at home with your loved ones – but it does make sense. If you are working crazy hours, it’s time to step back and think about what you are doing and why you are doing it; what exactly are you working so hard for? If it’s to pay off debts, you could look into a consolidation loan, for example; you can get these loans even if you have poor credit, and there is more information about how to go about it on this page.
If you are working in order to make a success of yourself and your business, then you might need to start looking at putting a team together, and either hiring people to help you or outsourcing some of your work.
Knowing why you are working the hours you are working is the first step in cutting them down, and that is one of the best ways to obtain a better work-life balance.
When you are working it can be tempting to skip your breaks altogether to get more done, but it is important to have your breaks. Stand up, get away from your desk, take a walk, even if it is just to the other side of the room to look out of the window, and rest your mind for a moment.
You may think that you will get less done this way, but in reality you will be more productive if you take regular breaks. This means that you should be able to finish your work in your allocated work hours, and not have to let it creep into your family time too.
Most people will want to say yes when they are asked to do something. It is human nature to want to please other people and to want to be thought of as someone who will help others. However, saying no can sometimes be the best option. You can’t do everything; you shouldn’t try to do everything.
You should always say no if:
- You don’t have the time
- You don’t have the skills
- You don’t want to (only if it is not expected of you)
You don’t have to be rude when saying no, and you don’t have to explain yourself. You just have to do what is right for you. Taking care of yourself is vital for a good work-life balance.
When you have time to yourself, you should use it wisely. You should treat yourself. This will make you appreciate that time all the more, and it will make you more relaxed and ready for work in a productive way which, as we’ve mentioned above, will give you more time away from work in the long term.
Take A Vacation
Finally, you should take a vacation. For one week or two, you can fully focus on your own life and your family, and be away from work. Even if you still need to take phone calls or answer emails (perhaps because you are self-employed), you will still be working a lot less than you normally would be. Spend the time enjoying your family and finding out more about them.