Work-Life Balance And How To Achieve It
As work-from-home becomes the norm for most people, it can be quite a hassle to maintain proper work-life balance, especially as your working space and living space are now merged into one. Millennials, now more than ever, struggle to find a balance between their personal and professional life and this not only impacts your mental health, it impacts your physical health and your relationship with your loved ones.
According to one research, persons who work more than 55 hours per week are at an increased risk of stroke. The same number of hours worked is also linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Another study discovered that working long hours was associated with a loss in physical health, even after accounting for fairly typical sleep patterns.
However, striking a healthy balance between work and life—also known as work-life integration—is essential if we are to enhance not just our physical, emotional, and mental health, but also our career goals and aims.
Coming to and leaving work on time is simply one aspect of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It's also about setting things in order of significance from a larger viewpoint. Setting priorities enables one to save time and energy. Consequently, they can strike the ideal balance between their personal and professional lives.
In terms of its effects, work-life balance is crucial for employees, but it also influences the business. Employees who can give their well-being equal priority are happier and more content. And their performance and conduct at work do reflect this.
If work-life balance is so important, how do we achieve this? Here are 9 simple steps you can follow to make sure that you prioritize your personal life as much as your professional life.
Taking a break during work hours: Work-life balance is not only about your life after work, it is also about your self-care during work. Taking breaks between tasks help you cope with stress. The human body is not built to operate for lengthy periods. Exercises at the desk or moderate physical activity like a walk can be quite beneficial. You can recuperate from exhaustion and improve your agility at work with the aid of such brief pauses.
Cut down where it’s necessary and possible: Consider how you now divide your time between your numerous responsibilities. For a week or two, try keeping track of your time to have a better understanding of how each day's hours and minutes are spent. You might be able to find some tasks that require less time or can be skipped altogether. You might also figure out that working together with a colleague can help reduce the time taken for a task and can help both of you take things off your plate.
Create boundaries: Setting more rigid limits around your work might be beneficial whether you are working onsite or remotely. You won't feel like you're "at work" all the time in this way. Additionally, your body and mind can unwind and rejuvenate or at the very least, concentrate. For example, you can delete emails and work-related apps from your phone or use an app to block work email and apps during non-working hours.
Learn to say No: Consider your priorities at home and work, and make an effort to cut down your to-do list. Cut or delegate tasks you find tedious or difficult, or discuss your worries and potential solutions with your supervisor or others. You'll have more time for worthwhile pursuits when you stop accepting assignments out of guilt or a fictitious feeling of responsibility.
Let go of perfectionism: Many young overachievers who have just school, hobbies, and perhaps an after-school job to occupy their time grow to be perfectionists. As a child, it's simpler to keep up that meticulous tendency, but as you get older, life becomes more challenging. Your duties increase as you advance professionally and as your family expands. Perfectionism becomes unattainable and, if not curbed, may become detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
Make complete use of your PTO (Paid time off): Avoiding vacations can cause burnout and make you feel as though all you do is work. Jill Duffy, a writer and the author of "The Everything Guide to Remote Work," advises taking the entire day off when you are unwell, without checking your work email or attempting to submit a report. For independent employees, such as freelancers and small company owners, taking a sick day or numerous sick days is more difficult. However, Duffy notes that "wearing oneself down" also doesn't pay off in the long term.
Make time for yourself and your loved ones: Even while your job is important, it shouldn't take up all of your time. Before accepting this employment, you were an individual of your own and so, give priority to the interests or pursuits that bring you joy. Make a calendar for romantic and family dates when scheduling time with your loved ones. Planning one-on-one time with someone you share a home with may seem strange, but it will ensure that you spend meaningful time with them without work-life conflict. Just because your job keeps you busy doesn't imply you should put off maintaining your connections.
Set goals and priorities: We are back to the topic of priority as this is the most crucial step in achieving work-life balance. By using time-management techniques, evaluating your to-do list, and eliminating things that are of little or no value, you may set attainable goals. Pay attention to when you are most productive at work and save that time for the tasks that are most crucial to your work. Avoid constantly checking your phone and email since they are significant time wasters that interfere with your focus and productivity. Organizing your day can help you be more productive at work, which will give you more time to unwind after work.
Get professional help: You do not have to be on the verge of a mental breakdown to get support from a professional. When it comes to striking a healthy work-life balance, coaches and therapists may be a great source of assistance. They can help you set short-term and long-term goals, assist in creating boundaries and help increase your motivation. It’s never too early or too late to get professional help in any area of your life.
For each person, a healthy work-life balance looks different and finding out what a meaningful, successful life entails for you is the key. As you take on new jobs and leave behind old ones, keep in mind that your ideal work-life balance will frequently change. To ensure that you prioritize what is essential to you, check in with yourself periodically. These check-ins can give you time to consider what needs to change and to look into resources that can assist you in making those changes.