Work-life balance seems to be something people want but can be hard to find. Things like long hours and technology make it so easy to blur the lines between work and personal time, it’s hard to navigate. Here is your guide to finding a healthy work-life balance.
Last week on the blog, we talked about how to manage stress. This week we are focusing on work-life balance. It seems to be something people want but can be hard to find. Things like long hours and technology make it so easy to blur the lines between work and personal time, it’s hard to navigate. Here is your guide to finding a healthy work-life balance.
First, what exactly is work life balance? There isn’t an exact straightforward answer because it looks slightly different depending on job fields and lifestyle, but it could look like:
- Not thinking about work at home and on your days off.
- Successfully completing tasks at work and at home.
- Having the time to take care of yourself like getting enough sleep, exercising, socializing etc.
Here are some things you can do to achieve work-life-balance.
One thing you can do is reflect on what is causing the imbalance. You can ask yourself questions like:
- Is it an increase in responsibility at work or at home?
- Are you working long hours or have an inconsistent work schedule?
- Is it balancing work with kids and their schedule?
- Is it a combination of things?
By figuring out what is not working, you can start finding ways to get rebalanced. After reflecting, make a list or calendar of what you have going on so you can see it right in front of you. Then, start asking questions like:
- What are my priorities?
- What absolutely needs to be done?
- What can wait?
- Is there any area I need to cut back on?
Reflecting might not sound like a proactive way to solve problems, but it can help you gain perspective about what is going on in your life now and what you want your life to look like in the future. It is easy to fall into a trap of a never ending to do list. Give yourself the time and grace to be able to fit things in that will help you and your well-being.
Once you can prioritize the things that are most important for you, you can start to be more intentional about your time. This just means you are being proactive in using the time you have to accomplish the things you prioritized. This can help you with
- Getting tasks accomplished at work
- Home and family obligations like chores or projects
- Personal goals like new health habits or hobbies
For example, if you want to prioritize your relationships, set a goal to schedule time with people that will foster that goal. Even if it is small like getting coffee once a month or a weekly phone call; these things will help you feel more fulfilled and feel more in control.
One step to focus on is leaving work at work by setting boundaries. A good first step would be to stop checking email after work. If you have notifications turned on, turn them off during your off hours. If you have a boss frequently calling you, talk to them about after-hour communications so you can set boundaries. This can be daunting depending on your relationship with your boss or supervisor. Here is a resource for how to have different conversations with a boss. Having these conversations can help both parties understand what is expected. Disconnecting when possible, will help you focus on the important things you have going on in your personal life. This is an area that will vary from situation to situation. If you work from home, try creating a separate workspace other than where you sleep or put your work stuff away, so you don’t go back to it until you are working again. This is different for people who are on-call and must be ready to jump back into work. If you find yourself on call, find small activities you can engage in that bring you joy. That way you can still enjoy time off work even when you might be called in.
If you are trying to navigate things like employment or finances in order to find more balance, connect with one of our coaches who can sit down and help you figure out what your next steps are. Call 317-639-6106 or fill out this form to get connected to Mary Rigg today.