Idealistically, work-life balance means prioritizing both professional and personal goals; that includes spending time with family and friends, exploring hobbies or interests or simply taking some much-needed downtime.
Attaining that ideal balance may prove challenging when your life circumstances shift constantly. That’s why it’s vital to give yourself some flexibility and give in when things become tough.
1. Make a list of your priorities
Establishing your priorities is an integral step toward maintaining a balanced work-life relationship. Doing this allows you to prioritize tasks that matter while making room for others that matter as well.
If you find yourself focused on the wrong things, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel like there’s not enough time left in the day for all of your tasks to be completed.
To avoid this situation, write out your top five priorities and then structure your time around them. This will keep you focused and ensure that things get completed on time.
2. Make a schedule
Schedules can help organize the important aspects of life. They can assist in managing daily routines, planning big events or setting employee work hours.
Make it part of your routine to create and stick to a schedule; whether that means using a free calendar, an easy timeline tool like Toggl Plan or your spreadsheet. What matters is making time to develop and follow through with one.
An effective schedule can help keep track of what you’re doing and ensure that no important detail slips by unnoticed. Plus, seeing progress over time lets you celebrate milestones when they arise!
3. Set boundaries
Work-life boundaries are essential to avoiding burnout and maintaining good mental health, as well as helping maintain good relationships between employees and employers.
Your boundaries must always be communicated clearly to both your employer and colleagues, including seeking team confirmation of new ones and reinforcing them if needed.
Setting boundaries also involves setting limits by saying no to unnecessary responsibilities and distractions, like attending a meeting that won’t fit with your current obligations. Saying “no” could save time in terms of being overextended with duties and may help protect you from burnout in the future.
Your office environment should remain an environment in which gossiping doesn’t flourish, as that can deteriorate morale and harm relationships within your team.
4. Say “no”
Saying no is an invaluable skill that can transform both your personal and professional life. By setting healthy boundaries, reducing burnout, and preventing resentment from developing, saying “no” will become easier to master.
Learning to say no will also make building respectful workplace relationships easier. Perhaps you are someone who always feels obliged to accept extra work from colleagues. Learning how to say “no” will also make life simpler in terms of job searches and interview processes.
However, it’s crucial that you set clear boundaries at an early stage, particularly if the job or its expectations don’t suit you or feel overwhelming.
Working in an office environment can be demanding due to expectations that you be available 24/7 for answering emails or texts.
When saying no, provide an honest explanation. Perhaps you lack experience in social media management or don’t have enough time right now to complete an assignment.
5. Take time off
Take time off when necessary is one of the key ingredients to creating a healthy work-life balance. Studies show that people who stick with an established work-life schedule tend to be happier in life overall and enjoy improved health outcomes.
Though it can be challenging, taking time out from work to recharge your batteries is vitally important for both mental and physical wellbeing – and for making better decisions when returning to the office.
When taking time off, it’s essential that you notify your employer. If they do not support it or if your company culture doesn’t allow for taking leave, then perhaps it is time to find another job.