A lot of people struggle when it comes to achieving work-life balance. Technology causes workers to be accessible any time of the day. Some people are also afraid of losing their jobs, causing them to work longer than necessary. In fact, around 94 percent of working professionals in the US work more than 50 hours weekly. Almost half of that percentage also said that the number of hours they work per week reaches over 65.
The problem is that long work hours can also increase one’s stress level. It can also be damaging to health, happiness and relationship. If you are one of those who wish to finally achieve work-life balance, then the following tips can greatly help:
- Set your priorities – It’s time to determine how exactly you want to prioritize things. Focus on what you really want, instead of what you think your priorities should be. Ask yourself what it is that you really wish to focus on. The answer to that question should be your main priority. You can then ask about what you wish to focus on next. Continue identifying your priorities until you get the top five answers. Be as honest as possible when doing the assessment to ensure that you can start setting the right priorities.
- Be open to accept your needs – After identifying your priorities based on what you need and what truly matters to you, the next step is to accept them. Avoid hiding them and communicate what you really want to others. Never expect others to predict the specific things that make you feel fulfilled and balanced. Say it. If you wish to leave work at exactly 5pm because you plan to spend time with your family then do so. Be transparent about the things that you prioritize the most. Be open and honest with the people you work with so as to avoid increasing your stress levels.
- Set limitations and respect them – While this is extremely difficult at first, discipline yourself to stick to the boundaries you’ve set. Create routines and motivate yourself to follow a lifestyle and culture of predictability. While there are always emails that you need to send a response to or problems that you need to resolve, it is still crucial to respect your limitations. Avoid forcing yourself to do them if it’s not yet the right time to focus on them.
- Take a break from technology – Almost all, if not all, gadgets and pieces of technology come with off buttons, so use them. While some people find it hard to cut themselves off their gadgets, you can still practice to do it slowly. For instance, you can stop bringing your phone into the dining table, so you can focus on bonding with your family. You should also avoid bringing your laptop or tablet when you’re on vacation. When it’s time to rest, stop thinking about anything related to work. You can easily do that if you set a strict schedule on your access to your gadgets.
- Exercise – Don’t delay taking good care of yourself just because you have too many things to do in a day. Exercise regularly. You don’t have to spend on expensive gym memberships or exercise equipment for this. Brisk walking in the morning or light exercises after lunch or during your break time are usually enough to clear your mind. Research shows that regular exercises work in keeping you clear-headed, which is a huge help in improving your ability to control your work-life balance, improve your self-effectiveness and reduce your stress levels.
Those are just five tips to achieving work-life balance. Whether you have an employer who is actively looking for ways to improve your flexibility, you can use the tips mentioned in this article to protect your time with yourself and the people who matter to you and prevent yourself from getting overworked.