How to Achieve Work-Life Balance is it really possible?
How many hours per day do you work? Is it 8 – 10 -12 – 17. Just sit for a minute and work out how many hours you have worked in the last 7 days.
Did it surprise you to find out how many hours you did or did not work?
How do you create a balanced life?
I, like many of you reading this post work for myself. Therefore it can be a challenge to restrict myself to a set of hours and stay motivated and on task.
Like all self-employed I do many tasks to run my business. I see clients in person and over skype, I write books, I blog and I research. Therefore for me, there is never enough time in the day to get everything done, especially if I am in the middle of being creative I do not want to stop.
Do you work in an office?
When you work in an office and turn up every day at a certain time you also finish at a certain time. Does this mean you have work-life balance? No, it does not because how many of you take work home with you? How many of you stay late or get in early? What is it that drives us to keep working all the time? Is it MONEY according to a study
“People have three psychological needs – to feel autonomous, to feel competent and to feel related to others,” he says. Payment, according to Deci’s research, does not fulfill these needs. Over-emphasis on financial reward undermines autonomy and therefore intrinsic motivation, he says.“This [negative effect of money on motivation] matters hugely. You need high-quality performance from bankers. You need thinkers, problem solvers, people who can be creative and using money to motivate them will not get you that.”
So what keeps you at work when you could be home with your partner, spending time with your family, going out with friends, going to the gym or for a walk?
- Do you work shifts?
- Are you up very early in the morning and then finish work middle of the day?
- Do you go home to bed?
- Do you go home and watch tv because everyone else is at work or at school?
- Do you have work-life balance?
- Do you work for yourself?
- Do you spend every waking hour thinking about work or actively doing work?
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is key to success in work and business and also in your health and well-being.
Here are just a few tips that might get you thinking about how you can achieve a better work-life balance.
Be present, if you are spending time with family, friends or are in a social setting, stay off your phone, do not check in to see what is going on at work (unless you are on call). Giving your whole self to the people you are with releases stress and bonds relationships.
Prepare a schedule, if you work for yourself especially, prepare a schedule to make sure all your relevant tasks get completed and not forgotten. Especially if you are working on a computer it is so easy to get sidetracked onto social media or reading articles instead of actually being productive.
Set alarms for when you start and finish work, set time limits on tasks to be done so you fit everything in. This works whether you work for yourself or someone else. You still have to time manage.
Make plans with family and stick to them, remember if you make plans to meet with family or friends stick to them, if you keep breaking them to stay at work or finish a project or just finish this last thing, your relationships will suffer, your health will suffer because you are getting stressed over work and the fact that you are letting people down. Guilt then sets in and performance levels actually will decrease as you are not fully present.
Stick to your values and beliefs do not let anyone make you do something against what you really believe in. No matter who it is.
Respect boundaries, make sure people know your personal boundaries for times you are available for work. If you continually answer your text, email or phone immediately you receive them then the person sending them to you will expect you to do this all the time. People will treat you the way you teach them to.
Understand what really matters, what really matters, is it the $$, is it the recognition, is it your insecurity. What are you working for? Are you enjoying what it is you are working for? What really matters to you?
Pace yourself, working with a schedule, using time management techniques and sticking to them will help you pace yourself. Deadlines have to be met no matter what industry or niche you are in therefore prepare for those deadlines. Also, prepare for the unexpected!
Learn to say NO, it is so easy to say yes to more work as you could do with the extra money or extra recognition but if you say yes to everything then you can get overwhelmed, overworked and then you really do not have work-life balance at all.
Build downtime into your schedule, always fit in exercise, meditation, reading, walking or whatever makes you feel good into your schedule. If you do not do this then you will never find the time to do the things that keep you in balance and in good emotional and mental health.
Know your employer’s policies, knowing your employer’s policies will help you understand what is expected of you, when you know this then you can figure out how you can achieve work-life balance easily.
Working for myself I have found keeping a schedule and a calendar is key to me being productive and motivated. I list what I have to do on a daily basis, then I split it into blocks of time. I try not to get distracted from the task at hand. Does this work all the time, of course not, life happens? Most of the time the schedule works and I feel less overwhelmed and more motivated as I can see what I have achieved.
It is said that the happiest people are the busiest people. People who have nothing to do get bored and then get stressed.
What are you going to do right now to change so you can achieve work-life balance?
There are some great insights in this article from the Harvard Business Review
I hope you have enjoyed my tips for better work-life balance please share so that others may benefit from these tips also.