How to Achieve Work-Life BalanceFebruary 9, 2021
Do you ever feel like you are always working when you should be off the clock? You aren’t the only one that feels that way. A recent survey found that 66% of full-time employees feel they do not have a good work-life balance.
Even though your job may be demanding, you can still enjoy life outside of work. Here are some tips that can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
What is Work-Life Balance?
When you achieve a healthy work-life balance it allows for you to be productive at work while still focusing on hobbies, relationships and other things you enjoy. A healthy work-life balance does not mean an equal amount of time has to be spent on work and life outside of work, but rather that you are able to accomplish activities in both areas of your life.
Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
You may understand what work-life balance is but still struggle to achieve it. Here are some practices to implement that can help:
Establish What Is Important Outside of Work
Although you may enjoy your work, it is healthy to have interests outside of work. Determine a few activities that make you happy. For example, you may enjoy having dinner with your extended family once a week, or you may choose to work out every day as a self-care habit. Maybe you have a hobby you used to enjoy but haven’t done in a while. Once you figure out your interests outside of work, you can begin to make time for them and have a better work-life balance.
Having goals unrelated to work can get you excited about life and push you to take a step back from work. The goals can be big achievements that you want to work towards or smaller items you can accomplish in a few months. Let’s say you set a goal to complete a marathon in six months. To accomplish this, you will need to train by getting out and running. Having this goal may make you more likely to take short breaks from work so that you can run.
Planning ahead of time can help you to maintain your work-life balance. Time blocking is a great time management method that allows you to set aside time each day for specific tasks. Your day could consist of time blocking your work hours and the specific tasks you will complete during those times. You will also establish time blocks for a workout or time to practice your hobby. You keep those times as if they are appointments or an important meeting you would not miss. Studies have found allowing yourself time to relax can actually make you more productive.
Unplug on Non-Work Days/Times
If it is a day when you do not need to be working, try to unplug completely. Do not check your phone or email, and simply allow yourself to enjoy the downtime. If you must, work set, specific times and do not go beyond that.
Alleviate Your Financial Stress
When you achieve a work-life balance, you’re likely to be less stressed and more productive! If you are distracted by your financial problems while at work you will be less productive. This can allow work to seep into your home life when you need to catch up on everything that was not accomplished. If financial stress is affecting your productivity, use these tools to help improve your finances:
- Write a monthly budget and stick with it. This can allow you to see where you need to cut back on expenses. It may also show you where you can afford to spend a little bit extra on a fun activity or hobby.
- Start or build an emergency fund. Just knowing you have some money stashed away if an unexpected bill were to come can help provide peace of mind. Try aiming for at least $1,000 as a minimum fund and work your way up to eight months of expenses.
- Refinance your student loans. For many, student loans can be a major source of financial stress. If that’s the case, consider refinancing your student loans. Student loan refinancing allows you to obtain a new private student loan to pay off old student loans. Your new loan may have a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment, so you can devote more to your emergency fund or to other debts.
Best Careers for Work-Life Balance
You may be wondering, what is a career that would offer me a better work-life balance? Here are some options from the U.S. News & World Report:
- Web Developer: The flexible schedule and the ability to work from anywhere makes this a strong contender for a good work-life balance.
- Dental Hygienist: Most hygienists work on a part-time basis, so this would allow for other pursuits outside of work.
- Management Analyst: This career is usually done as consulting work helping businesses improve. If you are self-employed, it can allow you more flexibility to pick your clients and your hours.
So much information is available about careers with the best work-life balance. Be sure to do some research to find the one that’s right for you!
Even if you implemented all of these tips, there will still be seasons when your work-life balance is not perfect. Accept that there won’t always be a perfect balance, but by using some of these strategies, you’ll be able to enjoy your free time while still being productive in your work.