8 Best Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance and Relief the Stress.
Maintaining the elusive work-life balance may seem impossible in modern society. As technology invades our home and work life, the lines between home and work have begun to blur. In a business world obsessed with productivity, many of us bring our work home with us. Laptops and smartphones allow us to be constantly connected to our work, but what are we sacrificing?
Work-life balance is needed to maintain your happiness and well-being, and manage your stress level. No matter what your self-development books or podcasts say, you do not need to constantly be striving to accomplish more in less time. The negative effects of chronic stress can creep up on us all. While you should always be trying to improve yourself and the skills required for your career, you also need to find ways to maintain a balanced life if you want to continue to enjoy your career long-term. Here are some work-life balance tips.
1. Set time aside for scheduling and planning.
If you are not meticulous about your scheduling and planning, you are creating more stress for yourself. Your brain can store a lot of information, but you can also forget it. Your schedule makes sure that you never have to worry about what you have to do next, or where you have to be.
2. Schedule “whitespace” into your day.
Our constant focus on productivity leads many of us to try and fill every minute of our schedules. Often, we fill the cracks in our schedule with busywork, trying to squeeze every last bit of productivity from our day.
The idea behind whitespace is that sometimes not scheduling anything in the ten minutes between meetings is your best option. Instead, allow yourself some time to decompress, relax, and think about your day and the important tasks ahead of you. Occasionally, your brain needs a little break. Scheduling a little whitespace into your day will help you feel more energized, and increase your creativity and productivity when you return to your work.
3. Don’t say yes to everything.
Work time is finite, and there is only so much that you can jam into one day. Sometimes, you need to say no to that meeting request or overtime opportunity and instead spend the time on more important tasks, yourself, or your family.
4. Minimize the work you do from home.
Technology has allowed us to be connected to our work at all times, which can be both a positive and a negative. It allows us to telecommute, communicate about time-sensitive tasks via e-mail, and complete an important project that is due in the morning on our laptops.
On the other hand, it seems that we can never turn our minds off, and truly be present when we are at home. There is always more work to be done, and more emails to write. To achieve work-life balance, you need to save your work for when you’re at work and have your home life be time purely for your family and yourself.
5. Prioritize your “me” time.
It may sound selfish, but time for yourself should be the most important part of your day. Most of us spend the majority of our time worrying about our careers and our families. Often, our own needs get lost in the shuffle, leading to burnout.
If you need to, schedule an hour for yourself each day. Spend this time on an activity that you look forward to, whether that’s time on the golf course, or comfortably reading in your favorite chair.
6. Take a look at your personal habits.
Are you taking care of your body and mind? The best way to increase your productivity during your workday is to make sure that you’re taking care of your health and managing your stress.
Exercise, meditation, and relaxation are all keystone habits that are proven to relieve stress and improve your health and well-being. These habits are an investment in your health, which will pay off when you feel more energized, healthy, and present when you arrive at work every day.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate.
There is nothing wrong with needing help. The great American businessman Andrew Carnegie is quoted as saying, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”
Take on only the tasks that you are truly required to complete, and don’t be afraid to delegate the rest. Your mind, and your schedule will thank you.
8. Stop attempting to multi-task.
Multi-tasking is a myth. Attempting to complete two tasks at once does not increase your productivity. Instead, you only devote half of your attention to each task, which leads to mistakes and stress. Whenever you do something, give it your full attention. When you’re working, work. When you’re at home, simply enjoy your time with your friends and family.
While maintaining a balanced life may be a difficult goal, it is achievable. Spending a little time on maintaining your life outside of work will relieve your stress and foster a sense of happiness and well-being, which will reveal itself in the urgency and energy that you are able to put into your work in the future.