Finding a work-life balance can be difficult—however, it is not impossible. This topic is commonly discussed, there have been interviews with huge influential figures such as Jeff Bezos, Randi Zuckerberg and Mark Cuban about how they maintain their busy work schedules along with their personal lives. If these multi-millionaires and billionaires can sustain a work-life balance, so can you.
The first thing that is important to do is to play to your strengths. Don’t try to be a superhero and do everything at once. You have to be real with yourself and recognize what your weaknesses are and what would take most of your time. What can you get done quickly so you can move onto the next item on your to-do list? Figure out when you should work on that project that has been giving you a difficult time and use your strengths to help you complete it.
The first thing that is important to do is to play to your strengths.
Prioritize your time.
Every single person in the world has the same 24 hrs in a day. Your role models, your influences, the really successful people that you look up to…everyone is in the same boat when it comes to hours in a day. It’s all about what you do in the time that you have. Making check lists and completing each item in order can really help you to determine what is urgent and what can be done later on in the day. Do what you need to have done by the end of each day so you don’t need to bring any stress or worries home with you.
Compartmentalize your work worries and your personal worries.
Try not to bring your work concerns home with you and your personal concerns to work with you. Personal stresses can impact your performance at work and vice versa. Family time should be exactly that—family time. You shouldn’t act like you are still on the clock while you are at home. In an ideal situation, you want a job that doesn’t actually feel like a job because it’s more along the lines of a hobby you enjoy doing and that you're paid to do.
Determine your productive times.
Do you have more energy in the morning or in the afternoon? If you are an early bird, assign your tough tasks for the morning portion of your day so that later in the afternoon you can go over the project again, catch any mistakes or move onto a more simple assignment. If you are more up and at ‘em in the afternoon, switch up your grind time. Crafting this kind of routine will aid in productivity.
Plan out some personal time.
Make sure you make time for yourself in between big projects otherwise you may burnout and not work as effectively. If you work from home or in your company’s office, there are ways to insert some personal time. You can set up zoom calls weekly either with a friend or family member, treat yourself out to lunch at a place you have been dying to try, even just going to a nearby park and getting fresh air will do wonders for your mind.
Develop a healthy work lifestyle.
Remember to put your health first, it’s easy to get buried into work during stressful times, but you need to prioritize your physical and mental health above anything else. Waking up early and going to bed early is the textbook definition for a healthy sleeping routine. Also, planning out and prepping meals for when you know you will be busy is a smart idea. The last thing you want is spending your money on unhealthy takeout. By meal prepping or making food ahead of time, you won’t be skipping any meals and you’ll be consuming healthy foods.
Make a comfortable work space.
Believe it or not, employees tend to be more productive in a space that is to their liking and that they decorated themselves. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Director of the Identity Realization workplace consultancy, workers who were given the opportunity to arrange their own small office were up to 32% in being more productive. Chances are if you have a demanding job, you will be spending lots of time in your office, so include items that will make you feel comfortable in your main work space.
Have set working hours.
Setting a work schedule up until a certain time can help people who may get sidetracked easily or feel the need to stay late into the evening. In general, it’s not a bad idea to set work hours for yourself. When you have a clear separation from your work and personal life, it will help you to get your mind off of any stresses you had in your day and ease into your relaxing time. Some people prefer not to have any work related emails or apps on their cell phone while others may feel they have to have their ringer on at all times. It is up to you and how stringent your work is but it may be wise to have a laptop or phone solely based for your job so you aren’t taking anything home with you.
What has been working out for you and what hasn’t? Connect with yourself and tap into what helps you get through each day. Is it that coffee break? That phone call with your spouse? Your bullet point journal that organizes your day? If you feel that you are taking too much on and can’t finish what is assigned to you, then don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your peers to assist. That is where your relationship with your colleagues will come in handy. Be open and communicate, not just with the people at your work, but also with yourself.
Lastly, get time away. This depends on your vacation time, however even just getting away for the weekend can really do you some good. Right now, it can be extremely hard to travel during the pandemic however, you can also enjoy your days off just by being at home. Carve out a couple hours of the day to be away from screens and go to the park with your family, go window shopping in your local downtown area, paint, or read a book. If you haven’t traveled for awhile and saved up your money to do so, request time off and go on a relaxing vacay! Now, if you don’t have enough PTO to take a full vacation, request a day off from time to time for a nice break from your work grind. A day or two away can do magic for your mind!