“Work-Life balance” is a term bandied about that no doubt many of us have heard. As the saying implies, it’s a balancing act between our professional and personal lives, ensuring that neither overlaps the other. We are often told that there’s more to life than just your work, no matter how rewarding the career path you’ve chosen is. Conversely, to paraphrase a famous quote, all play and no work, can make us just as dull.
As the new year begins to roll along, people try to find that balance before things get busier for them. From the outset, balancing work obligations and personal interests and commitments is a challenge. Some would go so far as to say that work-life balance is impractical.
Juggling the need to earn money and fulfilling a desire for interests, activities, and commitments outside of the workplace are challenging. Perfect work-life balance probably doesn’t exist – what it looks like largely depends on what suits you and those close to you.
A Mutual Development of Strengths
Right away, it should be said that there’s no such thing as “perfect” work-life balance. Finding this balance is not a “be all, end all” solution with a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one may not always work for another. It is often defined by your personality, goals, and ambitions— both professionally and personally.
It’s important to remember that a person’s professional and personal lives are complementary. That is, they should support and strengthen one another. This is because you need time and energy to focus on activities and personal relationships. It sounds obvious, but creating a distinct separation between work and home life is likely to reduce stress. Doing so makes a huge difference when even small changes are made.
Finding the right balance between professional and personal satisfaction is tricky. If you’re a high achiever, stay mindful of how much time and energy you put into work. Take care of yourself and consider the benefits of some of that effort being spread elsewhere.
Some Tips on Keeping Work-Life Balance
While we’re already a few weeks into the new year, it’s not too late to make some resolutions that can help you better your professional and personal lives. Here are some quick tips on how to develop work-life balance.
Identify Core Values
Your personal core values help define you as a person. That means only you can determine what your priorities, goals, and aspirations are. Ask yourself how you can make use of your talents and how they fit into your definition of success. Using your strengths every day can bring about a feeling of fulfillment— whether you’re at work or at play. By figuring what your “sweet spot” is, you become more mindful of your own values and can make.
Determine Your Limits
Work-life balance is also about determining your limits. Sometimes, tight deadlines or intense activity can lead you to feel the need to go beyond standard hours. Working for extended periods than usual may not necessarily mean you’re being productive as it can conflict with your after work activities. You can also limit the amount of work you do at home to help de-stress better.
Remember, it’s okay to say “no” once in a while.
Give Yourself A Break
While work can be rewarding, remember to also take some breaks while on the job. Don’t just count the days towards vacations or leaves for a quick refresher. Short, regular breaks during work hours also do wonders for work-life balance. Whether it’s getting fresh air or taking a quick stroll around the workplace, these help improve your wellbeing and help you stay focused and productive.
The Challenges Ahead
Finding the right balance is a very personal challenge as priorities are likely to shift over the course of a career. Consider what works for you to keep your career on track while ensuring that you give sufficient time to your personal life as well.
This is why it is also necessary to have an honest chat with those closest to you. Be it your team at work, your family or significant other, proper communication can go a long way in achieving work-life balance. By being clear with what you want personally and professionally, everyone can lend their support in reaching your goal.