You want to have it all. Who doesn’t? The difference with you is you’re aiming to have it all, while others are just wishing. You have goals and you’re going to reach them. However lately, you and your family have noticed you’ve gone from having work/life balance to having work/life imbalance.
Today, more than ever, it’s easier to disrupt your once harmonious work/life balance. Cell phones, internet, online meetings, and any other number of technologies have blurred the boundary between work and home. The result? You accumulate work hours without even realizing it. You know what else you accumulate? Stress. And we’re becoming more and more aware of the devastating cost of stress on our lives.
What is Work/Life Balance?
There are so many definitions of work/life balance that seem to fall short of a proper explanation. For our purpose, we’ll define work/life balance as stated by worklifebalance.com.
“Work/life balance is meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in work, family, friends, and self.”
There are a couple of things to note in this definition. First, it includes more than a 50/50 balance between work and family. Second, it requires daily achievements. Achieving work/life balance is not a matter of simply reducing work hours, it requires mindful appreciation of all four elements every day.
Actionable Tips to Help You Achieve Balance
You can achieve balance at work by implementing these tips.
Set Realistic, Daily Goals
Research shows the more you control your workload, the less stress you experience. There is no greater control than setting goals and checking them off throughout the work day. The feeling of accomplishment is very rewarding.
Procrastination often creates negative emotions about a task which grows in your mind until you absolutely dread the thought of that task. If the task is too large, break it into realistic, attainable chunks. As you complete each task, reward yourself with a piece of candy or a five-minute break.
If you find yourself in a stressful situation due to the amount or nature of work in front of you, inform your boss or co-workers. Many times they will be open to finding you help. No one needs to be a hero at the price of their health. If you do take your predicament to your boss, present him/her with solutions so you do not come across as complaining.
Take a Break
Taking a break often adds to your productivity. Breaks tend to clear your mind, and can rid your body of stress.
Are you perfect? Probably not. Therefore, there is no need to continually replay mistakes or your shortcomings. Allow yourself to be imperfect.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, remember why you find your job satisfying. Sometimes a simple cognitive switch in the way you think about things can reduce stress.
You can achieve balance in life by implementing these tips.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein enhances well-being and stamina.
Lack of sleep increases stress. Exhaustion can generate burnout by creating irrational and hopeless thoughts. It also decreases your ability to keep perspective during stressful situations.
Set Aside Time to Relax
Just as you set aside time to eat lunch, you should set aside time each day to do something you enjoy. Even better, involve your partner or children in pleasurable activities.
Research points to volunteering as being a contributor to a sense of work/life balance. Volunteering alone, or better yet with family and friends, can lower stress, increase your emotional and social well-being, and bolster feelings of community.
Tap into Your Support System
Increase the number of times you ask trusted friends and loved ones for help. They will appreciate the opportunity to help someone they care for.
Life Moves Fast
In the midst of living, it can be very difficult to step back and take an honest, objective inventory of work/life balance. Too often, life steps in and requires an inventory without your assent, be it high blood pressure, an unhappy family, discontent friends, or the like. Disregarding work/life balance is a choice and not necessarily the smartest choice.