You probably saw and nodded to a meme about the impossibility of proper life-work balance as you scrolled through your feed. More than that, there are definitely more distractions today than there were a couple of decades ago. These days, people find themselves spending an average of 8 hours a day swiping through their smartphones, playing mobile games, and using their other electronic devices. Given such difficulties, it is tempting to just give it up and condition the mind that balancing work and life perfectly is an impossible feat. But you know what? It’s all hype! Many women – of different professions, fields of expertise, and genders, single women, married women, divorced or widowed women, and single moms – are actually able to achieve the perfect balance of their work and other aspects of their lives. The key here is to know the secrets. Let us help you out with these 5 truths you should know about life-work balance.
Learn time management.
This is perhaps the most important advice you need to remember in order to achieve this goal. After all, time is sort of the enemy when it comes to dividing your life among work, social, family, hobbies, etc. All these, in addition to getting sufficient night’s sleep.
What does this require of you? This means you dedicate a few minute of your morning planning out your whole day ahead, maybe in your head if your prefer making mental notes or in your notebook/planner. When you do this, you need to think about the urgent tasks and your priorities. Put the most important ones first so that you get to finish as many of them in a day, especially in the case of emergencies or other obstacles that could delay you. Other than that, do your best to actually follow your plan.
When it comes to managing your tasks and to-do lists, manage them according to importance and urgency. Consider the following as a guide:
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If you really think you lack skills in this area, consider seeking for expert’s help or attending time management classes.
Change is constant.
There is no one-size-fits-all framework or instructions on how you can achieve the perfect balance between their jobs and lives. Aside from that, you will find yourself having to change your plans and routines through the years. You will also need to improvise or prepare for when things do not go as planned.
For instance, getting a promotion might mean having to budget your time more wisely to be more productive at work. Another example, having a child would mean taking a short break from work. In case you ever wondered why openness to change is a valuable trait in business and success, these are among the reasons.
Do not deprive yourself of basic necessities.
Having a successful career does not only mean strategic planning, late nights at work, and being productive and highly skilled and knowledgeable in your field. One thing that is just as important is taking good care of your overall wellbeing. This means not skipping meals, getting sufficient hours of sleep at night, healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular check-ups.
In case you are doubtful, check out this TED-ed video on sleep deprivation. Spoiler alert: getting enough sleep is very important. Effects of sleep deprivation include loss of focus and concentration, inability to recognize objects via touch, moodiness, paranoia, hallucination, problems with short-term memory, and ultimately, death.
Meanwhile, skipping meals are shown to cause irritability, moodiness, healthy complications due to dive in blood sugar levels, tiredness, and low metabolism. Contrary to common belief, skipping meals can cause weight gain rather than weight loss because it also results to extreme hunger pangs and appetite.
Not only can regular exercise help you lose weight, increase your metabolism rate and keep your body physically healthy and fit; it also causes alertness, higher levels of energy, better quality of sleep, and improved blood circulation. Our brain also produces happy chemicals whenever we engage in strenuous physical activities like working out.
Ward off negativity.
Getting emotional (angry, sad, etc.), getting into arguments, quarrels, and fights, and ranting may eat up a lot of your time during the day. On top of that, working while emotionally distressed is most likely going to affect your performance, productivity, and the quality of your work.
The solution here is straightforward but challenging to do: keep yourself away from these things that bring negativity in your life. Start by decluttering your home and your workspace. Get rid of trash and those you never really use or stopped working. Do the same as well with your social media pages; unfollow the pages and people whose post turn your mood sour, and filter your feed from the contents that usually annoy you. More importantly, surround yourself with family and friends who are encouraging and supporting of your endeavours.
You might want to consider the practices of meditation and yoga to help clear your mind from negative thoughts and ideas.
Take the occasional time off.
It does not do well to overwork and stress yourself too much. We are all human, after all, and we all need to rest eventually. This is not really just about giving yourself time and space to enjoy and have a good time; overworking, staying up late, and stuffing ourselves with caffeine can lead to health complications and in some cases, death. That is why you should make use of your leaves.
When budgeting and dividing your regular income, allot a portion of it for vacations, travelling, or other leisurely activities and hobbies. It might also be more effective to try out different activities to keep yourself from getting bored with one. Go out of town or out of the country. Get a massage. Attend a new skill class. Buy painting and coloring materials and explore your imagination and creativity.
Don’t slack off.
A tendency for many workers is to put a lot of effort into their work at one go and sit back and relax for a long time after that. The problem here is that the “work first, rest later” mentality is not going to help your time management. Do not look forward to the day when you will not have a care in the world at all. Problems and difficulties will always arise, but that’s part of life and the struggle, and these things make us better at what we do.
So do not spend too much time watching Netflix on your television or playing video games with your console. Allot an hour or two for them regularly, but try not to get past the allotted time. Leisure activities and relaxation are good, but too much of something is harmful to your work-life balance.
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