We all know that work-life balance is important, but it can be hard to achieve. With all the pressures of life, working becomes so important that people forget to take some time for themselves, leading to constant exhaustion and eventually burnout. To help you achieve a comfortable level of balance between your personal life and your career, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Define what work-life balance means to you
Work-life balance is something everyone has to find for themselves. Some people are willing to put their social life aside in favor of more work, while others will refuse to take on any responsibility that doesn’t let them schedule time off. Figure out what “balance” means to you, and then try to follow that path, no matter how difficult it may seem.
2. Remember that work and personal life are not the same things
Many people experience a lot of stress because they treat their career as if it’s the only element of their lives that matters at all. But work is just one part of your life, so don’t be afraid to cut it out every now and then.
3. Don’t watch work-related media at home
When you come home, don’t use your smartphone or tablet to catch up on the latest news or rumors in your industry (unless that is what’s required of you in your job). Instead, give yourself a time limit (say 30 minutes) and then turn off all devices until the next day. You can also try not using any work-related media for an entire weekend.
4. Learn how to say “no”
You may love your job, but that doesn’t mean you can do it all the time or without limits. If you discover that a project (or even just one aspect of a project) is taking up too much of your time and energy, speak up. It’s better to disappoint others by saying “no” than to overwork yourself until you get sick or even have a breakdown.
5. Delegate your tasks at work
If you find yourself doing more than others in your team, look into delegation. You can ask them to teach you how to delegate tasks properly, or you can even hire someone who has experience. This way, you’ll be getting help with the tedious parts of your career without neglecting other important areas of your life. This can be as simple as reassigning some workload to a coworker or as major as seeking professional help from an experienced PR agency or IT management company that will do the work for you.
6. Reconnect with your interests outside of work
When was the last time you did something for yourself that wasn’t related to your job? If it’s been a while, then try going out with friends or doing something fun. You can even take up a new hobby or learn a new skill — the possibilities are endless, so don’t be shy!
7. Take some time off
If you find yourself burning out from stress, take time off. It doesn’t have to be two weeks in Hawaii (although that would be amazing), just do something that gives you some perspective on life and lets you relax for a few days or even just an afternoon. Talk to your boss about taking a vacation, and if your company doesn’t offer that benefit, speak to a few of your colleagues to see who’d be willing to cover for you.
8. Learn how to manage your time
Everyone is busy these days, but no matter what you have going on at home or work you can take control of your schedule. The first step is to set up a realistic planner that includes everything you have going on. Then, use alarms and reminders to help you stay on track while still allowing yourself the time to relax or recharge.
9. Try to work less
You may not be able to leave your career altogether, but you can make your job more flexible. Find a job that works around school or family life, or one that lets you telecommute from home at least part of the time. Don’t let anyone push you into a position where you’re always working if it hurts your personal life.
10. Get organized
Being disorganized is stressful both at work and at home, so make sure you have a filing system for papers or files that are used often, set up folders on your computer to keep track of everything, use color-coding to tell what’s important, etc.
There are many things you can do to help achieve a better work-life balance. It may take some effort, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Start by trying out some of the tips we’ve provided and see which ones work best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family or friends either — they want you to succeed, so they’ll more than likely be happy to lend a hand. And finally, don’t forget to enjoy life outside of work! Whether that means spending time with loved ones, exploring your hobbies, or just relaxing on the weekends, make sure you take some time for yourself.