More Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Do you feel pressure trying to navigate the competing demands of work your work life and home life? If so, you’re not alone. Whether you work in a traditional work space, are an entrepreneur, travel for work, or are even a stay at home parent, the struggle to achieve a comfortable work-life balance is a common trigger of stress and anxiety.
We’ve blogged about this topic before. We’re resurfacing now because it’s just that important! With increasing demands in today’s competitive professional landscape, it’s now harder than ever to leave work at the door when you’re done for the day. Technological advancements like being able to reach someone with the tap of a finger has led to a norm of working even when you are technically not at work.
Although this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be stressful if not managed properly. While a growing number of companies are recognizing the many benefits of work-life balance, it remains up to you to keep the scale in check.
Here are five more ways you can achieve a healthy work-life balance:
Designate between your work space, and your fun/family space. Create a safe space in your home or life that prohibits work activity. Whether it’s your family room, gym, or car, blockade all work from that space. And make sure your cell phone and laptop are out of ear’s reach! This will allow you to focus on family or personal time when you’re off the clock. That expense report can wait until tomorrow.
This one isn’t for everyone… Consider relocation. While we realize the limitations, and that not everyone can pick up and move, the truth is that some cities are more conducive to creating work-life balance than others. Things to consider include your commute, childcare/tuition costs, and cost of living expenses. Relocating could restore work-life balance by alleviating the pressure to work an unreasonable number of hours just to cover everyday expenses.
Ask for flextime. It seems uncomfortable at first, but the worst they can do is say no. When you’re juggling the demands of work and family, sometimes an hour on either end of your day can make all the difference in achieving work-life balance. Many companies are now also considering remote flexibility. If this is an option for your function, and you can still fulfill your responsibilities, ask about that flexibility potential.
Consolidate your calendar. Do you have more than one calendar in your life? iPhone, Outlook, paper calendar, etc? While it may seem counter-intuitive as you try to un-blur the line between work and life, keeping one calendar forces you to balance the two by not overbooking your schedule. If little Timmy has a school play the same day you’re looking to schedule a budget meeting, things can get clunky quickly. Let’s avoid that hassle all together.
Expect the unexpected. Even the strongest chain will break under enough pressure. Recognizing when you’re at your personal capacity is a huge step toward peace and balance. If you’re running out the door for a school play and you get an urgent customer call, it’s difficult to know what to prioritize. There will always be potential for something to change, regardless of how scheduled and prepared you are. Try to leave some cushion time in your schedule for things you can’t predict. And if nothing comes up, great! You’ve allowed your brain a mental health breather.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, achieving work-life balance is a delicate act. It takes intentionality to truly achieve a healthy one.
Wishing you health and happiness as we journey through this thing called life together,