With many whom I’ve interacted with, they often share a common ongoing struggle: juggling the demands of a career and a personal life.
Achieving the elusive “work-life balance” can often seem like an unreachable dream, especially for people who strive to give everything 100%. In today’s “do more with less” competitive reality, how can we manage careers and families, and feel satisfied with both?
Studies on workplace culture have emphasized on how a person’s best individual work-life balance will vary over time and according to their stage in life. The right balance for you when you’re single will change when you marry or have children.
Work-life balance may seem like an impossible goal to achieve, but experts have shared that a few small steps can go a long way towards staying sane at work and at home.
And it shall begin now – Here are some tips to start you off!
1. Set your priorities & track your time
Firstly, figure out what you want your priorities to be, and not what you think they should be. Begin with asking yourself, “If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?” – This answer is your top priority.
When you’re done with that, ask yourself what would you focus on second? Third? Fourth? Fifth? – Well done, you’ve now identified your top five priorities.
Next, track how you spend your time for one week.
As you reflect on that after a week, ask yourself how much time do you spend doing things that don’t matter to you? Or what doesn’t align with your priorities? Then eliminate these things from your life, or delegate them.
Consider all the things that compete for your time, decide on what you wish to keep and what you wish to discard.
2. Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do
And I cannot agree with this more, given how I’ve personally embarked on the challenge to exercise daily as my New Year resolution, and experienced the positive effects from it.
It may feel counterintuitive to add another activity to your life, but exercise is an essential activity that relieves stress, gives you a healthy body and fresh mind, allowing you to function better to complete tasks in less time, which ultimately makes you more productive. Need I say more?
Don’t skip exercise! You’ll find that you greet work, family, and personal commitments with renewed vigor after.
3. Schedule one thing you look forward to each day
Whether it’s to have some personal ‘me-time’ to do the activity you love, booking some time to play tennis with a friend, exploring an art museum, or to indulge in a massage session, set aside some time in your schedule to do things that will lift your mood. Note that the activity doesn’t have to be time consuming, complicated, or expensive.
This will definitely be a great boost and energizer, help you to manage any stress you’re undergoing, and to recharge for a fresh new day!
4. Evaluate your work-life balance on a regular basis
Finally, be patient with yourself.
Set aside some time once every month or so, to reflect on your current work-life balance, what other adjustments you would like to make, and what the plan is for arriving at your goal.