If you want to be happy and healthy, maintaining a work-life balance is a must. We all know this, yet many of us find it difficult to do. And that’s probably because a lot of us don’t know how to get there.
Ready to learn? Here are seven rules to live by to maximize your work-life balance.
1. Decide What’s Most Important to You
Balancing your work and life starts with identifying your priorities.
Is your family your top priority? Are you solely focused on your career? Be honest with yourself and think long and hard about which aspects of your life are most important.
Your answers to these questions may depend on what stage of your career you’re in.
For example, if your main goal is to become Vice President, score a promotion, or get that big raise, scaling back on work might not be your best option.
If your primary goal is to spend more time with your family, on the other hand, you might want to consider working less. You might even want to work part-time or find a new job where you can work from home.
2. Learn to Be More Productive at Work
If you want to work less and enjoy more free time, you’ll need to rethink your work habits. And that means working smarter, not longer or harder.
There are a lot of things you can do to increase productivity. The more productive you are at work, the more time you’ll have for other things.
To become more productive, start by creating a to-do list every day. Prioritize the most important tasks and try to get them done early.
Track your time so you know how you’re spending it, then identify how you’re wasting it! Organize your office so you don’t waste precious minutes looking for things you need.
3. Only Do Work at Work
The people who have a strong work-life balance know that work should never come into your home or personal life.
Only do work when you’re at your job. When you leave your workplace at the end of the day, leave your work there, too. Your to-do list will still be there in the morning!
There may be exceptions, such as when you have a major project due or are up against an important deadline. That’s okay, but for the most part, you should commit to leaving work at the office.
It’s also important to leave the office at the same time each day. The more efficiently you work, the easier this will be.
4. Establish Boundaries
Let your boss know what is and isn’t okay. The truth is, your employer probably doesn’t expect you to be available 24 hours a day. Don’t be afraid to let your boss know that you’re not going to respond to emails at midnight, on weekends, or when you’re on vacation.
If your boss is overworking you, it’s probably because you do good work. Leverage that to your benefit.
Set some ground rules and expectations. If your workload is more than you can handle, ask for help from other colleagues or ask if it’s possible to hire an assistant.
Establishing those boundaries is even easier to do if you learn to unplug from your digital devices. After all, if you’re not looking at your email, then you won’t even know you have new ones (so you won’t feel guilty about your delayed response).
5. Set Aside Time for Family and Friends
It’s essential to make time for your loved ones: family dinners, happy hours with your buddies, playtime with your kids. Whatever you enjoy doing with your family and friends, make time for it!
You have to spend time with the people you love. If you feel like you’re always too busy, schedule time for it. Block out a few hours and put it on your calendar if that’s what it takes to get it done.
6. Give Yourself Some Downtime
Spending time with loved ones is important, but it’s equally as important to have some time to yourself. If you really want to achieve work-life balance, you have to make “me time” a priority!
Carve out at least an hour every day to do things you love to do.
Maybe you like to read. Maybe you enjoy yoga or meditation. Perhaps you like to work out, run, or watch TV. Whatever the case, do it for a little while. You’ll never feel fulfilled if you don’t spend a few hours each week doing the things you love.
7. Enjoy Your Weekends
Housework and chores are still work, so don’t fill your weekends with them!
Don’t leave all of your laundry and cleaning for Saturday and Sunday. Instead, do a little bit each night during the week. When the weekend rolls around, you’ll actually have time to relax.
Being more productive at work will make this easier. Once you learn how to maximize your time, you’ll be able to leave the office at a decent hour each night. And by leaving work earlier, you’ll have more hours during the week cross chores off your to-do list.
Ready to finally have that work-life balance you’ve always dreamed of? Here’s what to do:
- Learn to be more productive at work
- Only do work at your workplace, not at home
- Establish boundaries with your boss
- Set aside time for family and friends
- Carve out downtime for yourself
- Learn to enjoy your weekends, holidays, and vacation days
All of these tips go hand-in-hand. When you get good at one, the rest will fall into place!