Work Life Balance? Myth or Manifest? 8 tips to reclaim your power
What is this ever allusive thing that we call Work-Life Balance? This is a buzz word that businesses usually taunt as a benefit of their work culture but it's really so much more than that. First of all, it isn't something that the company you work for should manage or ensure. I mean, do you really trust a company to tell you what balance looks like for you?
We need to learn to take back our POWER!
But first of all what is it? or what is it supposed to be? Well, I interpret work-life balance as the ability to earn a living so that you are able to do the things in life that mean the most to you. Whether, that's spending time with family or friends, travel, making a difference/volunteering, spending time in nature, gardening-really whatever you may be into or whatever you value. It goes back to the old adage:
"Work to live!, Don't Live to work."
The misunderstanding or imbalance that occurs: I think most people have just come to accept that they will go go go until they collapse and if they stop before they collapse then well that was a success. I would like to encourage a shift in this paradigm.
What if we were able to be more conscious of where we are in the moment? How are you feeling?, how energized or depleted are you?, what is your emotional state? What if we were able to make conscious adjustments in that moment to pivot and attend to our needs so that we could refill our cup, release negative emotions or regain focus before moving on? Instead of just grabbing another cup of coffee, an energy drink, or grinding through until we drop. Is it possible? I believe that with practice it is.
So how do you do it? With pressing deadlines at work or the desire for promotion or the desire to just keep your job lol. Maintaining a work-life balance is essential for overall well-being and happiness. With the increasing demands of modern life, it can be challenging to balance work and personal responsibilities.
Here are 8 tips on how to maintain a work-life balance:
1. Assess your values: Taking time to do a brain dump of your top values in life is a great starting point. What do you value the most? Here are some examples: Family, Faith/God/Spirituality, Money, Health, Friendships, Travel, Joy/Play, Learning etc. Once you do a brain dump of what you value the most, pick the top 5 thing that you value. Then try and put an order to them, what is number one, what is number two etc. Now take a look at your life and how you spend your time. Are you spending time in the areas that matter the most to you? Do you value family most but rarely have any time or energy to spend with them? Perhaps, health is first but you have to drag yourself out of bed because you barely have anything left to give the world. This realization can be used as a starting point for your motivation to begin making lifestyle adjustments and taking your power back.
Believe you me, no one on their death bed says "I wish I would have worked harder, or spent more time at work."
2. Prioritize self-care: Now, that you've prioritized your values, look at your calendar and schedule time for self-care activities that support your values. If you value Health=perhaps schedule exercise or time to prepare healthy meals, If you value Peace=perhaps add in time for meditation or nature walks, or simply relaxing with a book, or whatever brings you peace, If you value Family=schedule a family meal, family game night or another activity that you enjoy together. Again, think of activities that will support your values. If this feels difficult for you then take baby steps. Even making time for an activity one hour a week can make a difference in helping you to feel more fulfilled and to shift your priorities so that they match what is important to you.
3. Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal time. This can sometimes be easier said than done, especially if you have a work culture that expects that you answer emails in the evenings or on the weekends. Don't abruptly stop and ghost your colleagues or boss. Take the time to let them know that you are working on work-life balance and that you have decided to catch up on emails on Monday mornings etc. If you work in an industry where you need to be available at a wider range of hours, decide what your check-in times are and what is reasonable for you. Adjust accordingly.
Setting boundaries also means saying no to activities that you don't want to do or that don't align with your value system. Sometimes friends and family or even our church or other organizations can ask for us to help with something or invite us to an activity that we really aren't interested in or don't have time for or doesn't correspond with our value system. Learning to say no, politely is a super power. My favorite response is saving:
"Thank you for thinking of me, I don't have time to help or I have other plans or I don't have the bandwidth etc."
4. Create a schedule: Create a schedule that allows for a healthy balance between work and personal time. Plan in advance for important events and responsibilities, and make sure to set aside time for leisure activities and self-care.
Put it on your calendar and respect and prioritize this time just as you would if you had a work meeting or work related obligation.
5. Delegate responsibilities and ask for help: When possible, delegate tasks and responsibilities to others or simply ask for help. This can help lighten your workload and give you more time for personal pursuits.
At work, ask your self: "Does this task need to be done at all, or have I just always been done this way?, Am I the one who should be doing this task or can it be delegated? Is there a more efficient way of doing this task?
At home, ask for help: "Can you make dinner this evening? Can you pick up the kids? I could really use your help picking up the house, let's spend 30min picking up together. etc."
6. Avoid burnout: Don't skip lunch and breaks to be more productive! Take time to have lunch and even get out of the office for a change of scenery on occasion. Avoid burnout by taking short breaks throughout the day and taking time off when you need it. Short breaks may be 5 to 10 min breaks to get outside, stretch your legs, go for a walk, chat with a colleague, have a snack or meditate. Make sure to unplug from work when you are not on the clock and engage in leisure activities that you enjoy. Taking short breaks allows you to reset and recharge.
Sometimes a short break can be just what you need to clear your mind and the result is that you will actually be more effective and have more clarity of thought. So, taking breaks is a way of being more productive.
7. Communicate with your employer: Good communication with your employer is key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. If you are feeling overwhelmed or need to make adjustments to your schedule, have an open and honest conversation with your employer. Let them know that you would like to make some adjustments. Let them know if you need more resources on a project. Let them know that you have decided to be more mindful with your approach to ensure quality, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
8. Make time for relationships: Building and maintaining strong relationships with family and friends is essential for overall well-being. Make time for these relationships and prioritize quality time with loved ones. Spend more time with the people in your life that you love and that bring you up and spend less time with the people in your life that bring you down or have demands for your time and energy or that are not in balance with your values. Relationships should be reciprocal. If they're not, this may be a sign to that adjustments are necessary.
You got this! It may take several approaches, there will be adjustments along the way, but you are worth it!
Maintaining a work-life balance is essential for overall well-being and happiness. By prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, creating a schedule, delegating responsibilities, avoiding burnout, communicating with your employer, and making time for relationships, you can achieve a healthy and fulfilling balance between work and personal life. You got this!
Need some help relaxing? Book a massage or reiki session
Are you chakras out of balance? Learn more
Calgon, take me away! Reclaiming you bliss: Read article
The Key to making more money, better health and living longer: Read article
Feel more alert, have more energy & decrease stress levels Read article