Trying to figure out the equation to equally balance work and life is something that would only be attempted in Good Will Hunting. It’s not easy to achieve, but it is important to try.
9 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance
- Set Realistic Goals – When you reach a goal, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and like a weight is lifted. Setting manageable goals gives you more control over work and can reduce stress. Need help prioritizing? Check out the Time Management Matrix by Stephen Covey – Urgent vs. Important
- Effectively Communicate – Discuss challenges openly with colleagues or your boss. If you find yourself in a bind, more likely than not, you’re not alone. Having someone outside of your situation provide feedback on it might give you a fresh outlook or the opportunity to refocus your strategy. According to a Gallup Poll, 87% of people who know their manager well and communicate regularly are engaged at work. If you have a manager who knows you as a person and not just as a direct report, it can make asking for something like an adjusted schedule to accommodate a child’s event less anxiety-ridden.
- Ask for Flexibility – Working from home is becoming more commonplace for companies to offer, now seen as less of a benefit and more of a must-have. Telecommuting only seems to boost the productivity numbers, according to com, making it something more organizations should be open to implementing if asked.
- Practice Efficiency – Think about the last time you procrastinated. The work probably got done in time, but did you create more stress for yourself? When you are given a project, break it up into smaller tasks to better manage, and assign a deadline for each so that it doesn’t creep up on you all at once. The less time you spend procrastinating at work, the more productive time you can spend with your family and friends, or doing other activities outside of work.
- Be Kind to Yourself – Simply put, no one is perfect. Cut yourself some slack. You’re a human who’s doing the best you can.
- Unplug – It’s nice to be connected when it provides you the ability to do your job flexibly, and it’s important to make yourself available when you can. During personal time, however, allow yourself to disconnect. Unplugging can help to avoid burnout and gives you the chance to be more present at home. According to Forbes, downtime is needed after work to mentally recharge and be more productive the next day.
- Ask for Support – If you are the primary manager of the home, it’s important to distribute responsibilities when they can be doled out. Delegating can keep your stress levels at bay with a less daunting to-do list. Asking for support and talking with friends and family can also be important to your success at home and work because it’s linked to improving your health.
- Stay Active – Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety, allowing people the ability to process, evaluate, and overcome challenges they might face with a clear head. Being active keeps you healthy, which can also mean taking less sick days, keeping you more productive at work and at home.
- Say No – This tip can be hard to apply in both your professional and personal life but is a simple change that has immediate benefits on your stress level. If looking at your calendar stresses you out, learn to say “no” when the idea of committing to something drives up your anxiety level.
What tips do you have for achieving work-life balance? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.