Work-life balance rarely happens automatically. It takes a little planning and strategy to keep either side of that equation from taking over. But that little planning can go a long way when you know these 5 keys to work-life balance success.
1. Establish Healthy Boundaries
When you give, give, give at work, home, charities, and more, you actually have less to give overall. You’re being pulled in all directions and can’t focus on what you’re doing.
Identify your limits. Know where you stop and someone else starts. And start communicating clearly about what you’re able to take on. Remember: you can’t hurt other people’s feelings.
If they feel rejected when you kindly but clearly communicate your boundaries, that’s their emotional stuff to deal with.
Boundaries are never rude or trying to control others. They simply draw a clear line between what is your responsibility and what is not.
2. Prioritize Your Day
Before the day begins, identify the things you must do today. Rank their importance. And focus on what’s important.
Let non-priorities slide, if needed. Or get them done now — if you’ve already met your priority goals. That can save you time and hassle later.
Make sure your priorities include a mix of personal and professional to keep a work-life balance. Consider getting an app that can send you reminders about time-sensitive priorities.
3. Block Distractions
Despite what many of us think, we’re horrible multi-taskers. We perform best when we can focus on one thing, get it done, and move on.
When it’s time to work, create an environment where you can work. Block out distractions, and stay task-oriented. Don’t flip back and forth to the news, social media, or personal emails. This is work time.
When it’s time for the kids, stay focused on them. If your boss texts you while you’re playing a board game with your daughter, wait to reply — unless you’ve agreed to be on-call.
That’s part of having healthy boundaries.
4. Learn to Delegate
In the short term, it seems smart to just do it yourself. You can do it faster, better, and easier than someone else.
But as a long-term practice, this means you end up doing everything. And those around you who could learn to do it as well as you — don’t. You could even be hindering someone else’s ability to become self-sufficient and grow as a person.
If that’s your kid, you’ll regret that one later.
This can happen in all aspects of life — work, kids, your partner, friendships, extended family.
Start letting some stuff go to others. Accept that they may not do it as you would. But if you don’t let them do it, they’ll never learn.
Let yourself relax. Doing nothing can be a very productive “activity”.
It allows your body and mind to rest and recover. It gives your gut time to digest food properly. Your immune system can “clean house” and stay working at its best.
You’ll feel more refreshed and able to maintain a work-life balance.