More people are working from home than ever, and finding a balance between your work and home life can often present a range of unique challenges. In August of 2021, it was estimated that over 20 million Americans alone were working in a remote capacity, although data indicate that those numbers may be decreasing. Even if your work requires you to go into an office every day, finding a good work-life balance is something everyone should try to achieve. Here are some tips to help you improve the balance to ensure a healthy, happy life that keeps your family, life, and career in check.
Prioritise Tasks and Time
The first step in achieving a healthy work-life balance is learning how to prioritise work-related tasks and your time overall. Here are some tips to help you create a schedule that will work for you:
- Each day or week, write down a list of your tasks and arrange them in the order of importance, with the most pressing items first.
- Work on large, more intense projects first to get them out of the way, then start focusing on the smaller tasks as each one is completed.
- As for prioritising your free time, it’s essential to carve out a block of personal time, or “me time”, every single day.
- Block out your time using a calendar to help you train your mind to set a start time, and a time to cut yourself off from work at a designated time each day.
- Turn your phone off, stop checking emails, and close your internet browser daily once your work is done to avoid distractions outside of working hours.
Focus on Your Health and Home
No matter where or how you work, it’s vital to focus on your overall health and wellbeing to achieve a good balance. Make sure you’re getting good sleep every night and start your day with a healthy breakfast to give you fuel for the day ahead. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet that includes a good combination of fruits, vegetables, and protein. If possible, make sure you’re setting some time aside for exercise to keep your mind and body strong. To improve your work-life balance, schedule your workouts or exercise with your spouse or family. You can hit the gym together or go on a walk around the neighborhood to get two benefits in one.
Remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, so always practice good self-care habits. Whether it’s taking a nice bubble bath in the evening or putting aside some time to read your favourite book, taking care of yourself will help you achieve a better mental balance, too. It’s also important to focus on taking care of your home amid your busy career. Keep a checklist of home maintenance items to take care of so that you feel good about your environment and know that you’re taking good care of your property as well.
Create Healthy Boundaries
If you do work from home, having a healthy set of boundaries is key to a good work-life balance. Here are a few ways that you can help you keep everything in check:
- Wake up and start working at the same time every day so that your mind understands when the workday begins. Do the same thing when your workday is over.
- Dress in comfortable but professional clothing so that you feel like you’re actually in the office.
- Make sure that your family knows when you’re working and that they understand there will be times when you need peace and quiet to get things done.
- If possible, design a separate home office space. This will help you understand the difference between work and home life.
- Ensure that your coworkers and boss understand when you’re available and when you’re not. That will ensure you can focus on yourself and your family outside of working hours.
- Don’t respond to emails or work on tasks if you’re not “on the clock.” This is one of the best ways to set a boundary between your home life and your job responsibilities.
Do What You Love
Not everyone can find their dream job, but doing something you genuinely enjoy will ensure a better work-life balance. Choose a career that gives your life and work real meaning, and that helps you feel fulfilled at the end of the day. If you find that your current career is too demanding or you’re consistently required to work long hours, it might be time to consider something new. A healthy work environment includes allowing employees to have some downtime, including vacations and reasonable hours.
There may be some days when you’re unable to stick to your regular schedule, and that’s ok. Remember that it’s not always possible to have a work-life balance that’s perfect every single day. As long as your routine is normally reasonable, it’s okay if you end up working overtime. Just make sure that you make up for it later by spending some extra time with the ones you love. Having a job that you truly enjoy is one of the best ways to ensure that your work and your life are in good balance. Look for an employer that understands the importance of having free time and spending time with family. That way, you’ll know that the company aligns with your values, and there will be fewer instances of conflict in terms of scheduling.
Balance is Possible
The demands of a promising career can feel overwhelming but finding the right balance between your work and home is possible when you set healthy boundaries. Remember to take good care of yourself, your family, and your home so that you aren’t neglecting the most important things to you. By setting a schedule, prioritising your task, and learning when to unplug, it’s possible to find and improve upon your work-life balance every single day.