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“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” ~ Dolly Parton
If you feel all you do is work, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at your non-existent work-life balance. But in a fast-paced world where the boundaries between work and home are increasingly getting blurred, figuring out how to strike a work-life balance could be tricky.
Not sure what work-life balance is all about? Work-life balance means accomplishing a better balance between your professional and personal priorities. To strike a work-life balance, you will consciously need to manage your time and energy to meet both personal and professional commitments while prioritising overall well-being and self-care.
If you thought taking up jobs shown by your Google search for “jobs with good work-life balance” would help, think again. Even when you search for “best careers with good work-life balance” with the intention of choosing one from the results displayed, it may not help unless you learn to set boundaries to stop your work from spilling into your family time, community time, or “me-time.”
Need help to find your work-life balance? Though the work-life balance of each person will be unique (as the life of every individual has a unique nature), the following three tips can help you maintain a harmonious relationship between your work and personal life.
1. Pause and Reassess
If you are a busy professional and believe you don’t have the energy or time to stop and reflect, carve out at least a few minutes to do exactly what you think can’t be done. Simply ask yourself questions like the following, which will help you to understand how you feel about your current work-life situation:
- What’s presently causing me dissatisfaction, stress, unhappiness, or unbalance?
- How are they affecting my job performance and job engagement?
- Am I spending adequate quality time to do what I want?
- Where do I feel the most stuck? And what circumstances are making me feel this way?
- Am I aligned with my professional and personal objectives? Why or why not?
- What am I sacrificing?
- What am I prioritising?
- What important things are falling through the cracks?
Taking the time to think through and find answers to these questions and acknowledging the intentional or inadvertent tradeoffs you have made will help you to find alternative, better-balanced ways of working and living.
2. Reprioritise and Consider Your Alternatives
Once you have a better idea of where your work-life balance could be affected the most, you will want to reassess and adjust your priorities. During this stage, you should identify what’s most meaningful to you and why, and consider alternatives to pursuing them.
For instance, you might have been a busy professional, often pulling all-nighters at work. But, now you need to redefine your role after becoming a parent to ensure your professional role is more inclusive of other important roles, like that of a parent.
The key is to intentionally reprioritise how you spend your time in a way that aligns with your true priorities. The more you really understand what’s important in life (it’s not just work), you will start realising the relative importance of work and not mould your life to fit your work schedule. Rather, you will create a life where a healthy balance exists between work, family life, community activities, career goals, and your health and well-being.
3. Implement Changes
Once you have changed and/or recognised your priorities and carefully considered the alternatives that could help you improve your present situation, it’s time for you to act. Not sure what that means? It means implementing changes – both at work and in other areas of your life.
Whatever changes you need to implement, they should be sustainable in the long run to be effective. For example, changes at work don’t just mean telling your manager that you want more flexible hours or more time-offs. Instead, it should involve discussing the changes you want to make (to improve your physical and mental health, productivity, or engagement with work) and securing support from your manager, colleagues, key mentors, etc.
Changes in other areas of life could involve setting up self-imposed boundaries where you say “no” to requests that will eat up the time set aside for activities (say, playtime with your kid, spa session, or catching up with friends). Even the choice of not working on weekends, in evenings, or during holidays, and adhering to that decision can be vital to achieving work-life balance.
You may consider turning down job-related demands that don’t align with your life’s present-day priorities as well. This could be turning down travel requests if you are a new parent and have shared baby duties with your working partner.
The tips outlined above won’t bring results magically overnight and aren’t a one-time activity. You will have to stick to a cycle of constant reassessment and improvement to ensure you don’t fall back into the unhealthy patterns of long work hours with minimal breaks and relaxation.
To reach a more rewarding and sustainable work-life balance, you should follow the tips above and keep patience because it will take time and a little bit of courage to experiment and find the right mix of balance between your professional and personal life.
If hiring troubles are the reason why your work-life balance is disrupted, you can always rely on us at InHunt World and we will help you hire the right talent!