This article is part of a series on work-life balance. Check out the other articles on work-life balance here: 7 ways to work smarter, not harder and this one 8 time management tips to work smarter, not harder.
These days work-life balance can feel difficult to achieve. There is pressure to work longer and harder and to be always on and to be responsive at all hours and to always be available for work. Not having a good work to life balance can lead to burnout, feeling overworked, feeling tired all the time or feeling stressed. A longer workday doesn’t make you more productive and can damage your health. Instead of finding balance in your life, working longer hours can make you miss out on important things at home.
Finding work-life balance is different for everyone, but in this article I’ll share tips to help you find the right balance for you. If you’re struggling to achieve a good balance between work and home right now, these tips will help.
What is work-life balance?
Work-life balance means creating harmony between work and personal life. Having a good work-life balance means choosing to separate your professional and personal lives so you can achieve at work and still have time for the most important things and people at home.
A good work-life balance is a state where your focus, time and energy is balanced between personal life, professional life and family life. Creating a better work-life balance is about the amount of time and importance we place on our work versus all the other aspects of our life – be that rejuvenation, hobbies, family time, relaxation or anything else.
By having a better work-life balance, we can maintain energy and motivation for longer, focus on our work and improve our overall happiness and wellbeing in our life. Having a sense of balance between our professional life, personal life and family life is essential if we want to achieve our biggest goals in life and in business.
8 tips for better work-life balance
If you want to have a good work-life balance, these 8 tips will help you find the right balance for you.
1. Take control of your time
It’s difficult to find life work balance when you don’t have control of your time. If you can’t mange time at work, then you will have less time for the people and things that matter at home.
Longer working hours lead to stress, burnout, overwhelm and health issues. Missing out on important things in life, because of long hours at work, creates feelings of guilt and a sense of not being able to get time back from the things we’ve missed out on.
When you have clarity on what matters most at work and in life you have the tools to find work and life balance. If you have more time away from work you have more energy and excitement for the things that matter most in life. Feeling more rejuvenated and relaxed leads to better productivity at work.
Achieving balance starts with time management, energy management and a clear focus on where you should invest your time to achieve the biggest results quicker at work so you can have more time freedom to spend at home.
2. Work smarter, not harder
Achieving a good work-life balance starts with understanding that working longer hours at work will not give you the time freedom to have a better life balance at home. The key to creating this balance is to work smarter, not harder.
Having a better work-life balance is never about working longer and longer hours. When you work longer, your will be constantly tired, stressed and at risk of burnout.
If you want to feel happier and healthier and have more time freedom, it is about being able to work smarter, not harder. When you don’t get enough sleep, exercise and have time for relaxation at home, you’ll become less productive and creative at work, which leads to working longer hours to catch up.
3. Improve your goal setting
Finding work-life balance starts with getting clear on what you want to achieve and what’s most important to you at work and at home. When you have too many goals and too many things on your to-do list, it’s easy to feel like you have to work longer and harder to tick off every item and make progress.
If you want to work less in the office and have more time at home, start with better goal setting. Get clear on your long-term goals and then set a small number of short-term, measurable goals that you want to achieve.
Having a small number of important goals ensures your time and energy are focused on a small number of crucial activities each day to move you closer towards your goals. By having less goals, you can focus your time each day on a small number of crucial activities to undertake.
Rather than filling your time with stuff each day, you will know exactly where to invest your time at work, so you can can have more time at home.
4. Forget about perfectionism
A lot of people waste precious time at work on procrastination and perfectionism. If you want to achieve a better work-life balance then you need to let go of perfectionism and the wasted hours that go into making things perfect.
As life and work gets more complex and complicated and we have less time, it’s more important to focus on progress not perfection. This starts with getting clear on what’s most important in business and life.
Working longer on perfecting things leads to stress, overwhelm and burnout, rather than a desire to progress and move forward with confidence. Focus on being happy with what you’ve achieved, rather than always striving to make little tweaks that make it better.
Find other people to work with you on projects to achieve the result quicker so you can have more time at home with the people that matter.
5. Express gratitude in life
Sometimes we are so busy working and dealing with the day to day challenges we have that it’s easy to forget about being present, and appreciating what we have and what is most important to us.
If you want a better life balance, it’s essential to give thanks for what you have and include proactive gratitude as part of everyday life.
To take time to look at everything in our lives and appreciate what we are grateful for. Developing a gratitude mindset allows us to get clarity on what’s most important in our lives, which allows us to make the necessary changes to create the work-life balance we want.
Many of us think of gratitude as reacting. Something happens or someone does something and you feel grateful. You say thank you, maybe send an email.
A far more proactive strategy for creating and living an abundant life is to actively find things you appreciate. This affects your own personal state of mind but also impacts others.
You could send a handwritten card to the people you love or someone that means a lot to you.
Give thanks for three things at the end of every day and see how this shifts your mood and mind-set. This simple act of gratitude helps you expand the things that are most important in your life and eliminate the things that aren’t.
6. Create better boundaries
If you want to find work-life balance, it’s important to decide what you want to do, who you want to build relationships with and where you want to spend your time.
This gives greater clarity and focus to achieve work-life balance.
We have so many requests made of us and so many opportunities to do different things that we end up saying yes to things that we really don’t want to do but feel we should do.
Have the self-respect, confidence and courage to live life on your own terms and say yes only to the things that really matter. For everything else, start saying no. When you are clear on who matters most and what matters most, you gain clarity on what and who is essential and who isn’t.
Your time is scarce.
When you start saying no to most things, you become more focused and completely present in everything you’ve said yes to.
7. Create time to think and relax
It’s amazing what we actually have time for, especially when we decide to really make time. I hear the phrase “I don’t have time” constantly.
How about you change that mind-set and start dedicating one hour a day to yourself or to the people that are most important to you.
One hour to work on yourself. An hour for reading. 60 minutes to learn a new skill.
The truth is we can all find time to create a better life balance if it’s important to us.
This dedicated time can help you become more creative and increase your energy and focus at work. Plus, you’ll increase your capabilities.
8. Do one thing you love to do every day
As we get sucked into the whirlwind of everyday life and work, it’s often all we can do just to get by.
We often forget to do or enjoy the things that actually bring us the biggest amount of joy.
A simple way to achieve good work-life balance is to recommit to do the things that give you the most pleasure.
If you don’t have anything, find something you’re passionate about.
Find your passion for things that are important. This could be reading, walking, meditating, learning an instrument or a language, or becoming a better cook or gardener.
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you get joy from the experience. Carve out time every day to do this one thing.
Do it for 30 days and it will become a habit.
It will help you reconnect with what you really care about.
Finding work-life balance can be transformative. Good work and life balance will help you discover what’s most important to you in business and life so you can expand the things that are important and eliminate those that aren’t.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your best tip for creating a better work-life balance?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Get more articles, tips and tools to help you simplify your time to multiply your results on the blog.
Sign up to my Time For What Matters newsletter to get more tips on work-life balance, goal setting, time management and productivity.
Grab your free Productivity Mastery Daily Planner to 10x your productivity and achieve your goals quicker.