How To Achieve A Work – Life Balance
A proper healthy work – life balance is a dream I believe most of us strive to achieve, however this can often feel impossible when you take into consideration all the stresses and responsibilities that come with modern day life.
What is a work – life balance?
A work – life balance is the distribution between your professional life and your personal life. A work – life balance does not necessarily have to be an equal balance between your professional life and your work life, however the balance between both has to be at a level which allows the individual to feel content and fulfilled.
A work – life balance is not going to remain static, the balance will change as your life changes. There may be periods of time in your life when you will want/ need to remain focused on your professional life and there will be periods of time in your life when your attention will need to shift.
The key is ensuring that you retain the right balance for your life as it is at the moment, a shift too far either way can start to have a negative impact.
Why is a work – life balance important?
A work – life balance is extremely important for your overall health and wellbeing. A lack of balance can also affect other areas of our life such as relationships and productivity. A lack of work – life balance can often leave you feeling stressed, burnout, demotivated, anxious, and lethargic.
If someone is able to achieve a healthy work – life balance then this will have a knock-on effect towards other areas of their life. Quite often if we become dissatisfied with an area of our life then other areas start to become affected, however if we manage to improve one area of our life then other areas also start to improve. This is why quite often why it feels like everything happens at once, because our current mood and circumstance starts to ripple out and affect us as a whole.
What are the benefits of a work – life balance?
There are many benefits to a good work – life balance, some of which I have already mentioned. However, the main benefits of a work – life balance are –
- Improved health – your stress and anxiety levels will decrease which improves both your physical and mental health – you may also find it easier to look after yourself by eating healthier and exercising
- Increase in productivity – you will find yourself more motivated in both your personal and professional work, you’ll find it easier to finish that report or redecorate your home
- Find pleasure in things – when you are feeling stressed or anxious you can often find that you stop enjoying things that you once enjoyed, the decrease in stress and anxiety will often lead to you once again finding pleasure in life
- Free time – if you find yourself swamped with the responsibilities of work or life then you will often find it hard to find time for your family, friends, or even (most importantly) yourself, by readdressing the balance you will find yourself able to go out with friend, enjoy family days out, or pamper yourself
- Start participating – do you find yourself constantly having to constantly say no and turn down invitation? An increase in free time will mean that you are able to start saying yes to invitations and you can start reconnecting and enjoying yourself!
How to achieve a work – life balance?
You may find yourself sat there thinking that this all sounds well and good but it would be impossible for me to achieve a work – life balance. Maybe you have a demanding job? You have children? Elderly relatives? Animals? A lot of people who depend on you? Hobbies? Bills? Commitments? Responsibilities? Stress? LIFE?
Whilst yes, all those things are important and they all need time dedicated to them. I would never advise anyone to give up their job, walk out on their family, and go do whatever they want without thinking of the consequences. That would be incredibility foolish and selfish.
However, just because you have a job, family, responsibilities, it does not mean that you have to give up fun and relaxation. You are just as important as your job. You are just as important as your family and friends. YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
You just need to work on reprioritising your life.
How do I reprioritise my life?
The simplest and easiest way to do this is to write down absolutely everything going on in your life.
Once you have this all down look for things that you could possibly change, could you reorganise your hours at work? Could you get more support in place for looking after your children/ elderly relatives/ animals? Do you need to be in charge of the PTA AND the local scouts? Can you reduce or give up any hobbies? Is there any way you can reduce your bills/ outgoings?
Is there anything at all you can reduce or stop? Do not just automictically say no you can’t, really think about it, ask people. You will never get anywhere unless you take the initiative and ask for help.
I will repeat that, ASK FOR HELP. Yes, I am serious.
You are important
Everyone has responsibilities and people depending on them. However, you will do no one any favours by working yourself too hard and making yourself ill.
If you get ill who is going to do your job? Look after your kids/ elderly relatives/ pets? Who is going to pay your pills or take over the scouts/ any other commitments you may have?
What would be better for everyone? That you reduce your commitments and people have a little less of you, OR people have nothing from you because you have brunt yourself out and you are now ill?
Letting go can be hard, I know. However, you sometimes need to put yourself first.