Working is certainly important, but we should be careful to ensure that our work never consumes our lives. Similarly, we should also be careful not to let our personal lives interfere with our job. Therefore, a balance is needed to control the relationship between our careers and personal lives. This is especially true for freelancers and others that work from home, as their residence and place of business share the same building. Those that do not learn how to improve work-life balance not only face the possibility of experiencing burnout, but may also become at risk for stress-related health issues. Therefore, learning how to improve work life balance is essential to maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. Below, you will find a thoughtful approach to maintaining this balance.
Work limits the control that we have over our own time. Therefore, the first step in learning how to improve work life balance is to identify the key aspects of our lives that we can control. You should begin by indentifying how much time is required for work while, for the time being, ignoring how much extra work you complete for additional income. Other important aspects of your life, including personal projects, hobbies, family time, lifestyle, and so on should also be carefully considered and written down.
You should then indentify the activities that limit your productivity or lead to unnecessary levels of stress. For example, if you find that your work is taking longer than it probably should, you may want to consider how much time you spend browsing the web or chatting with others when you could be working. Such activities will certainly slow you down and should usually be saved for a more appropriate time. When it’s time to work, that’s exactly what you should be doing (though it is important to take one or two breaks, depending upon how long your workday is). If you spend time gossiping with coworkers, be careful; not only can this lead to elevated stress levels, it can also breach the barrier that should exist between your work and personal life.
Determine the hobbies that you wish you could do but never seem to have time for. This may include jogging, hiking, or a number of other recreational activities. It’s especially important to determine which activities both help you recharge and benefit your health. Ideally, this will include time spent with family and friends. It’s important to avoid stress as much as possible in your down time, since you will suffer more than your fair share of this at work.
After identifying these important aspects, the next step is to carefully develop a schedule that organizes each part of your life. This schedule should include the amount of time you need each day for work, but should also account for the varying activities that are sure to occur on different days. For example, you may want to plan some recreational activities for the weekend with your family. You may also need to set aside some time during the week to complete personal errands. Even if you prefer to work a little harder each week for an extra income, you can devote more of your time to work on some days while leaving a little more for yourself on others. You’ll be surprised how much extra time you have on your hands by creating a comprehensive schedule and carefully adhering to it.
Also, identify which activities require you to work, and which activities you could outsource. There is no reason to do everything when someone else could do some of the tasks for you.