According to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of professionals reported working for at least 50 hours every week. This compounding stress at the workplace can make it difficult for you to leave your life to the fullest. The pressure of juggling the demands of personal life and career is overwhelming.
From having quality time with your friends to meet your deadlines at the office, you may have a lot on your plate already. You should be able to balance your work and personal life to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Here are the five effective ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance to let your mind be at peace.
1Set your priorities right
Your career is important and so are your personal relationships and commitments. So, mapping out your priorities can help you dedicate adequate time to each of your priorities. From your daily exercises to professional work and some fun time with your friends, you can get everything done if you set your priorities right.
You can prioritise your time based on the following categories:
- Urgent but not important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent and important
- Neither urgent nor important
At times, you may be tempted to leave work early and have dinner with your friends. But, you also need to complete a project that’s due the next day. Meeting your friends is important, but it isn’t as urgent as your projects. Think about it.
Let’s say your boss asked you to deliver a presentation within 24 hours. Ask her/him if it’s possible to extend the deadline. If the answer is positive, you can try skipping the task for a while and hang out with your friends stress-free.
2Take out time for yourself
Yes, you should love your career, your family, and friends. But, that shouldn’t stop you from loving yourself. Take out some time to take care of yourself at least every week. Your Thursday night is empty on the calendar. That doesn’t mean it is mandatory to go out just because your friends are going out. You can stay back home, read your favourite novel, and enjoy the smell of coffee.
Benefits of setting out time for yourself:
- Boosts your overall immune system
- Improves your self-compassion abilities
- Makes you more productive at work
- Helps you find out who you really are
- Makes you a better caregiver
Remember, it is okay to turn down invitations and skip work once in a while so that you can have the time to yourself. Besides setting a specific time for yourself, you should eat healthy foods and get enough sleep every day. No career or friends are more important than your mental peace and health.
3Figure out your strengths
Every individual has specific strengths and weaknesses. You can make the most of your strengths to get your professional tasks done hassle-free. For instance, I have always enjoyed doing presentations more than working on spreadsheets. So, I try to take up most tasks related to the presentations because I know I am quite good at that.
Benefits of knowing your value and strengths:
- Helps you know and accept yourself
- Keeps you motivated and energised
- Releases the need to be good at everything
- Saves time on having to re-learn a job or a skill
- Lets you succeed and grow in your professional field
Let’s say you are a morning person. That means the best time for you to focus on your work would be in the morning. In that case, you should try to assign the complicated tasks to the mornings and get the easy ones done later. Thus, you will never have to stay for extra hours at your workplace. You don’t have to miss your deadlines as well.
4Switch off your phone notifications after work
What’s the point of your social life if you have to respond to your boss’ emails even after work? Imagine sitting at a nice, cozy pub with your friends and spending most of the time on your phone. Does this count as ‘having fun?’ Technology has made our lives easier but you have to be constantly available even after work. So, there are times when you should turn off your phone and just enjoy the moment.
Four reasons to turn off your phone after work:
- Scientific studies have shown that our brains are not capable of multitasking. When you work, make sure you only work. When you are with your friends, make sure you devote your entire time to your friends. Focusing on one thing at a time will help you become more productive.
- When you stop responding to your professional emails, it conveys a sense of professionalism to your team. Eventually, they will end up valuing your time at and after work.
- Your juniors will get better at making decisions, even in your absence. Your juniors must learn how to grow and make decisions. Being on the phone with them constantly won’t help them out.
- Turning off your phone notifications will also help you relieve your stress. You can make the most of your moments and enjoy them fully. At the end of the day, you won’t have any regrets.
Let’s say you are at your kid’s soccer game. Instead of cheering for her, you end up spending the day on your phone working on a project. You need to stop reacting to the notifications that come from your work when you are enjoying a holiday. The more you respond to the notifications, the more prone you become to stress.
5Make time for your family
Quality time with your family is enough to let all the stress related to your work go away. You don’t have to go out with your friends every day. It’s okay if you just want to come back home and have a nice warm bath. It will also help you take some time for your family, right? Have dinner with your parents and ask them about their day. Help your siblings with their homework and try to bond with them.
Why should you value your time even more after returning from work?
- Brings you closer to your child or your parents. Family time makes us believe that there’s a life beyond our 9-5 jobs.
- Helps you develop positive behaviours towards life. Stress is unavoidable at work. But, dealing with stress is way easier if you have frequent peaceful dinners with your family.
- Boosts your self-confidence when you have valuable time with your family. It fosters healthy self-esteem and a positive self-concept.
If the work pressure doesn’t let you visit your home frequently, ask your boss to allow you to work from home for some time. Working from home not only boosts your productivity but also strengthens your bond with your family. Spending time with your family helps you relieve your stress and get through tough times with more ease.
Maintaining a perfect balance between work and your personal life is difficult, but not an impossible feat. Set your priorities right based on their urgencies. In addition, there are apps and online services to make some part of your work easier. The advent of technology has made sure of that. If you’re a writer, you could reduce the load of your tasks by getting help from plagiarism or grammar checkers and even citation tools.
The possibilities to get help is endless, you just have to know when and where to find them. This way, you can spend more time with your family and friends. Try out these tips and, hopefully, you’ll have a peaceful life ahead.