Work-Life balance? What is it? It is easy to assume that it’s the perfect equilibrium between your professional and personal life. However, the definition of work-life balance runs deeper than just that. Work-life balance can take on a different meaning to different people. Despite the worldwide quest for work-life balance, no one (to my knowledge) has found the fail-safe method to finding perfect balance.
Instead, the quest for work-life balance is a daily exercise in achievement and enjoyment. Here are some of the tips I use to keep from burnout and in a state that I find enjoyable and good for my well-being.
Tips for Finding Your Work-Life Balance
1. Let Go of Perfection
It took me a long time to realise that perfection is an illusion. Adulting is hard. The older we become the more responsibilities are added to our plates. The less capacity we have available to be perfectionists. My approach to any task now is to do it to the best of my ability. Naturally there will always be room to do better, more to learn and processes to improve. And when I don’t know something, I ask. Whether you turn to Google, Siri or your colleague – ask for help.
2. Disconnect and Unplug
Technology is a wonderful tool. Our smart phones have become an integral part of our existence. It keeps us connected to the world. But it is also important to disconnect. Make quality time true quality time. I’ve learnt the importance of putting my phone away when I am spending time with a friend or my partner. The constant need to be posting, checking updates and being connected has many times left me disconnected from the people right in front of me.
My solution to this problem is to remove the push notifications that distract me from being in the moment. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience.
3. Get Moving , Exercise
Exercise is an important aspect of life. Not only is it good for your health, it is a terrific outlet for stress relief. When you exercise you pump your body with feel-good endorphins, and it’s been proven that exercise can even put you into a meditative state. I first started running when I was completely burned out at work and I needed to find a way to release the stress. Since then I haven’t looked back, and I have found other forms of exercise apart from running to make me feel better.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Go for a walk, do a couple of stretches and remember to breathe. A few slow breaths at your desk is sometimes all you need to just relax and find your centre.
Start Small Then Build
If you’re trying to change certain behaviours in your life, start small. Then build from there once you’ve experienced some success. I find this to be great way to keep myself motivated. It will be counterproductive to place additional stress on yourself by making drastic, unattainable changes. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) that are manageable and realistic.
Keep working at them and if you slip up and lose your balance, pick yourself up and try again. One lesson I’ve learnt is to not be so hard on myself when I slip up. Each mistake or misstep is just another lesson.
I’m keen to hear your thoughts. Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to maintain your work-life balance? Let me know in the comments section below.