The vast majority of us spend a lot of time at work throughout out lives. It’s incredibly difficult for us to find a perfect work-life balance, and we can easily end up chasing this ‘balance’ endlessly.
We all have to confront this balance at times. Maybe something is suffering in your personal life, or work life, there is usually a sign, but it can often be too late. So how do we actively work achieving that perfect balance so don’t end up suffering in either area of our lives?
There are a lot of things you can do. Each person has a different view of how important work/home life is, but there are some things I always recommend people look at if they want to address this balance.
Here are 8 considerations when balancing your work and personal life:
Make Time for Your Friends and Family
One of the first areas to suffer when someone buries their head in the sand and works too much is their friends and family. This can lead to separation that’s hard to overcome, losing touch with friends as we grow older can often lead to never, or rarely speaking to them again.
Make an effort to set aside some time to keep in touch with friends and family. They are the ones who will be there when you need them, that’s what friends are. Try setting a weekly meet-up date, that works well for me.
Evaluate What Standard of Living You Want
One of the main reasons we work is to provide for ourselves and our families. But there needs to be a point where you are doing enough to take a step back. Getting caught up in the aggressive must-do-better work mode is a dangerous mindset to have.
Take a look at how well you are really doing. How much you value your possessions and the quality of life your work allows you. Can you take some time out without affecting your quality of life? If so, maybe it’s something you can consider.
Build a Good Support Network
Always be looking to build a strong support network of people close to you. We all have those who have been there with us through good and bad times, and likewise we support others. A support network is incredibly powerful when it comes to needing a helping hand.
Close friends are better at being honest. They will tell you if you’re balance is clearly way off and something in your life is suffering, and you should thank them for it.
Get Involved in Social Activities
You have some spare time, right? Can’t work all the time, so what do you do when you’re at home? If you have a busy home life you are probably already struggling to find a balance, and may even go to work to escape the chaos.
If you do not have many social activities in the calendar, this is something to address. We all need social interaction and fun time to look forward too. So join some clubs, ask a friend to meet each week, social time is a big part of balancing your work/home life.
Take Holiday Time and Disconnect
No matter how busy you are, taking some time off for a holiday isn’t going to be the disaster you may think. We all need time off to recharge the batteries. This means disconnecting completely too, switch off completely.
So whether you choose to spend your time alone hiking somewhere, laying on a sunny beach, or just being at home. Treat your time off as a holiday and make yourself unattainable. Nothing bad will happen, trust me.
Understand Your Limit before Reaching It
We all have a psychological and physically breaking point, and if we work every hour we possibly can we will reach it eventually and it may be devastating. Prevention is the best cure, many don’t return to 100% from a mental or physical breakdown.
The morale of the story here is do not wait until it’s too late. If you are seeing some of the warning signs, such as struggling to sleep, feeling ill and run down, or stressed, it’s time to do something about it.
Ask Yourself How Much You Enjoy Work
While it’s never going to be a ball of fun for everyone going to work, you should at least enjoy it and not hate turning up for work. It’s easy for me to say, but if you’re unhappy in your job it’s time to look for a new job.
If you are hating work, you’re going to be more down while your not working. Blurring the lines between work and home life and making it more difficult to enjoy your time away from work.
Distance Yourself from Technology
A lot of technology is necessary, and it helps us go about our days in a more productive way. But there is a lot we could easily cut out, or at least cut down on.
If you use electronic devices at work all day this is even more relevant to you. It’s not good for your health to be in front of a computer screen all day, then jump on the computer when you get home. Find a healthy balance and get plenty of fresh air and exercise away from all those devices.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.