Easier said than done? Work-life balance

I want to begin by thanking those who participated in the poll that I posted last week. I got a lot of great insight on topics y’all would like to see in the coming weeks. 19.15% of y’all voted for “work-life balance,” which I will be discussing today.

What is work-life balance?

There’s no doubt that work-life balance has an influence on our mental health. For those who suffer from mental health disorders, having work-life balance is even more crucial. Work-life balance is defined as having the time to perform employment, family, social, and community tasks in a manner that results in some sort of equilibrium.

Whether your “work” is school, maintaining a household, or holding down a 9-5 job, you need time outside of your work to recharge, to engage with hobbies and passions, and to socialize with non-work people. Being able to have a personal life while fulfilling the work/school/etc. duties is the tricky part and will vary from person-to-person.

In this post, I won’t go into detail about what can happen when you aren’t mindful of work-life balance but you can read a post I wrote on the topic of burnout. 

How can I improve my work-life balance?

You can begin by asking yourself: “What different roles do I have outside of work?” Are you a parent, friend, spouse, sibling, church member, volunteer, etc.? How are you tending to your various roles? Do you know how to delegate your time?

It is likely that we all found some areas for improvement as we pondered the above questions. With that being said, here are some ideas to help improve your work-life balance now:

  1. Make changes: If possible, adjust work hours to be more conducive to your other life roles. Eat better, exercise more, sleep more, and develop your coping skills for when work is more demanding (unbalance from time-to-time is inevitable). These changes and self-care tasks will help you to be better prepared for juggling multiple responsibilities and roles in your life.
  2. Unplug: The devices we surround ourselves with make it difficult to disconnect from work once we’ve punched out for the day. I suggest limiting or eliminating work-based email and work-related phone communications when you’re outside of work hours. Research supports that tending to things like work emails when you’re off the clock increases the chance of burnout. I personally choose not have work email on my phone. I also give coworkers and clients a google voice number that is different than my personal number. This allows me to unplug and follow up on calls and texts when I am in the office.
  3. Take breaks: I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t take a lunch break on a regular basis. I even read that many people fail to use their allotted vacation time. These activities are crucial to preventing burnout. Breaks help you to recharge during the day before returning to work. It will likely make you more productive when you return if you allow yourself to step out of work mode. When taking a break, it is important to get out of your work setting if possible and do something to relax; ie, watch youtube, read a book, listen to music. Avoid spending the whole time on social media, as it tends to drain more than rejuvenate. Schedule vacations once or twice a year (or more!) and don’t bring work on those vacations. The world will not end if you can’t be reached and you will be better off after stepping away for a bit.
  4. List your non-negotiables: What are the non-work things that you refuse to miss? List them out and make sure you schedule it around your work obligations. For me, my weekly non-negotiables are writing at least one mental health blog, going to the gym at least 5 days, getting at least 8 hours of sleep nightly, and having a designated date night with my wife.

Conclusion

Having a work-life balance is easier said than done. We live in a competitive world and often fear we won’t be able to keep up unless we sacrifice. It all comes down to where your priorities are and what you’re willing to do to make them happen. I hope that this has been helpful. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on work-life balance.

You can find me at perfectlyimperfect92.wordpress.com

As always, thanks for reading!

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/presence-mind/201509/hows-your-work-life-balance

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-love-and-war/201510/10-ways-increase-work-life-balance

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

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22 Replies to “Easier said than done? Work-life balance”

  1. I love this! Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. As someone who battles depression, sometimes getting the non-negotiables in can be a challenge, mostly when I get to the point where it’s a struggle to do, well, anything.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading! Publishing this blog has definitely helped me to consider my non negotiables. I’m making some big changes as well. Take care

      Like

  2. You need iron discipline to do as you suggest but your are right to write about this. As in almost every aspect of our personality I think there must be degrees. And there must be degrees of “bi-polarism”. My father was designated bi-polar by his various doctors and I believe at least one of my siblings is bi-polar. I was described as “mercurial” as a child and I believe that for me this is an apt description – merely subject to moods not extremes of high and low.

    Balance is something I have always found difficult to achieve. I always engage in what I am doing with a certain sense of mania or obsession. I find it very difficult indeed to multi task and hence will spend untold hours concentrating on one area of life to the exclusion of all others.

    But on balance (ha ha) and rather late in life I believe I have found a fairly high degree of equanimity.

    Anyway good article. Totally agree with you.

    Like

  3. This is so true, what you write. I feel like sometimes half my time is spent on making sure my days are balanced. It’s exhausting sometimes, and sometimes I feel like I’m the anal-retentive guy, having to put order in life. Balance is so hard to find. And you hit it–engaging with either mania or obsession–which always, inevitably, drops me into an exhausted depression, before the mania takes over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. It all starts with knowing the non-negotiables. Then you add in other stuff, making sure it’s not too much. Take care

      Like

  4. Thank you for this. I like the idea of taking vacations and staying away from spending too much time on social media, these tips are truly helpful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! I have to remind myself daily not to eat lunch at my desk. A lot of people put off vacations but we are not meant to run nonstop without a break. Take care

      Like

  5. Much easier said then done. I honestly feel having a system of support is really helpful. Great read.

    Like

  6. You’re right, balancing work, family time, social activities, etc. is much easier said then done. However, Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind.” I recently came across this article entitled “Are You Doing Too Much?” It explains why we may be struggling to find balance and offers more suggestions on how to achieve it. Here’s a link: https://www.jw.org/finder?wtlocale=E&docid=102017125&srcid=share

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the article. I wasn’t familiar with that bible verse, so thanks for sharing. Take care

      Like

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