Everyone wants to be successful, but how do you define success?
Among people who have achieved success, the definitions center around happiness, well-being, and fostering strong relationships with others. All in all, success is about finding your life balance.
What It Means to Maintain Work/Life Balance
As adults, we often have many roles. We are professionals, spouses, parents, caretakers, and more.
We spend 8 hours (and often more) in work-mode, figuring out how to keep clients and associates happy. Then we get home, and have to figure out dinner, laundry, homework, and bedtimes. Then, it’s back to the daily grind each morning.
But with all of these necessary tasks, how much of your day is committed to yourself? And where do your personal relationships fit in?
Helping your child with homework is important, but are you really connecting? And is everyone enjoying dinner together, or are you all on your phones throughout the meal?
Finding your life balance not only means that you’re completing the necessary tasks at work and at home, it means you’re getting the most from each experience.
Why Balance Is Crucial to Success
Why do we work?
Are you working because your job gives your life meaning? Or are you working to support your family? Are you building a better future for yourself and others?
How you answer these questions will tell you why you need to find balance. If your family is the reason you’re working so hard, does it make sense to spend most of your day away from them?
There are many scenarios where we simply can’t spend as much time with our loved ones as we’d like. But that’s why it’s so important to prioritize life balance whenever possible.
Spending 12 hours a day at work and then answering calls and emails at home is not being productive. Doing this will leave you stressed, exhausted, and without any social outlet. It will also put a strain on all of your relationships.
When you go to work over-tired from another sleepless night, and stressed from a fight with your spouse, your work will suffer. When your work suffers, you’ll spend more time having to fix your mistakes. It’s a never-ending cycle that will eventually lead to burn-out.
How Can Working Professionals Find Their Life Balance?
No matter what stage of your career you’re at, life balance is possible! That being said, you may need to make some changes in order to find it.
1. Re-evaluate Your Career
If you feel stuck in a 9-5 rut that’s gradually turned into an 8-8 monster, something has to change.
Speak to your boss about any challenges and the possibility of lightening your workload. Maybe you can find room in the budget for part-time help or an intern.
Management typically wants to reduce turnover, so they may be willing to work with you on a more manageable schedule. In addition, they may not even be aware of how many hours you’re putting in. Always make sure they’re aware of your situation.
If you still feel trapped in your job and your boss won’t help, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. While you may initially be drawn to similar positions at different companies, remember that the industry itself might be the problem.
If this is the case, consider making a total career change. It’s scary, but it can be well worth it. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, this might be the perfect opportunity!
Do some research on building a business to determine if this is the right move for you.
2. Prioritize Important Tasks
No matter what type of job you’re doing, you probably have multiple things to get done. Figure out what’s most important, and do that first.
Getting the big stuff out of the way will free up the rest of your day other tasks. While it can be tempting to start your morning with smaller, easier tasks, you’ll have more stress when you have to rush through more important projects.
Another benefit of prioritization is getting to check things off your to-do list! This will give you a sense of accomplishment to carry you through your day. It might even give you the boost you need to get even more done than usual.
3. Schedule Social Time
You schedule important meetings at work all the time. Why don’t you schedule face-time with your family and friends?
Just like we need to regularly check in with colleagues, it’s important to check in with those we love.
Relationships take work, and they require a significant time investment to keep them strong. Make sure you set aside time each day for those you love. Whether it’s no-phone sit-down dinner or story time before bed – it’s up to you.
It may seem like overkill to put something like that on your calendar, but it’s a great way to make sure you actually set aside time to do everything.
Without that reminder, it’s easy to get side-tracked by everything else in your life. If you can’t find one hour a night to connect, make sure you devote some time on the weekend specifically for that purpose.
4. Put Down the Phone
Our phones are great at keeping us connected, right? So how is that they disconnect us from each other?
If you spend your “home” time checking emails and responding to texts from work, are you really home? And if you’re at work getting bombarded with non-emergencies from your family and friends, are you really working?
Set reasonable boundaries about when it’s acceptable for you to use your phone in each situation. At the very least, give yourself an hour or two before bed to totally disconnect. Not only will your loved ones get more attention, but you’ll probably get a better night’s sleep, too.
Getting the Most Out of Life
The key to finding your life balance is understanding how you want your life to be. What are your goals and how are you working toward them? Are your dreams work-related, or are they personal?
As you sit down and think about what’s really important in your life, you’ll have an easier time finding out what life balance means for you.
Want to start a totally new career path to reach your goals? See how we can help.