As adults with endless priorities, it’s safe to say we’re busy people. Balancing work, family, friends and “me time” is a challenge, and sometimes it can be difficult to find that happy medium.
As a result, many of us fall into a routine that prioritizes either our career or our family goals, and what results is that we end up sweeping our other hopes and dreams under the rug, to be dealt with in our spare time.
That poses one big problem — spare time is hard to come by. So, what do we do? We learn about how to improve our work-life balance and chart a course for success. Exactly how is that achieved? Let’s explore some work-life balance best practices that really can make a difference.
How to Create Balance in Work and Life
How do you manage work-life balance? It’s all about actively seeking out balance.
“Balance is so important, regardless of your professional or personal situation. The stress that comes from having a full schedule of activities and responsibilities that don’t align with your passions can wear even the strongest person down,” says Darcy Luoma, life coach, motivational speaker and founder of Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting LLC.
Do you find yourself spending too much time on tasks you don’t really love? It may be time to rethink your priorities and start re-balancing your approach.
Follow Darcy’s model on finding the perfect work-life balance to gain harmony and escape from stress in your life. These work-life balance tips will help free up the time you need to pursue your passions — and give you the freedom to do the things that can help to make you feel whole again.
1. Understand There is No Perfect Work-life Balance
Managing young children, your home life, and ramping into a social calendar after months of relative isolation can be a lot to take on all at once. But in these challenging times, the importance of work-life balance has never been more essential to one’s emotional and physical health. Finding balance between work and life boils down to one simple fact: your life is a work-in-progress.
When finding balance between work and life, your schedule will ebb and flow one week to the next. So be sure to stay realistic with your expectations and do your best to find that place of equilibrium every day. Walk away from perfectionist ideals, and embrace that messy, complicated part of you that you want to change — without too much judgement.
If you’re wondering how to have better work-life balance, do your best to strive for excellence in your day-to-day tasks, but not at the cost of burning out quickly. And be gentle with yourself if you fall short of your goals now and again. Instead, commit to making adjustments that increase the odds of future successes.
2. Define What’s Important
"Identify the values that are most important to you. This may seem unrelated to balance, but it’s the most important step! Once you are clear on your values, it’s easy to determine priorities for how you spend your time and energy,” Luoma stated when asked about managing work life balance.
Successfully handling work-life balance starts with a personal inventory of your daily habits, both personally and professionally. How does your daily routine impact your ability to set and attain goals? Are you currently taking steps to improve your work-life balance every day?
If not, use these findings to make corrections that allow you to identify and remove behaviors that inhibit growth. And right there, you can set a goal — maybe one that fosters new patterns, like:
- Dedicating to a new exercise regimen
- Focusing on getting enough sleep every night
- Posting lists around your home that remind you of your goals and aspirations
If done correctly, those new goals can help resolve the challenges you’re facing in the way you’ve been operating.
3. Set Boundaries and Have the Courage to Say “No”
“Are you great at getting things done for others but have a hard time taking time for yourself? Know that YOU are just as important as all of the other responsibilities in life. Finding balance is all about learning to say no to anything that doesn’t fit with your values and top priorities.”
Luoma shares that a positive work-life balance is all about carving out space for yourself.
"Saying no feels hard at first, but it’s a muscle you can flex and strengthen. Always remember that not saying ‘no’ is actually saying yes to something that doesn’t align with your values. You only have so much time each day!”
Prioritizing yourself and your time is one of the most important ways to improve work-life balance. Do your best to distance yourself from tasks that don’t add value to your life by delegating them out to others when possible.
If you’re wondering how to have a better work-life balance, try setting aside 5 minutes each day to take on an activity that brings you joy. Small, daily changes can lead to a real paradigm shift over time.
4. Align Your Actions to Your Values
“Stress and imbalance are often caused by spending your energy on things that aren’t aligned with your priorities. Once you get used to setting strong boundaries, saying ‘no’ to things that don’t align with your priorities and putting your own needs first, you’ll feel so much more fulfillment and balance in everyday life.”
With your values and actions aligned more closely, try setting SMART goals to help you get to the next level. You’ll have a proven methodology in hand that really identifies how to achieve a good work-life balance.
And by writing down those goals and dreams you’ve been incubating, you may come across unexpected pathways that define how to improve work-life balance. That’s because the simple act of defining the steps required to get from where you are now to where you want to be can act as an outline which can lead to more line-of-site on other steps needed to accomplish your goals.
And the deeper you dive into your goals — by identifying those incremental steps and micro-goals to achieve your dreams — the more detailed and nuanced your roadmap will be. The result? Well-defined, well-defined sub-goals that help you make big, life changing moves.
Start Creating a Positive Work-life Balance Today
Taking a step back to evaluate these key factors can really help refocus you on your dream pursuit and boost your overall happiness.
Looking for more tips on how to create work-life balance? We’ve got a ton of great tools to help enhance your career to help you become the person you want to be.
Did we mention we can help you manage your busy life, too? Talk to your American Family Insurance agent to get the coverage you need for the many moving parts of your life — they’ll make sure you’re protected so you can keep focusing on what matters most!