4 Ways To Achieve A True Work-Life Balance
Image credit: Pexels
A work-life balance can be easy to visualize, but hard to achieve. This is according to a survey that involved 2,000 American adults on how the pandemic impacted their lifestyle. 53% of the respondents reported long work hours, 46% experienced excessive screen time, and 41% admitted to lacking a regular routine. These cause prolonged exhaustion in working adults, discouraging them from finding a balance between work and leisure.
If you are struggling, here are some ways to truly attain a work-life balance:
Plan ahead and be organized
Take note of the tasks, errands, and events that need to be accomplished for the week. Doing this will help you see the bigger picture, giving you an idea of where to allot your time. This allows you to group similar tasks that can be done consecutively, letting you work more efficiently as well. Even your commute to work should be part of your planning. For example, in a study of cities with a good work-life balance, Durham, North Carolina was part of the top ten. This is because it was considered to have one of the lowest commute times. Even small details such as travel time shouldn’t be overlooked as they can affect a person’s work-life balance, especially if the commute is long.
Work in a job that allows for a flexible schedule
The aforementioned long working hours were one of the causes of a bad work-life balance. To address this, work smarter by choosing a job in high-demand fields to permit you to negotiate better work arrangements. Tech-related jobs such as those in software development or data science are good examples, as companies will be more likely to adapt to your needs. One of the best careers for a good work-life balance is being a freelance writer. Self-employed writers are in high demand due to the all-encompassing nature of the job. Writers are needed across many industries including marketing, health, communications, business, and advertising. As a freelancer you won’t necessarily be required to work the standard hours of those industries. Your work will also be present on various platforms such as the web, magazines, newspapers, and social media allowing you to quickly build your portfolio. A writer with more experience has more power to ask for a flexible schedule.
Setting boundaries is crucial to having time outside of work. Ensure that your boss and colleagues know of your work hours, work contact information, and your off days. Providing this information will let them know when and how to contact you so as not to disturb you during weekends or days off. This also informs them of the contact information they can use so they do not send messages or calls to your personal phone or email. An easy way to do this is by setting up an auto-reply message to inform those who contact you that you’re currently offline.
Boundaries also apply to yourself, not just to the people around you. Put down a few rules for yourself to keep you from overworking. For example, don’t bring home any work tasks. Leave documents and other work materials at your workplace to prevent you from treating your home as an office and working when you should be resting. If you do work from home, consider a membership or flexible office space at a local cowork. Coworking spaces like SOMO Cowork enable you to establish firm boundaries between your work and home life, which can be trickier if your home and office are one and the same. Another is to turn off work-related notifications on your devices. This prevents you from replying to emails or inquiries outside work hours. Today, this can be done by a simple tweak in the settings.
When everyday tasks and errands seem to take time away from resting, you can outsource. There are people who provide outsourcing services that will run your errands for a price. For instance, outsourcing grocery shopping will have your food and other necessities at your doorstep. This saves you time and money since you won’t be tempted to impulse buy items that are not on your list. You can also schedule service visits for household maintenance to take care of switching out air and furnace filters. Outsourcing lets you have more free time to spend with your family, friends, and hobbies.
A work-life balance is hard but not impossible to achieve. Through these tips, you can start living the life you want without having to sacrifice either your professional or personal life.
Article written by Roseanne Jennings
Exclusively for SOMO Village