According to a recent Business Information Review publication, “The search for work-life balance is a process in which people seek to change things in accordance with changes in their own priorities, physical, psychological or both, and these can be triggered in their turn by factors such as age; changes in working conditions; the demands of new technology; and poor management.” Achieving a work-life balance is tough. Here, I share work-life balance tips to help you create balance whilst increasing your productivity and happiness.

  • There is no perfect work-life balance, instead, strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Achieving the elusive “work-life balance” can often feel like an impossible goal, especially for people who strive to give everything 100%. In today’s “do more with less” competitive reality, how can we manage careers and families, and feel satisfied with both?
  • Prioritise your life. Ever wonder why “values” is such a ubiquitous buzzword in the Information Age? One reason is probably that the more we try to do – and the better we try to do it – keeping that sense of purpose and meaning in sight gets harder. The principle here is simple: where you spend your time is where your values are. One thing that is clear, however, is that certain life practices are invaluable in creating happiness and fulfillment.
  • The desire to succeed professionally can leave us forgetting about our well-being. In order for us to succeed in life and to be the best versions of ourselves, first and foremost, above anything else, we need to be well. Taking care of ourselves should be just as important as our career goals. Excelling at our jobs is profoundly defined by our well-being. Well-being is our top priority because our human capital defines our professional capital.
  • Work-life balance helps us improve our physical, emotional and mental health as well as our career health.
  • Find a job you love. As Confucius said, “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” In 1987, Marsha Sinetar published “Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow”, a popular book about finding your dream job based on your passions. She urged readers to “follow their own hearts to the work of their dreams”.
  • Strive not for perfection but for excellence. Perfectionists strive for impossible goals. Pursuers of excellence enjoy meeting high standards that are within reach. Perfectionists value themselves by what they do. Pursuers of excellence value themselves by who they are. “Strive for excellence, not perfection, because we don’t live in a perfect world.” – Joyce Meyer.
  • Delegation can be a win-win situation. No leader can do all things at all times, and delegation is a key tool for boosting team, organisational performance and efficiency. Delegation is a critical skill. “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organisational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and author of What Were They Thinking?: Unconventional Wisdom About Management.
  • Time management. Time management is a critical skill for anyone who wants to be successful in life, achieve their goals and turn dreams into reality. Choosing to manage your time effectively is the starting point of overcoming previous programming and eliminating mental blocks to time management.
  • Make time for passions and hobbies. These activities provide people with an outlet for escape, personal expression and exploration, distraction, meditation, and catharsis. It can change the way one views themselves, their loved ones, and the world around them. It can boost emotional wellbeing and, depending on the hobby, physical health.
  • Unplug. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott. Spending too much time using technology affects our mental health. According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine causes you to want, desire, seek out, and search.” When we do check our phones and see a notification from someone, this dopamine is being released in our brains, making us desire to check it again and again. The dopamine release shows how difficult it is to unplug, and it makes me happy to know that I’m not the only person who really enjoys the activity that happens on my phone.
  • Communicate your needs. To keep working relationships positive and flourishing, it’s up to you to make your needs clearly known. Nobody is in a better position to understand your needs than you are.
  • Set and limit boundaries. Want to feel more in control? Make sure you communicate your limits.
  • Defining boundaries is essential to making space for your personal goals. It is more than possible to find a work-life balance that allows you to set boundaries in the workplace while still advancing your career.
  • Learn how to say “no”. Humans are social animals who thrive on reciprocity. It’s in our nature to be socially obliging, and the word “no” feels like a confrontation that threatens a potential bond. We must learn to say “no” to the things that don’t matter so we can say “yes” to the things we care about. Every time you say “yes” to something that is unimportant, you say “no” to something that is important.
  • Recognise your achievements. It can be hard to recognise your achievements. Sometimes people do things in life that are significant for numerous reasons. Self-talk is powerful when it comes to having confidence in ourselves and our abilities. When you’ve done something good, congratulate yourself. Feel good about your accomplishments; even the small wins.
  • Plan holidays. In order to be at our best, holidays are very important. They open the doors to many positive benefits that greatly add to health and wellbeing. Understanding the importance of having a holiday and creating a plan to achieve this is critical to achieving greater happiness.
  • Sleep well. Sleep is just one thing that affects our physical and emotional wellbeing. Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Separate home from work. In today’s online driven world, where we’re constantly connected to friends and colleagues through smartphones and social media, it can be hard to keep home and work separate. You could find yourself overworked due to your inability to unplug from work, or you could find your career in jeopardy due to your inability to focus on work at appropriate times. In The Journal of Vocational Behavior, J.B. Olson-Buchanan and W. R. Boswell (2006) theorise that when employees set clear boundaries between their work life and home life, they’re less likely to experience conflict between the two fronts.
  • Spending time in natural environments can benefit health and well-being. Research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. And regardless of age or culture, humans find nature pleasing. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.
  • Forget multitasking and engage. When we’re working on two things at once and our brains are constantly switching back and forth between them, that extra time it takes to switch adds up.
  • Exercise and meditate. Even if you don’t call it “meditation”, simply making a point to be more mindful in your everyday life will help you reduce stress. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state.
  • Work efficiently. In business, I think of efficiency as using the least amount of time and energy to accomplish a required task. Efficiency is about doing things in an optimal/fastest way exerting the least amount of energy or in the least expensive way.

As we move into 2020, many of us have goals for a better work/life balance and to spend more time with our families this year. Yet, at the same time, we would also like to achieve growth in our business. We, at Global Virtual Partners, are here to help you achieve a better work-life balance and help you achieve your goals. If you want to test out our virtual assistant services, we invite you to reach out via our Contact Us page. Let’s get a little balance back in your life!