Preserving a healthy work-life balance is key to leading a fulfilling life. In today’s high-pressure world, it can be extremely difficult to separate work responsibilities from family needs. Often, people put their own needs at the bottom of the list, leading to burnout, stress, depression, and anxiety. People need to take a proactive approach to enhance their work-life balance. Anna Kihagi, Owner and Operator at West 18 Properties from San Francisco, details how people can optimize their lives at work and at home to achieve the elusive work-life balance.
1. Keep Goals Manageable
Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. It may be better to break large tasks into manageable pieces and set each one as an achievable goal. When you make your to-do list, start with the most important items and then fill your time accordingly. You will get better at setting realistic goals with practice.
2. Use Flex Time
If your office offers it, take advantage of flex time and try to telecommute once a week. This can help you to manage your other responsibilities like children’s activities and medical appointments. Employees who use flex time are more productive and less likely to experience burnout. Even if you can only set your hours and create a more manageable schedule once a week, it may help you to feel calmer and less stressed about your life.
3. Use a Schedule
When you are setting your goals for work, set a strict schedule for the times when you will accomplish them. Of course, there will always be days when the schedule has to be thrown out for an urgent and time-sensitive task. Set certain times of the day for checking emails, others for dealing with requests in person, and others for getting to the bulk of your workload.
Limiting the number of times you check and respond to email can take away a lot of stress. You may experience some pushback, so make sure that your immediate supervisor is aware of your schedule change. It is likely that he or she will approve of your new priorities since you will get more work done.
4. Take Breaks
At least once each hour, get away from your desk and take a break. Get a cup of coffee or spend time chatting with a coworker. The important thing about taking a break is that you need to set the time you spend away from your desk. Five to ten minutes is usually sufficient to make sure that you are relaxed and ready to tackle work again.
Besides the productivity gains, taking breaks from sedentary work is crucial to your health. Sitting for too long can cause many health problems. A brisk walk at lunchtime, along with taking the stairs in your office whenever possible, can help you to combat the damaging effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Listen to Music
If you are allowed to do so at work, listen to your favorite music. Music enhances productivity, blocks out office distractions, and causes positive health benefits like lowered blood pressure. You can help to manage your daily mood by playing appropriate music. Everyone will find that different types of music help them stay happier and more productive.
6. Limit Screen Interruptions
At home, it is important to minimize the impact of calls, texts, and emails. Set certain hours in which you will not respond to work requests. Unless you are in an emergency-related profession, you should be able to do this without too much trouble.
Put your phone, tablet, and laptop away when you are relaxing at home. It is a good idea to institute family device-free times, like when everyone first comes home from work or school and during all mealtimes and family recreation times. Putting your phone or tablet away for an hour before bedtime will also help you sleep better, which will make you feel better overall.
When people are busy with work, they often forget to take care of themselves. It is vitally important to keep a healthy perspective on life. Make sure that you spend time with your friends and family. Getting away from the stress and pressure of the office regularly will make you a better employee, parent, and friend.
Engage in meditation, yoga, and other stress-relief activities. Many people also find that exercise has a powerful effect on their ability to manage work-related stress.
Balance Your Life
Anna Kihagi has prepared these 7 tips to help employees achieve work-life balance. Following these recommendations will help you become a happier, more productive person. Above all, recognize that you, as a human being, are more important than your job. You will never regret more time spent with your family, but you might regret spending too much time worrying about work.