5 truths about achieving the perfect work-life balance

These days, people spend an average of eight hours a day swiping their smartphones, playing mobile games, or using other electronic devices.

Given this scenario, it is tempting to just give up believing that balancing work and life commitments is an impossibility. But that’s where you’re wrong.

Many women – of different professions, fields of expertise, and genders, single women, married women, divorced or widowed women, and single moms – do enjoy a perfect balance of work and life.

The key is to know the secrets. Here are five truths you should know to achieve that perfect work-life balance.

It’s all about time management

This is perhaps the most important advice. After all, time is sort of the enemy when it comes to dividing your life between work, social commitments, family, hobbies, and getting a sufficient night’s sleep.

What does this require of you? This means dedicating a few minutes daily to planning the day ahead, maybe in your head if your prefer making mental notes or in a notebook/planner.

When you do this, you need to think about urgent tasks and priorities. Put the most important ones first so that you get to finish as many of them in a day, especially when emergencies or other obstacles could delay you. Other than that, do your best to actually follow that plan.

When it comes to managing your tasks on your to-do list, do it according to importance and urgency. Consider the following as a guide:

 

From “The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking”.

If you really think you lack skills in this area, consider seeking an expert’s help or attending time management classes.

Change is constant

There is no one-size-fits-all formula on how to achieve the perfect balance between work and personal time. You will find yourself having to change your plans and routines through the years. You will also need to improvise or prepare for when things do not go as planned.

For instance, getting a promotion might mean having to budget your time more wisely to be more productive at work. Conversely, having a child would mean having to take a short break from work.

Do not deprive yourself of basic necessities

Having a successful career does only mean late nights at work, and pushing yourself to be productive and highly skilled, and knowledgeable in your field at all times.

One thing that is just as important is taking good care of your overall wellbeing. This means getting sufficient sleep, eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and going for regular medical check-ups.

SLEEP: If you’re doubtful, check out the TED-ed video on sleep deprivation at the bottom of this article. Spoiler alert: getting enough sleep is very important. The effects of sleep deprivation include loss of focus and concentration, inability to recognise objects via touch, moodiness, paranoia, hallucination, problems with short-term memory, and ultimately, death.

EAT: The habit of skipping meals can cause irritability, moodiness, health complications due to the dip in blood sugar levels, tiredness, and low metabolism. Contrary to common belief, skipping meals can cause weight gain rather than weight loss because it also results in extreme hunger pangs and increased appetite.

EXERCISE: Not only can regular exercise help you lose weight, it can rev-up your metabolism and keep your body physically healthy and fit. It also results in greater alertness, higher levels of energy, better quality sleep, and improved blood circulation. Our brain also produces happy chemicals whenever we engage in strenuous physical activities when working out.

Ward off negativity

Getting emotional, arguing and ranting may eat up a lot of your time during the day. What’s more, working while emotionally distressed will most likely affect your performance, productivity, and the quality of your work.

The solution here is straightforward but challenging: keep yourself away from things that bring negativity into your life.

Start by decluttering your home and workspace. Get rid of trash and things you never really use or are no longer in working condition. Do the same with your social media pages; unfollow pages and people whose posts turn your mood sour, and filter your feed from content that usually annoys you.

More importantly, surround yourself with family and friends who are encouraging and supporting of your endeavours.

You might want to consider practising meditation and yoga to help clear your mind from negative thoughts and ideas.

Take the occasional time off

This is not only about giving yourself time and space to enjoy things and have a good time; overworking, staying up late, and guzzling caffeine can lead to health complications and in some cases, death. This is why you should make use of your annual leave.

When budgeting and dividing your regular income, allot a portion of it for vacations, travelling, or other leisurely activities and hobbies.

It might also be more effective to try out different activities to keep yourself from getting bored with one. Go out of town or out of the country. Get a massage. Attend a new skills class. Buy painting and colouring materials and explore your imagination and creativity.

Don’t slack off

A tendency for many workers is to put a lot of effort into their work all at once, then sit back and relax for a long time after that.

The problem here is that the “work first, rest later” mentality is not going to help your time management.

Do not look forward to the day when you will not have a care in the world. Problems and difficulties will always arise, but that’s part of life, and these actually make us better at what we do.

So do not spend too much time watching Netflix or playing video games. Allot an hour or two for these, but try not to go past the allotted time. Leisure activities and relaxation are good, but too much of something is harmful to your work-life balance.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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