20th July 2021

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance

By Carson Tate on July 20, 2021

Everybody talks about it, but has anybody really seen that modern unicorn known as work-life balance? The truth is, you probably know many more individuals who are struggling with managing their personal and professional lives and never quite able to achieve that blissful, zen-like harmony between the two. Unexpected work meetings and deadlines, weekends overstuffed with long supermarket lines, oil changes, yard work, etc…, and the desperate need for a bit of rest–sound familiar?

Here’s something to consider: work-life balance isn’t a destination, a place we arrive. Instead, it’s a perpetual motion, an ongoing relationship we need to strategically manage to maintain a healthy balance between the primary elements of our lives. It’s not easy and more effortless still for that balance to erode on one side or the other. However, with these tips, you may be able to tame that so-called lifestyle unicorn and achieve the work-life balance you crave.

Peace of Mind Can Enhance Your Health

The best part of having a good work-life balance is the peace of mind that accompanies this achievement. When you’re overworking and your time is taking the hit, you’re going to suffer stress–even if you like your job. When this becomes a pattern, it can lead to chronic stress, eroding both your physical and mental health. So, yes, it feels good to achieve work-life balance because it’s actually good for us. Managing this balance won’t happen on its own, but you can take definitive steps to achieve it.

At Work, Prioritize

We spend a lot of time at work. Sometimes, because we know we will be on the job for hours, we may take our time checking emails or talking to work colleagues. Be mindful about the time you spend on non-essential tasks. When you’re at work, prioritize your day to get all your essential tasks accomplished as soon as possible. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but by prioritizing your top priorities, you can often escape from the office without taking work home with you for the night. Each day, begin with a plan so you can map out your top priorities and get to those first.

Off Work, Self Care

How many times have you gotten to Sunday evening and felt as if you worked all weekend long? The fact is that our personal lives require work too–just of a different nature than our careers. Maintaining a household takes work. Caring for family members, including our pets, is work too. Having downtime from our jobs isn’t downtime at all. Nevertheless, your brain and body do need adequate rest. Just as you have to manage your work time effectively for improved work-life balance, you have to manage your time optimally too, or you’re apt to fritter it away with a seemingly endless stream of chores.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance: Top Tips to Achieve It

Here are some more tips to help you improve your work-life balance so that you support your health needs as well as your enjoyment of your work, home life, and personal time. The more you practice these tips, the more likely they will become habitual for you, and that can translate into a great work-life balance for the long term.

Make a Schedule – and Stick to It

Schedules allow us to keep our lives on track. The busier our lives are, the more crucial proper scheduling can be. Each week, try to create a realistic schedule for work as well as for home. Always include space for your downtime so you can relax and rejuvenate. Do your utmost to stick to set hours. Stay compartmentalized. Keep your work at work, and try not to let issues at home affect your mindset when you’re on the job.

Stick to Your Strengths

You can lose a lot of time by doing things that aren’t in your wheelhouse. For instance, perform the types of work that you’re good at and delegate (or outsource) the chores you’re not good at (or don’t wish to perform) to others. In short, don’t try to do everything, or you’ll constantly feel as if you’re scrambling to get it all done. Instead, rely on your team at work and home. If you’re on your own at home and can afford it, hire someone to help with things like your yard work.

Get Organized – Stay Organized

One of the keys to maintaining successful work and home life balance is to be organized. A disorganized workspace like a disorganized home can add a level of chaos to each day that you’re forced to contend with. You may not even realize it, but disorder can cause you stress. Focus on streamlining your office and your home in terms of functionality. Well-organized spaces won’t impede your workflow, and when you reduce clutter, you can eliminate stress.

Understanding how to achieve work-life balance is a worthy goal in itself. In fact, make it a goal so that you continually focus on its achievement. When you manage both your work and home life effectively, you’ll find that you’re able to enjoy your life more, and you’ll undoubtedly diminish the unnecessary stress that can occur when the two halves of your life are out of whack.

Carson Tate is a certified professional and life coach who can help you establish a plan to achieve work-life balance in the context of your own life. When there are snags, as there often are, she can help you to problem-solve, so that individual problems don’t derail your hard-won balance. Contact her to learn more.

Carson Tate is the founder and managing partner of Working Simply, Inc., a business consulting firm that partners with organizations, business leaders and employees to enhance workplace productivity, foster employee engagement, and build personal and professional legacies.