10 Strategies to Achieve Work-life Balance

You must make room in your life to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.  It is essential that you attempt to balance all priorities of your life.  The following represent 10 suggested strategies to achieve work-life balance:

Self-Awareness. The first and most important step to achieving proper work-life balance is your understanding of the importance of mind, body, and spirit.  Being “aware” will allow you to monitor stress levels, see danger signs, and take personal responsibility for your physical and mental wellbeing.  As your self-awareness grows, you will gain a sense of confidence over work-life balance.

Support from Family and Friends. In our great quest for balance between work and life, there is perhaps no more important attribute than your relationships with family and friends.  Getting the family aspect of your life right will enormously help you achieve and maintain life to work balance.  Support and encouragement from friends are also essential.  As you embark upon strategies to improve work-life balance, begin by turning to family and friends.

Nutrition and Exercise.  Physical stamina is not a luxury in today’s fast paced business climate – it is a required element for high performance.  Your mind and body cannot operate at full potential if you have poor nutritional habits.  Exercise is also an important strategy to work off stress.  Exercise is essential to being healthy.  Choose an activity you enjoy.  Possibly, one of your hobbies can be combined with an exercise program. 

Hobbies.  You may be so busy with work that you no longer have time for hobbies.  Having a hobby is essential to work-life balance.  It lets you escape from the rigors of work to focus upon something you enjoy.  Time completely absorbed in an activity unrelated to your business will do wonders for your productivity.  It will also give your mind and body a well-deserved rest from work. 

Recovery Strategies.  Professional athletes plan recovery cycles into their intense training programs.  They understand that their mind and body need time to recuperate from strenuous activity.  Work is no different.  Your work-life balance plan should incorporate recovery breaks into your daily or weekly routine.  These can be anything from a five-minute walk at lunch time to dinner and a movie with family and friends to a weekend golf game.

Sleep.  Sleep deprivation is a major issue for people under stress.  If you make it a habit to skimp on sleep, you may not even remember how it feels to wake up fully rested.  Sleep is an essential ingredient to work-life balance.  Make sleep a priority for a week and see how it impacts your performance.

Stuff.  For many people, it is the “stuff” in their lives that causes stress.  Stuff runs the spectrum from unfinished projects to personality clashes with co-workers to a messy office.  Too much stuff depletes energy and causes stress and anxiety.  Stop and recognize all the stuff in your life.  You will gain immediate confidence and clarity as you begin to remove the stuff from your life. 

Learn How to Say “No.”  High achievers get ahead by taking on projects and handling them efficiently and effectively.  Far too often, the same high achievers are the go-to people in the office.  It is logical.  If a high achiever is so good at projects, let him or her handle more and more problems and issues.  If you are a high achiever, you must learn to say “No.”  Do not let someone else’s problem or responsibility become yours. 

Time Management.  You have heard the term “time management” a thousand times.  You may not have a time management issue.  Rather, you have become so conditioned to multi-tasking that you have forgotten to do just one thing at a time.  Your ability to focus on one issue at a time will reduce anxiety and stress. 

Rearranging Priorities.  Work-life balance means having equilibrium with all priorities of your life.  Please consider a simple exercise.  List the priorities of your life from 1 to 5.  Your priorities may include personal interests, family time, hobbies, and exercise.  Now, analyze the percentage of time you currently spend on these priorities.  It is likely that you experience frustration from the fact that your priorities are out of order.  Rearranging your priorities and designing a plan to measure progress is an important component of your work-life balance plan. 

Work-life balance is essential for a rewarding career.  You owe it to yourself to make sure that the proper balance is in place. 

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