According to time management statistics, 66% of working Americans lack a healthy work-life balance. For those who work from home, avoiding the dreaded burnout can be tricky. However, some strategic hacks can help lighten the weight of a heavy workload. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for living a happier, less stressful life.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Maintaining a positive and stress-free work environment is an essential part of healthy living. However, when work takes over your life completely, it can drain your energy, leading to burnout.
To avoid wearing yourself out, you need to make sure that you have time to care for your personal needs. Figuring out how to make that valuable “me-time” is how you establish a healthy work-life balance.
How is Work-Life Balance Achieved?
Maintaining a proper balance between your work life and personal life can sometimes seem impossible if you don’t have the tools or knowledge needed to achieve it. However, there are plenty of different strategies and resources that exist to make achieving that balance possible. Here are 12 hacks to achieve natural work-life balance:
1. Avoid Taking on More Than You Can Handle
Taking on extra responsibilities when you already have a considerable workload is a significant factor in maintaining a work-life balance. Unfortunately, the average workload can already be quite intense. So, if you plan on taking on a side hustle, make sure you can handle the additional burden.
Extra work means extra time spent on work-life, taking away time for your personal life and causing disruption to the balance. Know your limits and stick to them. Once in a while, decline excess work that is not mandatory because once your work is complete, your “you” time can become a priority.
2. Schedule Specific Times for Working and Times To Pay Attention to Your Personal Life
Keeping an eye on whether or not you’re achieving a healthy work-life balance can be a struggle, especially if you live an overall busy life. Day after day, everything can seem jumbled together, and paying attention to what you’re spending all your time on just isn’t happening.
Take time to work out your specific work hours and set for your “you” time. Then, once the times have gotten established, stick to them. This way, it’ll be much easier to keep track of whether or not you’re holding a good balance between the two.
The scheduled times should be a healthy mix of work and home-based activities, and adhering to those times will keep a balance.
3. Avoid Procrastination at All Costs
Maintaining a genuine work-life balance also means keeping up with your everyday tasks. Procrastinating will not do you any good and leave you with a pile of things that need to get done. It’s the perfect storm for a meltdown when all those tasks/chores/projects add up.
Avoiding any procrastination is the safest way to go. That way, the daily workload seems much less intimidating and easy to complete. In addition, finishing your daily checklist means having more time to focus on your personal life. Whether it’s making the bed, preparing meals ahead of time, or paying bills, that feeling of accomplishment will make achieving work-life balance feel like a breeze.
4. Give Yourself a Vacation Every Once in a While
Be sure that you give yourself vacation time, and no, that doesn’t mean just the weekend off. You deserve a little extra R&R now and again. Take a week or two off work and plan something fun or relaxing that makes you feel good. It doesn’t need to be expensive either; living a rich life on a budget is an achievable goal.
A well-deserved proper vacation every once in a while is the perfect way to unwind. It will help you undo all the stress and tension that has built up inside you. Being able to relax and do nothing but enjoy yourself for a more extended period than usual is essential for a healthy work-life balance. So, make sure you pencil it into your schedule and allow yourself to recharge for a little longer.
5. Be Sure That You Are Enjoying Yourself in Your Spare Personal Time
When work time is over, you get to start enjoying your personal life. However, to enjoy yourself, you need to be doing something you actually like—not running around doing errands or working on chores. (Unless, of course, that’s what makes you happy.)
Spending your free time from work doing something you love is the best way to truly feel like you are achieving a healthy work-life balance. Whether it’s painting, reading, or going on a nature walk, doing something that pleases you can brighten up your life while killing the burned-out feeling.
6. Keep Yourself Productive When It’s Most Important
Having a healthy work-life balance doesn’t just mean making sure you have enough time for yourself. Sometimes some people need the opposite. Doing a sufficient amount of work each day is also essential for maintaining a proper work-life balance. For example, if you’re trying to earn some online survey money, dedicate yourself to a specific amount of time each day for work and then stick to it.
Keeping yourself productive during work time is the best thing to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Make sure that you are always working towards completing the next task. You will be able to relax and do as you please once your work hours get done for the day, and you will feel good about the effort you put in.
7. Set Boundaries
Be sure to establish clear boundaries with yourself and those around you. Those set boundaries will make it easier to say no to extra work when you don’t have the time.
It can be challenging for people to say no to their families or friends when asked to sacrifice some of their time. Being a good spouse/parent/friend isn’t a bad thing. But if you are giving so much to everyone else that there is nothing left for you, it could be draining what little energy you have left.
Prevent this by communicating what you are and aren’t capable of doing. This way, you can avoid others asking you to cross the line you’ve drawn for yourself. Put your foot down by putting a “do not disturb” sign on your office door if you need to, or turn your phone off and resolve not to answer calls between certain hours.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If your workload seems never-ending and you never seem to have time for yourself or your personal life, it may be the time to ask for some help. You should never feel ashamed for asking someone to give you a hand. A good friend or family member is usually not too far away who would have absolutely no problem lending their service to you.
9. Take Care of Your Body and Mind
Taking good care of your needs is a vital part of living a balanced healthy life. We all know what to do to stay healthy and sane, yet we often neglect the most basic measures. Take the time each day to do the following:
- Drink enough water
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Take a nice long bath/shower
- Practice good hygiene
- Get enough sleep
- Get fresh air and sunlight
- Exercise or go for a walk
10. Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones
While you need to set boundaries with the people closest to you, too much of that will leave your relationships in a state of neglect. When you are all caught up in your work, it can be easy to ignore your friends and family without even realizing it.
At least once a week, check in on your loved ones to let them know how you’re doing and to find out how they’re doing themselves. Children, especially, need quality time, and your partner will appreciate a little togetherness once in a while.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance doesn’t have to be mission impossible. Instead, follow these 10 simple rules to support it. Balance is an essential thing to have to live a happy life, and hopefully, you’ll now be able to achieve it.