Finding a healthy work-life balance is one of the hardest things to do but it is possible. No matter how busy or stressful your current job these 10 tips will help you establish a healthier work-life balance:
1. Understand that at its very core work-life balance is about self-respect. It is not your company or boss’s job to make sure you are happy & healthy. As a matter of fact it’s no one else’s job but yours!
2. Ask yourself what is your happiness worth? What is your health worth? What is your family worth? If you currently have an unhealthy work-life balance where you are regularly putting your job ahead of your health or family you are basically saying that your life is only worth whatever your current income.
3. You have to be prepared to leave your current job if there is no flexibility for you to maintain a healthy schedule. So long as leaving your current job is not a possibility you are essentially handing over your self-respect & empowerment to a company or industry.
4. You are more valuable than you realise! It costs companies a lot of time & money to retrain people when people leave. You have more leverage than you think when seeking more flexible working conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
5. Stop living for the future! Are you sacrificing your current happiness for some future goal? There’s nothing wrong the planning for the future, the mistake most people make is not setting a definite ‘out’ time when their happiness, health & family will become a priority.
6. Listen to your body. If you are getting a cold or flu more than twice a year (a healthy immune system) then your job is most likely ‘making you sick’. Ask yourself is it really worth it?
7. Start taking ‘well’ days instead of sick days. If you think that’s taking advantage of your company, one well day when you feel a bit run down will usually save you 3 sick days.
8. Book in downtime each week & make it non-negotiable. What relaxing relatively inexpensive ‘gift’ can you give yourself each week? For example getting a massage each week will not only help you relax, it’ll also boost your immune system.
9. Outsource! Is there one weekly or monthly task outside of work that you really don’t enjoy doing? If you who don’t enjoy cleaning your house or apartment in your down time then look into getting a cleaner. This is one of the most affordable self-respecting gifts you can give to yourself.
10. Map out what your perfect work-life balance would look like: start with how many hours you feel comfortable working each month. This will differ for everyone and will also change as you age & have other commitments (such as children) in your life. It’s important that you are realistic here. For those of you who think you’d like to only work a handful of hours a month, several studies have shown that most people get bored & feel unfulfilled working less than 40 hours a month. Now look at your finances. If you simplified your life, removing everything extraneous but keeping the level of ‘comfortable’ (again this will be different for everyone) how much money do you really need to be making? Again be realistic. A USA economic study found that $75,000 per year is what most individuals need to make to feel comfortable. Now compare these results to what you are actually doing right now? What steps can you begin to make today to bring these into alignment?