Work-life balance is a mirage for most high-performance professionals. We have multiple responsibilities, from our jobs to our families to our friends and communities. And yet, somehow, we're expected to be happy about it all—and not just happy but also productive! If this sounds like you (or someone else who's important to you), then you might benefit from the tips below. In this blog post, we'll explore how work-life balance can help enhance your productivity.
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Set boundaries between work hours and family hours.
Setting boundaries between work and family is important for achieving a healthy balance. This can be a challenge because the two often overlap—for example, your partner may need to reach out to you at any time during the day, or perhaps they have to work late one night to meet a deadline. To help set these boundaries, create two separate calendars: one for personal activities (work-life balance!) and another for business activities (work).
You should also ensure that everyone in your household knows their responsibilities when outside of work hours. Suppose your spouse has children or elderly parents who require assistance outside of their regular schedule. In that case, it's important that everyone understands how much assistance is required so as not to overburden someone with too many tasks at once.
Make sure family members know what you're doing in your work time.
Make sure housemates and family members know your work schedule so that they can support your need for focus or quiet time. If a family member asks for personal time with you, be open and honest about when you can be fully present. The best way to do this is by setting boundaries between work and home rhythms.
Make sure that when you are at home, you don't feel like there are other demands on your attention or time. Some people find that creating signals or signs at their office helps them indicate when they are busy, such as hanging up a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door if they need privacy or turning off phones when working late.
Respect the boundaries you've set yourself.
If you want to work from home on Fridays, then work from home on Fridays. If you prefer working in the morning before noon, then arrive at work early and get your day started.
If you don't want to miss family events or spend time with friends and family, then protect that time for yourself and say no to requests that would interfere with it.
This is a delicate balance between respecting others' needs and boundaries and respecting what's essential for YOU!
Designate a workspace at home, if possible.
One of the most important aspects of achieving a work-life balance is to have a private workspace away from shared areas, such as the living room or kitchen. In small apartments or homes, this can be not easy to achieve without having an office room dedicated just to work. However, there are ways around this seemingly impossible task. Here are some ideas:
- Use a desk that folds up to save space when not in use. This will allow you more flexibility in where to place it and how much space it takes up in your home.
- Clear out any clutter on your desk when not at work so you have enough room for your computer and other necessities while getting your tasks done!
Take an extended break at least once a day.
When you’re at work, it can be difficult to get away from the computer for any time. Whether you’re an entrepreneur who works from home or a corporate employee who has to stay glued to your desk during business hours, you probably feel like there are people around you who are watching what you do and judging how efficiently (or ineffectively) you’re working.
But when was the last time someone told their boss they needed a break? The answer is never because no one wants to seem like they’re slacking off. But if we genuinely want to be productive at work, taking breaks is essential—especially when they give us opportunities for self-care and mindfulness.
If this sounds like something that might interest you and help improve your performance at work, here are some tips on how exactly to do it:
Be OK saying no when asked for help on short notice or after business hours if you can't do it without taking time away from your life outside of work.
Saying "no" isn't always easy, but sometimes it's necessary to protect your boundaries and life outside of work. When faced with requests for assistance after-hours or on short notice that might be too much - don't feel bad about saying no!
Instead of apologetically denying the request, explain why you cannot help at this time and offer a solution in which both parties can win: if you cannot lend assistance now, perhaps agree to provide support when better timing is available down the line.
Invest in high-quality apps or gadgets to help monitor your progress and output, even if it means spending some money outside of your normal budget.
You can’t expect to be as productive if you don’t have a good way of measuring your productivity. Keep track of every minute of work you do by using a time-tracking app like Time Doctor or RescueTime. This will help you learn how much time you spend on email and social media versus working on projects and tasks.
Another great way to manage your time is with an agenda or calendar app. You can set reminders for yourself so that essential facts about upcoming meetings aren’t forgotten at the last minute, and use color coding to track which activities take precedence over others in terms of their importance.
You can create a healthy balance between life and work, even if you're always working remotely or taking phone calls.
While you might be able to establish a healthy balance between life and work by taking phone calls at home, it's important to have a designated workspace. If you're working remotely, you must have an office away from your personal space where only professional matters are discussed. Setting boundaries around when you will be available for phone calls can also help create more time for yourself and the people who matter most in your life.
We hope this article helped you get a better idea of work-life balance and how to achieve it. It's not something that can be done overnight; it requires a lot of patience and determination. But if you're willing to put in the work, you'll be able to enjoy more time with your family and friends while still keeping up with all your professional responsibilities.