Work-Life Balance: How to Attain It

change personal growth work Jul 13, 2022

Work-life balance is something that many people strive for, but few achieve. Finding the right balance between our professional and personal lives can be challenging, but it's worth seeking. This blog post will discuss some of the best ways to attain work-life balance in your life.

How to achieve work-life balance

You may have heard about work-life balance at some point in your professional career. Some companies may tout it as one of their most substantial offerings for their employees. Others may say it is something they are working hard to attain someday, as if it's a state of nirvana. Whatever the definition is, work-life balance is something desirable to gain, and you will most likely want to have it in your life too.

Work-life balance describes the state wherein we can have the time for personal things and work without one of them overwhelming the other, mainly work. It doesn't necessarily mean you must divide your time between personal life and work equally. Instead, a good work-life balance means you have the time and ability to do one thing when you want, and your whole time in a day doesn't get spent entirely on one thing, such as work. It can be so desirable because many people work long hours every day in modern professional life, to the point that they may only come home to sleep and start working the next day again. For others doing remote work, it can also happen that work envelops your entire day, and it isn't easy to distinguish when you should be working and when you should not, considering your home is your workplace. When most of your time is spent during work hours, there's little time for personal things, such as hobbies and passions.

Achieving work-life balance then becomes desirable because we want to be able to do other things aside from work, something that matters to us but doesn't have time to do them. A healthy work-life balance is possible, but obtaining it will require effort and tough decisions. Here are some of the things that can help you achieve it.

1. Figure out what matters to you

For many people, we go along with what the world and society want us to do without questioning them. Working and money are some of them. It's an economic system that is created to sustain our lives. So, of course, we have no choice but to go to work to earn money to cover our needs and wants. However, we have the power to choose to what extent we are going to work. How much time are you willing to give up for work?

Something that can help us determine how much work we need to do is the things that we value the most. For example:

  • Who are the people that matter in your life?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are the items you want to buy?
  • What are your values?
  • What makes you happy?
  • How would you like to see yourself in the future?

These are some questions that can guide you as to what you have to do in life. Many of them require money to some degree. If you know what you want, you can adjust your working hours based on how much you want to achieve and attain. If you want more quality time outside of work, you can try changing your goals and desires, so you don't have to work longer hours. However, if you have a long list of things you want to buy and goals to achieve, you may need to work more hours to attain them. Your time spent at work will be determined by how much you want to achieve and obtain in life. If you haven't figured them out, take some time to think about what matters to you, so you don't just go to work every day, working long hours without knowing why you have to do them in the first place.

2. Be wise with your money

More is better, as some people may say. Acquiring and buying lots of material possessions, which you may not need, contribute to why you need to work too much. It's easy to get enticed by various offers and discounts on items, and they may even time these things during paydays. Advertisements for the next big shiny thing can make you want to buy something new even if you still have a working older model of the item you wish to purchase. Peer pressure can also influence spending, especially if you compare yourself with your co-workers and friends.

You have to figure out which things are wants and needs as that can determine how much time you need to work to acquire the money necessary to buy them. Covering basic needs is a minimum requirement. It is in our wants that we can make the most adjustments. Just because you acquire something doesn't mean it will automatically make you happy; it must be something that resonates with your values and passion for it to have an impact on your life. Focus on acquiring desires that align with your passion and truly make you happy. Being wise with your money can help you attain a better work-life balance by adjusting your working time to what you want to spend and do with your money.

3. Know your limits

There is a time for work, play, and rest. The problem comes when we don't know when a particular thing should start and stop. For example, when one does office work, work should stop once you are out of the company premises and in your home. However, your manager or boss may continue to send you e-mails or call you at home, asking you to do some extra favors or work. As a result, your time for family, rest, and recreation gets compromised. It's even more challenging for those who do work-at-home jobs. Supervisors or managers may be more tempted to ask for more work from remote workers because they are just at home and can easily do extra work.

Knowing your boundaries and limits is vital; your boss or manager should respect that too. One should have off-hours where no work-related stuff should get accomplished. Your boss should put off sending e-mails and calls during your off-hours, or if they are sent, replies should be for the next day. You should also take the initiative to tell them and politely ask if it is okay to have time off during certain hours of the day, especially after your work shift for the day is done. Knowing how much work you can do for a day can also help you determine if you can still accept work from others or hold off until you finish what's on your task list.

4. Time management is your friend

If you haven't learned how to manage your time well, you better start doing it if you want a healthier work-life balance. Time management will allow you to take control of your life by doing the following:

  • Knowing your priorities
  • Having a schedule of when things should start and end
  • Being disciplined not to be distracted during work
  • Using efficient methods to get things done in the shortest time possible.
  • Not wasting your time on things that don't matter

When no time is wasted, you gain more of it to do something, such as having more personal time for rest and recreation. You also gain more productivity since you won't waste time doing things that don't contribute to your goals.

5. Make a career or job change

When all else fails, and you can't do much to change your circumstances, maybe it's time to switch jobs or make a career change. But unfortunately, you may be unable to do so much regarding changing or having options with your company's policies, such as required overtime, limited vacation leaves, or lack of work-from-home options. You may try loving your work if you can't easily make the shift. However, if the option is there, think hard about whether you should make the jump. Another job may provide more work-life balance compared to your current work. The pay may be lower, but if it aligns with your priorities, such as having more free time or prioritizing your relationships with family and friends, it can be worth it to make the change. Also, work doesn't only involve staying at a company office for eight hours or more and commuting to and from the office. Nowadays, there are options for freelancing and remote work. Some companies offer a flexible choice of having their employees go to the office for a few days per week for work, and the rest is done at home. There's also the option of creating your business and using it as your primary means of livelihood, or you can turn your passion into something profitable. See what works for you and ensure they align with your values and passion. You may be able to unlock the lifestyle you have been dreaming of while earning enough to meet all your needs and wants.

Create the time for things that matter to you

While we may think that the system forces us to have poor work-life balance by making us work long hours to keep accumulating money, we have control over our work and personal time. We can choose our work, see how much time it demands from us, what things we want to do in life, and where we want to spend our money. When we figure out the extent to which we want to do each of these things, we can then make an effort to adjust our time according to our lifestyle and have room to do everything. We don't have to make all of life's demands; we can limit ourselves to those that only matter to us and make us feel happy and whole as a person. Work-life balance comes in once we can achieve this, and one can gain a greater sense of fulfillment and joy from it.

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