The first word that comes to mind when I think of work-life balance is fluidity. While we’d like to think of it as a static, ready-made formula that we can buy off the shelf, the reality is that work-life balance is a journey, not a destination!
While having a work-life balance is one of the most valuable assets we can have, being confined in one environment makes it difficult to achieve.
Working remotely for the majority of my professional life has taught me that work-life balance is more about self-management than time management: understanding how we operate is critical to improving the quality of our daily lives.
With this in mind, I’d like to share four strategies I’ve used to improve my work-life balance experience.
1) Create clear mental and physical boundaries
If you work from home and have limited space, your biggest challenge may be distinguishing between work and personal time. Setting boundaries is one of the most important things we can do to change this sense of confusion.
Consider treating your workspace as a fun project and giving it personality by selecting objects or settings that define it. Consider specific music, lighting, or even the arrangement of your chairs during working hours: this will allow your brain to form a clear association with those elements and categorize them as work time.
2) Know your patterns
Take some time to observe yourself. You’ll begin to notice that your energy levels are related to your mood and the type of work you do. You will have times when you are energized and motivated, and times when you are tired and procrastinate.
Understanding how your energy fluctuates throughout the day and what types of work you find most demanding will help you manage yourself more productively and increase your chances of achieving the work-life balance you seek.
For example, if you have low energy in the morning, consider doing something that inspires and energizes you before tackling the most difficult activities on your schedule. You’ll feel a lot better about the rest of your day!
3)Have a purpose in what you do off work
When it comes to our jobs, we usually know exactly what we want to accomplish. So why not apply the same logic to our free time after work?
A lack of purpose in our leisure activities will almost certainly lead to poor decisions and a diminished sense of overall fulfillment. Because our brains are naturally hardwired to conserve energy, if you finish your workday with no intentionality in your actions, you will most likely choose the easiest option, not necessarily the most meaningful one for you.
Although it may be uncomfortable at first, taking the time to understand what is important to you can lead you to explore new topics or activities you had never considered before.
Set weekly goals for the activities you want to complete and the outcome you want to achieve: this will help you increase your curiosity and experience a greater sense of progress in your intentions.
4)Take the holistic view
Understanding how the activities we engage in can represent an opportunity for greater self-empowerment is another way to give more meaning to what we do. When we view our activities as nourishment for our well-being, we develop a more profound relationship with what we do.
Consider which part of your body, mind, or heart you are nurturing when engaging in a desired activity: it will open up new ways of looking at your day and inspire you to create a diverse mix of combinations to keep things interesting.
5)Put more life into your work
Work is an important part of who we are, whether we like it or not. We sometimes let events get the best of us and forget to see our daily work as an opportunity to care, express, and learn.
Linking our main activities to meaningful opportunities for personal fulfillment is a good way to help us get into this mindset.
For example, when you get on the phone with a new client, consider how this could be an opportunity to stretch your skills or connect with someone. Having an emotional connection with our work is essential for improving our outlook, which is one of the four necessary conditions for optimum wellbeing.
Read more; 6 THINGS THAT WILL ALWAYS MOTIVATE YOU TO DO A GOOD JOB
Another way to liven up our daily tasks is to change the way we manage our workload. How many times do we come home from work feeling as if we have no energy to do the things that are important to us?
Taking 5-minute breaks in between tasks is a simple way to ensure we maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day. Your energy is finite, and if you learn to respect it, you will not only become more present and energized in what you do, but you will also create more space within yourself to achieve your goals more meaningfully.