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10 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

By Habitat Staff Writer
Share to Pinterest10 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance
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With increasing work demands and personal responsibilities, achieving a healthy work-life balance in the modern age can be challenging. But doing so is as important as ever for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and career success. Work-life balance may feel out of reach because many see it as a fixed state. However, approaching it as a flexible, achievable goal can make it more attainable, benefiting both employees and employers. Self-awareness, job satisfaction, health prioritization, and strategic planning all play a role in achieving a balanced life.

01

Understanding work-life balance

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With the shift to more flexible work environments and some people no longer having to be in the office for eight hours a day, five days a week, the modern definition of work-life balance has changed. Modern employees want a healthy work environment with open communication with their employers that helps them create the life they want. One of the common misconceptions about work-life balance is that it's the same for everyone when, in reality, everyone's work-life balance is different. Balance may not mean giving work and personal life equal time or "having it all," as these things can be impossible to achieve. Today, work-life balance may better be explained as bending work responsibilities around your personal life, whatever that means for you.

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02

The impact of loving your job

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Job satisfaction and work-life balance are intricately linked. Employees with a healthy work-life balance are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs, and those who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to feel that they have a healthy work-life balance. When workers can manage their work and personal lives effectively, it reduces the risk of burnout and stress, making them more committed to their work. Having a passion for what you do can also reduce the feeling of imbalance. When you love what you do, you're less likely to get stressed at work and maybe more driven to succeed.

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03

Prioritizing health above all

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There has been a shift away from hustle culture as people are starting to realize that it's important to take care of themselves first. Putting your mental, physical, and emotional help first is necessary to maintain balance and prevent burnout. Try some of the following techniques to integrate healthy practices into a busy schedule:

  • Incorporate short sessions of high-intensity interval training
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Bring healthy lunches to work
  • Get a fitness tracker that prompts you to move throughout the day
  • Prioritize sleep and establish a good bedtime routine
  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Try deep breathing exercises

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04

The art of unplugging

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With smartphones, chat apps, emails, and texts, it can be easy to let work interfere with your downtime. Setting boundaries can help you keep your personal life from being overrun with work calls and responsibilities after hours. For example, you might decide not to check your work email over the weekend or turn off your work phone every evening when you leave the office.

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05

The value of taking vacations

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Taking vacations has many benefits, from helping you rest and recharge to boosting creativity and mood. When employees return to work, they're well-rested, rejuvenated, and ready to get back to it. Work cultures that encourage employees to take full advantage of their vacation time can benefit in other ways, too. Employees are more likely to stay with a company when they are satisfied with their work-life balance, and they may perform with more creativity and productivity.

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06

Making time for what matters

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Having activities you love to do outside of work can help reduce stress, help you feel more fulfilled, and increase overall happiness. It's also important to maintain personal relationships with friends and family members. Personal connections and socialization with others help you stay in touch with the parts of yourself that aren't connected to your job. When you become too focused on work, you can start to neglect the people and things that bring you joy, which can lead to burnout.

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07

Setting boundaries for work

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You can utilize technology to maintain boundaries at work by turning your work phone off on the weekends or not responding to emails after you leave the office, but there are other ways to set work boundaries, too. For example, leave the office instead of taking lunch at your desk and have an actual lunch break. Define your work hours so that people know not to try to contact you on the weekends. When someone crosses these boundaries, speak up. For example, if someone asks you to do something during your lunch hour, you can tell them you'll be happy to help them when you return.

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08

Goal setting and prioritization

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Setting goals can help you prioritize and manage your time in and out of work. You can use reminders to set time limits and help you stay on schedule, create a daily to-do list to prioritize your tasks, and establish a daily routine to start working more efficiently. Another key to managing time effectively is to learn to say no. If you don't have the time or energy to spend, it is okay to say no when asked to do something above and beyond what your job requires. You can use any of these strategies to ensure you make the most out of your free time, too.

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09

Flexible work arrangements

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Some employers may be more flexible about working arrangements as remote work is becoming more and more common. While you may not be able to work from home 100 percent of the time, some employers may be open to letting you work from home one or two days a week. To negotiate this, it can help to have an idea of what you want and what you think is reasonable before you talk to your boss. Read up on your company's remote work policy or use arrangements others have made as a starting point. It may be unreasonable to expect to be able to work from home every day, but asking to only go into the office three or four days a week may be more realistic.

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10

Achieving balance is a personal journey

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Finding work-life balance is a personal journey. Some people may find more balance in their lives by working remotely a few days a week; for others, it may be utilizing all of their vacation time every year. It's also important to remember that your priorities can change. What makes for a good work-life balance for you now may not work down the line. Continue to reassess what you need and make adjustments to find what works best for you.

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