Ultimate Learning Guide To Improving Your Work-Life Balance
Since the dawn of time, human beings have worked. Cavemen spent their day’s hunting and gathering while their wives took care of the children and these set roles continued for centuries. In a modern-day society, both women and men work, and getting a job is central to our survival.
For some people, the idea of climbing the career ladder is one that fills them with excitement, but others find work takes them away from living. Statistics published by The American Institute of Stress show that 46% of people struggle to handle their workload and 26% don’t know how to balance work and life. Balancing your job with a personal life is difficult, but it’s possible.
Do I Have an Unhealthy Work-Life Balance?
We don’t like others to think we can’t handle stress, and the competitive nature of the modern-day workplace means many people suffer in silence. You might not even recognize you’re struggling because you don’t have a healthy work-life balance! Here are some vital signs to look out for.
Do You Dread Going to Work?
You’ve spent all day at work, and now it’s finally home time. Evenings are for enjoying time with your family and catching up with friends. If you find that you’re spending evenings and weekends worrying about going back to work, then the chances are you lack a healthy balance.
Do You Take Your Work Home With You?
Employers have unrealistic expectations of their employees and meeting them requires a lot of sacrifices. Our determination to climb the career ladder often means we spend more time at work. Taking your work home with you and spending evenings or weekends buried in paperwork shows you’re not taking time to enjoy your life.
Are Your Relationships Suffering?
You’ve missed your best friends birthday, and date night with your partner is a distant memory, right? No wonder you’re miserable! Human beings are social creatures, and when we become isolated it causes depression, anxiety and can even escalate to suicidal thinking. Work is important, but if it’s taking over your relationships, you must ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Ready to Make a Change?
One of the most fascinating studies about human behavior can also give us insights into why too much work makes us unhappy. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says that humans must meet their basic needs before they can fulfill emotional and developmental needs. However, if modern-day culture is making is more difficult to meet the basic needs, how can we hope to find the fulfillment we crave?
What’s The Problem?
You might feel miserable and anxious, but identifying the issue is critical to resolving it. The brain is a complex thing, but we can make sense of it by acknowledging the signals it’s sending us. For example, stress can lead to nausea, insomnia and even joint pain. People often seek answers from doctors to explain these symptoms, but don’t acknowledge that stress one of the most common causes of physical ailments.
Keep track of your physical symptoms and see if sometimes they improve. For example, if you find they subside after a relaxing weekend, then you’ll know it’s due to stress.
Keep a Diary
We always keep track of meetings, conferences and important work occasions, but diaries can also show us if we’re spending too much time at work. A study found that women who thought they had a good work-life balance noticed this wasn’t the case when they looked at their activities.
Attempt to write everything you do and see how your work duties and personal activities balance out. This way you’ll see where most of your time is going and can look at ways to achieve a better balance.
The Clock Method
One popular way of managing your time is to use the clock method. Draw two clock faces and use one to divide the chunks of time you spend at work, on personal activities and household chores. You should divide the second clock face into sections based on how you’d like to divide your time. Doing this enables you to see how many changes you can make to achieve the balance you dream of.
Some people prefer to use seven clock faces to represent each day of the week. This way is popular because you can divide your time over seven days and accommodate for work. While the clock method can help you achieve a better work-life balance, it’s important to remember that work and household chores are parts of life and have to be included.
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
For some people, building a successful career is the most important thing in their lives. Others work to live and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you don’t want to spend every waking moment at work, then stop beating yourself up because we should measure success by our emotional fulfillment and not due to our social standing.
If you’d like to find ways to enjoy your personal life and be healthier, make these small changes.
Put The Phone Away
Technology means we live in an “always-on” culture, and even when the workdays over we face constant disruptions. Maybe your boss texts you on a weekend, or co-workers fill your inbox every evening. However, you don’t need to reply to those messages. Do you have an employment contract? Does it say you must respond to all messages outside of your working hours? Put the phone away, stop feeling guilty and enjoy spending time with your friends or family.
Outsourcing Your Chores
If you can afford to get help for everyday chores, then consider using someone to help around the house. You’ll get more time to enjoy life and won’t have to worry about the little things.
A happy family is key to a healthy lifestyle, so make sure you set aside a day to spend with your loved ones. Even if it’s just one day a month, ask your spouse and children to commit to it and plan a day trip. A small thing like this could result in a closer family unit.
Finding a work-life balance is a challenge, but small steps forward can enable you to enjoy life and find your career more fulfilling.
About This Work-Life Balance Guide
This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about work-life balance from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.
The Evolving Definition of Work-Life Balance
What exactly does work-life balance look like? Well, that’s where things can get a bit complicated. Work-life balance means something a little different to everyone. Over the years, the knowledge and approach of work-life balance has been constantly evolving, and it might be helpful for employers to identify the difference in opinions among the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.
The Components of Work-Life Balance
According to Jeff Davidson you need to have time to breathe and have a sense of fulfillment at least during the majority of your every day, week and year. To achieve these, according to Jeff, we need to take care of our personal six components (or supporting disciplines) of work-life balance: self, time, stress, change, technology and leisure. Let’s discuss what they mean and how to go about them for a happy life.
Manage Your Work, Manage Your Life
Work/life balance is at best an elusive ideal and at worst a complete myth, today’s senior executives will tell you. But by making deliberate choices about which opportunities they’ll pursue and which they’ll decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community. They’ve discovered through hard experience that prospering in the senior ranks is a matter of carefully combining work and home so as not to lose themselves, their loved ones, or their foothold on success.
How to Make Work-Life Balance Work
Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. At TEDxSydney, Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.
Work and life, Balance and Imbalance
Life and work need not and should not be in opposition. When they are in harmony, both get better. But if you let the oppositional thinking of work vs life drive your thinking, it will impair your ability to progress from level 3 to level 5. Don’t let old assumptions determine how you live your life today. Think for yourself about what makes sense for you.
The Effects of Work & Life Imbalance
Work-life imbalance is perhaps the most vicious Silent Killer. It does not affect only an individual, but also the organization one is working with; one’s family and the society at large. Its effects on an individual are manifested primarily in change in one’s temperament and negative impact on one’s health. The person gets tensed up and irritated on flimsy reasons; he may develop stress-related ailments like Hypertension and diabetes.
How To Stay Sane If Life Feels Crazy
Instead of striving for the unrealistic goal of “work-life balance,” I use a combination of rituals, tools, and coping mechanisms that allows me to thrive on a day-to-day basis. Here are five daily practices I use to stay focused and balanced despite a jam-packed work schedule.
How to Achieve Work Life Balance by Using 3 Types of Goals
To achieve a good work-life balance you must ensure that you are goal setting to cover the three most important areas of your life. They must be in harmony with each other, not contradictory. Just as a wheel must be perfectly balanced to rotate smoothly, your life must be in balance as well for you to feel happy and effective. There are three types of different goals you must set in order to achieve personal development and balance.
Time Management: Balancing Work and Life
In an age of 24/7 connectivity, achieving work-life balance is more challenging than ever. The development of good time management skills is an essential part of the workplaces of today and tomorrow. Here are some time-tested tips for managing your time.
Tips for Better Work Life Balance
The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control. Here are 13 work life balance tips you can implement right now to start living a more stress free and joyful life.
Coping With Stress at Work
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.
How to Improve Work-Life Balance When You Work at Home
When you exclusively work from home, physical boundaries between work and your personal life can feel virtually nonexistent. Even if you’re organized, it can still be difficult to successfully manage your career and a household in the same space, especially if you’re raising a family, too. While it may not be possible for home-based business owners and workers to completely draw the line between personal and professional, there are ways to better integrate the different facets of your life.
Flexible Workplace Programs Promote Work-Life Balance
Employer programs like the flexible workplace, designed to promote work-life balance, are no longer time-limited exceptions to the traditional notion of working “9-to-5.” Work-life balance programs have gained acceptance as a component of strategic planning and management; use of such programs promotes employee engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.
Why Work-Life Balance Needs to Start With Employers
Companies that publicly advocate for policies that promote better work-life balance are no longer an anomaly, and this consideration is now essential for remaining competitive when acquiring and retaining talent. Any manager that’s hoping to improve the status quo at their company can consider the following five tactics.
Maintain Boundary Between Work and Home
The concept of work-life boundaries is simple. As it says in our employee handbook, we strive to be 100 percent present at work and 100 percent present at home. How a person pursues being 100 percent present at work and home is totally up to them. Ellen Kossek suggests you could set boundaries by being a separator, an integrato or a cycler. Each is a different style of boundary setting.
Strategies to Achieving a Work-Life Balance
If you’re stuck in a position that gives you little control and you don’t have other prospects or options, the best tactic is to incorporate stress-busting activities like exercise, enrichment and meditation. Reducing your anxiety and focusing on what you accomplish outside of work will help minimize the lack of control you feel at work and shift your focus to other parts of your life.
Work-Life Balancing Tips
Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires managing our professional and personal life in sustainable ways that keep our energy flowing, our minds and bodies healthy and our whole selves happy and content. It means giving due attention to all of the things that enrich and fulfill us including work and career, health and fitness, family and relationships, spirituality, community service, hobbies and passions, intellectual stimulation, rest and recreation.
Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals
The hard choices — what we most fear doing, asking, saying — are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls “fear-setting.” Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot.
The Future of Engagement and Work-Life Balance
Life patterns are constantly changing and evolving. In his TED Talk, Dan Thurmon explores how those patterns can be transcended by living off balance on purpose. Dan Thurmon is the author of two books, a renowned speaker, and a recognized expert in delivering peak performances — on stage and in the workplace.
Further Reading: Best Work-Life Balance Books
Lead With Balance: How To Master Work-Life Balance in an Imbalanced Culture. In this book, university professor, speaker, and executive consultant Donnie Hutchinson addresses this issue head-on and explains how leaders, employees, and students can properly manage all the important facets of life. A balanced life leads to increased well-being, happiness, satisfaction, and productivity―a win-win for everyone.
Redefining Work-Life Balance: One-Minute Tools to Manage Stress, Achieve More & Enjoy Life Every Day. This book is about creating life-altering, positive results. These pages convey a way to deliver powerful results using simple, one-minute tools proven to enhance life balance and enjoyment. The outcome is reduced stress, increased achievement, and more joy every day – for the rest of your life.
Work-Life Brilliance: Tools to Break Stress and Create the Life and Health You Crave. In this book, author and executive coach Denise R. Green teaches you: How to reduce stress now, and for the long term, How to shift negative thoughts instantly and create a naturally more positive outlook, The truth about why you’ve failed to change habits in the past and how to trick your brain so you can change any habit for good.
The SuperWoman’s Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance. This is the essential quick-start guide to getting your life back on track. Filled with examples, tips, and tools that are realistic and easy to implement, nationally known mental health expert Dr. Jaime Kulaga shows you step-by-step how to: Identify your top life roles and prioritize what really matters, Say no and take care of yourself without feeling guilty, Create a plan to work through the barriers to your personal fulfillment.
Further Learning: Best Work-Life Balance Courses
Get Beyond Work-Life Balance. Through research and real-world examples from a variety of situations, you will learn strategies for managing workplace flexibility, and you will learn how you have the power as an individual, a team member, or a leader to make positive change. You will understand the value of a flexible work environment and see what sets successful flexible workers and managers apart.
Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs, The Complete Guide. In this course, we are going to give you everything we have learned and live—and we’re going to do it in a quick-and-easy format so even the most time-crunched business owner or household juggler can commit to themselves and create the balanced and fulfilling business they’ve always wanted.
Life Mastery – Happiness, Health & Success. Most courses cover either happiness in a vague way, or success from a purely money-focused angle, but this program combines BOTH into one simple route to achieve all your goals as a fully rounded person. It covers everything you need to do: from saying ‘No’, managing your time, getting promotions, choosing a career, keeping fit, self-talk, overcoming fear or guilt, and so so much more.
Stress Management: Avoid Burnout and Prevent Stress. Stress can impact every aspect of our life. This includes our productivity, our happiness, problem-solving, emotional and physical wellbeing, our relationships, and so on. Therefore, learning stress management techniques is essential to our overall success and wellbeing. In this course, you will learn practical stress management techniques to transform your life.