Achieving Work-life Balance

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “work-life balance” thrown around a few times, but what does it mean? It’s basically how we divide our time between work and the things we value in our life. It could be spending time with family and friends, hobbies, or pets. Anything that makes you happy is what is important.

Sometimes we get so involved with our goals at work, we lose sight of keeping the balance. With today’s technology, it’s too easy to check emails after work hours or take phone calls at dinner time. We can get so wrapped up in trying to build our career, that our personal life pays the price.

My Story

Let me tell you a story…..I work full-time and I recently felt a bit restless at work. I’ve always loved writing and working on social media, so I decided to try virtual assistance. After doing some research and applying to MANY companies, I found 2 part-time jobs that allowed me to gain some experience in this field while working from home. My days started at 4:30 am to get in an hour of work at home before reporting to my full-time job at 6:30 am. The afternoons consisted of me picking up my daughter up from school, after-school activities, and then rushing home to immediately work on the other 2 jobs until I went to bed around 11 pm.

How long do you think that lasted before I crumbled? I can tell you. Three months. Why? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO WORK-LIFE BALANCE!!! Every aspect of my life suffered, from my family life, my work life, my productivity, and my health.

I have since quit one of the part-time jobs and my life has been much happier. I still get to work as a VA, but I also have time to cook dinner, spend time with my family, and SLEEP! Oh, how I missed sleep!

What are some ways to help you achieve work-life balance?

Learn to say NO. We sometimes want to be able to Do.All.The.Things. I have news for you. WE CAN’T!!! Figure out what is important to you and say no to all the rest. You’ll be happier, I promise.

Leave work at work. When you leave work for the day, leave it there. Don’t worry. It will be there waiting for you in the morning. No more checking work emails on your phone at dinner. No more worrying about that memo you need to write the next day. Just focus on the things that make you happy. That will look different for everyone. To me, it’s cooking dinner with my daughters, playing cards with my family, taking my dog on a walk, or reading a good book.

Actually take that vacation time. Studies have shown fewer people actually take vacation time for vacation. It’s important to get away and recharge. Go see something new, have new experiences, forget about the day to day life for just a bit. A couple of years ago we bought a camper and take frequent, small camping trips with the family. I’m so grateful for those times. Read about our New Orleans trip here.

Fuel your own passions. Go do what makes you happy! Need to learn something new? You’re in luck! I just made a list of 50 Things to Learn Right Now! This will make you a more rounded person and make you more attractive to employers and other people!

Maintain a night-time routine. Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep. Don’t do like I did and trade sleep for work. That never works out in the end.

Stop comparing. Stop looking at other co-workers who DON’T have that balance (in other words, are workaholics) and think you need to keep up with them. You do you, boo.

You don’t want to go home. If you are working all the time because you just can’t face going home, you need to stop and ask yourself some hard questions. Don’t use work as a means of escape.

Have you ever struggled with work-life balance? I would love to hear how you have handled it or if this blog post has helped you.

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