How to achieve work life balance? To balance work and life is really like the ultimate task of life. You do that task not just with your life but with every component of life too. So you need to balance work and life and a lot of things. Then with your health, you have to balance a lot of things. Then with people, you have to balance a lot of things. Today I will tell you about how I achieve work life balance and how you can do it too.
If you want to run a household properly you have to balance work and life. How to achieve balance work and life so I’m going to discuss some ideas which really helped me and are definitely going to help you too before I tell you the ideas couple of stats on work-life balance 60% of people rate their work-life balance as average to terrible.
The next one is I think it is 51 percent of workers say that they have missed important life events because of work. So this not being able to balance work and life, it’s a global problem, it’s a real problem. So let’s get right into some ideas that I use to achieve work life balance for myself.
Be Aware of the multiple important desires
The first one is to be aware of your multiple important desires. Us humans and actually many other creatures also, many other animals also, are creatures of multiple desires, and to live a good life, we need to be aware of all the important ones. How do we decide which desires are important? Here’s a simple heuristic. We need to add those desires to the basket which will lead to the highest positive impact on our short-term and long-term well-being.
So if some desire is taking away from our well-being, it should not be important to us and if some desire is very significant for our well-being, we should pursue it. That one is important and what is well-being? Like briefly, well-being is just like a cocktail of health, happiness, and contentment. Most people make really big mistakes in understanding their own desires. Like they live a life where one desire, one important desire could be completely forgotten for a really long time, and then reality hits and it’s not pretty.
How to achieve work life balance If you don’t care about your health for a really long time, you’re not eating good food, you’re not getting some physical activity. Like by the time you are in your 30s or 40s, you’ll get so many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, sugar, blood pressure, etc. By that time it becomes super difficult for you to fix it or come back to normal or back to health. You were so bent upon working really hard that you just forgot your friends all along, you forgot to socialize and then 10 years later you find out now you can’t call anyone.
Now you have nobody to hang out with. You just have work colleagues, no real friends. This can even happen with your own family like you forget your family for too long. Before you know it, now they’re hanging out among themselves, they’re going on trips, they are hardly even inviting you. Like you’re not even wanted there anymore like your presence doesn’t even matter to your family. This can even happen with fun. Like you forget to have fun in your life for a really long time then a stage may come where you just forget to have fun. you don’t even know how to do it anymore. Like when you do have fun you feel guilty about it.
If your mind wants to go back to work you start finding doing pleasurable things meaningless. And to be fair this can of course happen with your work, also like if you forget about improving at work you can get to a stage where you feel completely stagnant, you feel that you have plateaued, but everybody around you has grown well. You’re just stuck in a boring job with no growth and you find your life meaningless. so the point is you have to be aware of your important desires and you have to balance them not just for the short term but also for the long term. Balance work and life.
My top 5 priorities to achieve work life balance
I’ll tell you which five things I prioritize to achieve work life balance in my own life number one, health working out, eating good food, and getting good sleep.
Second, mental health, Now because of the nature of my work, I am a counseling psychologist. This is all I do. So I don’t have to necessarily prioritize that separately. It’s just a side benefit of my job. I enjoy good mental health.
Third, I prioritize people in my life friends and family.
Fourth of course I prioritize my work. I’m lucky enough to find something that I actually enjoy doing. I was lucky enough to even make a living out of it. but yeah, I make sure that I do my work properly and I continue to do better at it.
Fifth, I prioritize my downtime and recreation. I do take time off things. I watch a lot of TVs, I go out, I listen to music sometimes like it has gotten way less than before but I still do. I talk to my friends. So like that helps me achieve two goals, right? recreation plus prioritizing people.
Achieve Bare minimum results in all of those areas
How to achieve work life balance the second idea is closely related to this one which is I make sure that I achieve some bare minimum results in all of those areas. Like I must get at least passing marks. An interesting way to look at that is I make sure that my life is part. So to balance work and life, the life part I achieve some bare minimum results and I only work with the rest of the time.
I don’t let work get into these areas too much. Like I’ll give you examples in all of those areas. Like with health, I make sure that I get like at least one hour of physical activity on average I get seven to eight hours of sleep. Like 80 to 90 percent of meals are good home cooked nutritious with only a small percentage of cheat meals. Mental health I said I don’t have to do anything special for it. Because it’s just part of my job but for you, I would say spend at least two hours per week.
It could be even going to therapy, it could be just reading something it could going online and learning how to process your own emotions, or just watching videos like these. For people, I kind of make sure that I spend like two hours just talking to people in my life like undivided attention to people in my life and this includes my girlfriend and my family and friends then downtime and recreation. I usually spend four to five hours kind of doing nothing watching stuff just thinking daydreaming looking at the ceiling going on walks listening to music.
I at least need that much to function well. Even if you have a really busy life I would still recommend at least two hours of downtime and recreation. Make sure that I do all of those things whatever time is left.
I work as best as I can in fact I would say I kind of got lucky here that I’m just unable to work harder than that. If I start to miss out on some important elements of my life part like other than work it takes away my motivation to even work.
Why am I working so I don’t know if I have those alarms maybe just because I’m lazy or something but yeah if I’m pushing myself too much my body gives me signals some alarms sprinting no go back to your life.
De-prioritize life mindfully to achieve work life balance
By the way, I completely understand that there will be phases in your life where you will have to de-prioritize many things like you may not be able to talk to friends or you may not be able to hit the gym you may not be able to attend your therapy sessions. In such cases make sure that if you are de-prioritizing your life elements do that with your own knowledge and with some plan. It should be part of your awareness that should be like a clear-cut conscious decision and there must be some strategy to exit.
So like I’m gonna focus for the next six months majorly on this but then I’m gonna go back to that. Some may say what if I just prioritize work for 10 straight years and then I’ll go back to the life elements. That’s a terrible idea our body and mind don’t work like that. Our body and mind need things that need good elements on a daily or weekly or at least monthly basis.
So you have to balance work and life in your shorter cycles you can’t plan life like okay 10 years I’ll work than 10 years I’ll spend time with friends and then 10 years I’ll focus on my health and finally last 10 years I’ll just relax on a beach. I mean you can try this plan I would say you would fail miserably.
The last point on how to achieve work life balance is related to this is this is a mental shift right that this task of balancing is like a forever ongoing thing. You will never get it right perfectly because you’re changing and your circumstances are also changing. There will always be the need to like fine tune things but this calibration is worth the effort. Because if you do it well it literally means you get to live a good life.
Optimizing or reducing workload to achieve work life balance
I’m going to go through some quick pointers that help me a lot see the thing is even with the time that you’re allocating to work you can actually keep reducing that time for your life elements if you do it smartly.
So the first point on how to achieve work life balance is to work smart, not hard. I know it sounds like the most cliched thing when I was 20 I thought this line was like people were just trying to be wise asses by saying this. I actually thought hard work was the main thing but as I grew up and I realized nope not at all. The real leverage is smart work knowledge and creativity. What do I mean by work smart I think the biggest element in working smart is hyper prioritization.
This means on an everyday basis you just keep eliminating tasks that are of lower value and just keep your energy and attention on tasks that are of the highest value. I mean the good old Pareto principle like 20% of your efforts can actually account for 80 percent of your results. So focus on those 20% things and then the next 20% and the next 20%. So do read the book for our work week from Tim Ferriss that can really help you.
The second point is how to balance work and life is optimizing your work is do things that you like more and more so here you’re not exactly reducing your work you’re simply changing the quality of it. So that, when you do go to work life, does not seem that miserable. Because if your work is just stressful boring meaningless then you would have to run to other elements in your life to just have fun.
If you find a way to do something that you actually enjoy your life becomes so much richer.
The third point to balance work and life is simply to reduce your workload if you’re self-employed like somebody like me you simply would have to reduce your ambition a little bit. Not exactly ambition though you just would have to reduce your impatience a little bit. Just reduce the intensity of your targets just go slower you may still reach amazing heights but with a calmer more fun more relaxed approach.
If you’re in a job and you have a boss where you can’t take one-sided decisions about reducing your workload you would have to negotiate things with your boss. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for less work if you’re good at your job your employer will have to listen to you. If you’re not good at your job then first be good at your job and then negotiate.
Of course, only do it if the work is genuinely too much. One way to figure out if it’s you or the company to look at the company culture is everybody else also getting burnt out. If yes then there is some problem in the company but if everybody else is able to manage the job well and it’s just you maybe you need to learn something.
The next point on how to achieve work life balance negotiate for remote work or flexible hours like one of the big reasons behind balancing work and life in bad manners is that you just have to clock in those hours at the office. There is some important life event going on and you’re just sitting at work doing nothing because you just have to be there. So if you negotiate well you can attend that live event during the day and then get to the most important work on your own time.
So after covert, this flexible hours thing is much more common now but still depending on your company policy you may still have to negotiate for it. One more point reduces your perfectionism in a survey 32 people said that a big cause behind their poor balance work and life is their own personal perfectionism. They take on too much because they’re perfectionists and they worry about every small thing and spend extra time on it because they are perfectionists. So try working on that and learn to make peace with tiny mistakes.
Benefits of work life balance
The last section is about the benefits of balancing work and life it turns out that work-life balance is not just good for your life it is also good for your work. 85% of the companies that offered some work-life balance programs reported an increase in productivity for their employees. Isn’t that an amazing win-win you not only get to be happy but you actually can work more. With a work life balance, you are happier and thus more creative. You have better motivation at work and most of all if you do it in a balanced manner.
You’re able to play the long game because if you go too hard you actually burn yourself out you fall, and you give up. So to have a long healthy productive career you need to balance work and life. If you take nothing else from this article at least just start caring about balancing work and life.
With a balance of work and life is a happier life and a happier life is a better life. This may sound obvious but there are people who would disagree with that also. For some people, only excellence means a good life. Focusing on happiness fun and well-being is just mediocre and lazy. I obviously strongly disagree with that which I’ll discuss in my other article.
For now, I’m telling you to balance work and life. Learn it like a skill because it is a skill.