Achieve work-life balance without missing a step (2023)

Most of us live our lives stuck in two different worlds. On the one hand we have personal lives: family, friends, pets, personal interests and hobbies. On the other side is professional life. Keeping the balance between these can be as difficult as a gymnast walking on a balance beam, but it's vital to both health and your professional future. If you're having trouble staying in step, follow a few pointers to get yourself balanced.

Set expectations early

With a new job there is a strong impulse to do soabout performance. You want to make a good impression and show your potential and enthusiasm. But if you deliver and are always "on" from the start, it can create an expectation that you will always be like that. Being a “superstar” who always answersAfter-hours work emailsand ready to burn off the midnight oil can make it difficult for you to set healthy boundaries later. Even the most well-meaning employer can be surprised when you suddenly become unavailable after work if you've spent the first year or two trying to be constantly available. They may even suspect you"quietly stop."

Setting work-life boundaries from the start on the job is good for you and your manager. If you work for a place that doesn't respect these boundaries, it's best to know as soon as possible.

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When you're out, you're out

It's hard to make this an ironclad rule since some jobs are "on call" and emergencies happen that require jumping on something after work, but it's a good rule of thumb to keep your work on the job . When you're off, you're off: no business emails,no phone calls, no after-hours projects. The latter point is particularly important: if you cannot finish your work during working hours, your boss needs to know so that he can improve his project management. If you get so much work that you have to do "homework," that's a problem.

A simple and polite way to enforce this limit is to set onOut-of-Office-Responderin your business email when you get off work. This lets your co-workers know you can't reply to their messages and lets them know when you'll be back in the office so they don't sit around wondering why you're not checking in with them. When someone calls from work with an "emergency," politely and calmly assess whether the situation they are asking about is in fact an emergency or not. If it's something that can wait until tomorrow, tell them you'll work on it first thing in the morning when you get back to the office. That can be hard, even scary, to say when it's your boss asking you to do something, but it's important to stick to those boundaries. You give once, twice, and before long the work-life balance is thrown completely off balance.

That being said, when it comes to a legitimate emergency like a tech breakdown, being flexible and responsive to the issue at hand is a smart move.

They are transparent

If you get too many messages after work,talk to your manager. Be respectful and explain how important a healthy home life is to you. One thing to keep in mind is that bosses and/or co-workers sometimes email 24/7 because that's how their mind works. They like to spit and throw out ideas 24/7. They may not expect you to reply to these messages. That's why it's so important to talk to your employer and understand where they're coming from. If they email you at 11pm, maybe they're just brainstorming or hammering out something important before they forget; They may NOT want you to respond to it 24/7.

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Don't forget that employers who want to help their employees maintain a good work-life balance have tools at their disposal that can help you with this.

"If you're composing an email after work and don't want your subordinates to feel the need to reply to it, remember that you can schedule the email to be sent the next morning," he saidGina Prise, Chair of Economics, Management and Public Administration at Rio Salado College.

Working too much is self-destructive

If you're thinking that working after hours will help you be more productive, you're wrong.studieshave found that too much work is actually counterproductive. The stress caused by overwork can lead to health problems, depression andBurn out. Your mind and body need time to recover and rest. Having time to yourself, to reconnect with friends and family, to relax, and/or to pursue a hobby keeps you mentally sharp. Any job that takes up all your time not only does you a disservice, they hobble themselves by making you a more distracted, stressed, and uncomfortable worker.

Prioritize your health

You cannot work effectively if you neglect yoursPhysical and mental health. Definitely incorporatestretch breaksthroughout your workday. Take a short walk if you have time. Make sure you have time in your free time to engage in healthy activities and do things that relieve your stress. Even when things get tight, don't skip or neglect your breaks. Even if you're not hungry, you should take the time to get away from your desk, take a breather, and get your blood pumping.Breakshelp us to reorient ourselves. Even if you feel the urge to stay focused on busy days, it's important to step back a little so you don't lose perspective.

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"If you need to talk to a colleague on the phone, maybe you can 'walk and talk' to get a break from sitting at your desk all day," Pinch said.

take vacation

Don't be afraid to use yoursVacation! If your job offers personal time and/or vacation time, take advantage of it—especially if your work doesn't "carry over" your paid time off and resets it at the end of the year. You may feel guilty about taking time off when things are busy, but it's important to use your time off so you recharge, mentally reset, and are ready to work at full capacity. It's important to communicate your vacation plans as early as possible so your work has time to accommodate your absence.

It works both ways

Just as it's important that your work life doesn't interfere with your personal life, it's important to maintain boundaries so that your personal life doesn't get in the way of work. If you work from home, leave yoursFamilyand/or roommates know when you're "on" so you can work undisturbed. Get your pets out early and play with them before work so they get the loving care and attention they need before you come into the zone with work. Stay away from social media and your personal email so you can focus on your work.

Speaking of social media, unless people from your work are specifically trying to befriend you, it's best to keep your co-workers and your job away from yousocial media. Social media is a chaotic environment; Even if you strive to maintain a clean, professional social media brand, you can still end up saying or doing something that might offend someone you work with (even if you have the best of intentions).

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There is no perfect balance

It is important to strive for balance; Equally important is the acceptance that there is no perfect balance between work and life. There will be times when work is very busy and takes precedence, while there are other moments when personal crises or life milestones such as children, marriage or funerals can throw this balance off balance as well. The key is to endure these sudden swings with grace and recognize them as temporary. Don't kick yourself if the balance is off; As long as you can tell when it's misaligned, you can take appropriate steps to correct it.

Article by Austin Britta

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What are the five steps to achieve work-life balance? ›

5 steps to improve work-life balance
  1. Set boundaries and work hours.
  2. Fake commuting.
  3. Work smarter not harder.
  4. Prioritise your health.
  5. Don't be afraid to say no.
Mar 29, 2023

How can you achieve work-life balance? ›

8 tips for better work-life balance
  1. Know your values. Spend time thinking about what is important to you in life. ...
  2. Practise time management. ...
  3. Set boundaries. ...
  4. Enjoy your work. ...
  5. Consider your finances. ...
  6. Nurture relationships. ...
  7. Focus on your health. ...
  8. Have down time.

What's the first step you should take when working to create a work-life balance? ›

Take care of your health.

Ensure you get enough sleep and exercise by including it in your routine, and make sure to reward yourself for your hard work by treating yourself every now and then. To do this you might need to “delegate where you can, to free up your time for what's most important,” says Lambart.

What are the six components of work-life balance? ›

As the work-life balance expert, Jeff Davidson believes, there are 6 elements of work-life balance:
  • Self-management. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Stress management. ...
  • Managing change. ...
  • Managing technology. ...
  • Managing leisure time.

What are the three components of a work-life balance? ›

Three general categories are considered as central for employee's work life balance: working time arrangements; leave entitlements for those with care responsibilities; and child care.

What are the three major challenges of work-life balance? ›

The 7 challenge areas for work/life balance
  • Unrealistic demands. The demands that work and life throw at us can easily mount up to incredible levels. ...
  • Lack of control. ...
  • Unsupportive relationships. ...
  • Lack of resources. ...
  • Unhelpful attitude. ...
  • Lack of skills. ...
  • High stress levels.
Jan 6, 2016

What are smart goals for work-life balance? ›

Work-life balance goals need to be SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. Most people will have a few or several SMART work-life balance goals which when combined and achieved will result in a good work-life balance.

What is work-life balance examples? ›

Practices like flexible work arrangements, providing care for dependent family members, employee-friendly absence or vacation policy, imparting education or training, promoting fitness and healthy living, and creating fun committees are some of the more common work-life balance examples today.

Which one could you add to your work-life balance? ›

Putting time, resources, and effort into something that you are passionate about is often one of the best ways to boost your morale while also making a meaningful impact in your community. Giving back in these ways is rewarding and can give you a sense of purpose that goes beyond the door of your office or home.

What causes poor work-life balance? ›

The Causes of Work-Life Imbalance

60 percent of employees dealing with work-life imbalance blame bad or overbearing bosses. 39 percent point to consistently working beyond standard business hours. 39 percent claim inflexible work hours or rigid time-off scheduling.

What is the core value of work-life balance? ›

Promoting life-work balance helps clients achieve happiness, satisfaction, and well-being in the workplace through our core values of connection, collaboration, compassion, integrity, responsibility, gratitude, and balance.

What is work-life balance motivation? ›

The concept of work-life balance can be applied to all workers within your organisation. As described by the HR Council of Canada, work-life balance is a self-defined, self-determined state of well-being that allows a person to effectively manage multiple responsibilities at work, at home, and in their community.

What are 5 SMART goals? ›

By making sure the goals you set are aligned with the five SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), you have an anchor on which to base all of your focus and decision-making.

What are 5 SMART goals best described as? ›

The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

How do you achieve work life harmony? ›

How to Find Work-Life Harmony
  1. Be Present: When you're working, make sure you're fully engaged with your tasks and activities. ...
  2. Set Priorities: Establish goals and priorities for work, school, and home. ...
  3. Enjoy What You Do: If you're not already passionate about your work, find purpose in what you do and embrace it.

How do you maintain a work-life balance interview questions? ›

5 work-life balance interview questions with sample answers
  • How do you balance your work and personal life effectively? ...
  • How would you help your team prepare if you were planning to leave for a vacation? ...
  • How would you approach text messages or emails about work on the weekends?
Dec 9, 2022

How can I balance my work-life to reduce stress? ›

How to maintain good work-life balance?
  1. Set goals around what you value highly.
  2. Manage your time effectively—review job activities, priorities and success factors.
  3. Create a boundary between balancing work and personal time-leave work at work where possible.
  4. Build resilience and have a positive attitude.
Nov 22, 2013

What makes a healthy work-life balance? ›

A good work-life balance

A healthy balance could be: meeting your deadlines at work while still having time for friends and hobbies. having enough time to sleep properly and eat well. not worrying about work when you're at home.

How do I balance my work-life with a 9 5? ›

Here are a few tips for how to balance a 9-5 job with a side hustle.
  1. Remind yourself that it's not forever.
  2. Create a weekly plan with routines and systems.
  3. Use time blocking to plan out your day and week.
  4. Get clear on what you'll say no to.
  5. Deliberately make time for rest and self-care.

What are the key concepts of work-life balance? ›

Definition. Work-life balance is the state where a person chooses to equally prioritize the demands of work and career and the demands of their personal life. An individual who lacks this balance has more work and home obligations, works longer hours, and lacks personal time.

How do you achieve work-life balance in healthcare? ›

Some tips for maintaining this work-life balance in the healthcare field follow.
  1. Scheduling and organization. These are the keys to maintaining work-life balance. ...
  2. Avoid time-wasters. ...
  3. Make time for health. ...
  4. Take a break. ...
  5. Identify priorities.

What is the 9 to 5 rule? ›

The definition of nine to five is the normal work schedule for most jobs. An example of nine to five is the hours you are normally required to work as a secretary. Of a job, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., the usual office hours in the US, the UK and elsewhere.

Why do I struggle with work-life balance? ›

The Causes of Work-Life Imbalance

60 percent of employees dealing with work-life imbalance blame bad or overbearing bosses. 39 percent point to consistently working beyond standard business hours. 39 percent claim inflexible work hours or rigid time-off scheduling.

How can I be successful without working a 9 5? ›

Click here to learn more about the Ultimate Work Bundle.
  1. 8 Ways to Make Money Without a 9 to 5 Job. ...
  2. Start a Blog. ...
  3. Become a Freelance Writer. ...
  4. Participate in Online Surveys. ...
  5. Become a Virtual Assistant. ...
  6. Become an Extra or a lifestyle model. ...
  7. Catering. ...
  8. Join a temp agency.

How would you help improve employee work-life balance via benefits? ›

Make your benefits inclusive
  1. Covering the cost of private health insurance.
  2. Offering on-site daycare or extending paid parental leave.
  3. Offering an allowance for a home-office setup or coworking space membership.
  4. Organizing access to an employee assistance program.
  5. Scheduling exercise classes during work hours.
May 26, 2021


1. Work-Life Balance
(The School of Life)
(Marisa Peer)
3. Motiv8Me- Get inspired, motivated, and informed to live a productive life
4. Step-by-step Career Planning - For Working Professionals & Job-Seekers (W3D1, 18Apr)
(Tausief S)
6. How to start changing an unhealthy work environment | Glenn D. Rolfsen | TEDxOslo
(TEDx Talks)


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