Debbie GonzalezBalance, Finding Joy

How To Achieve Work-Life Balance

Achieving work-life balance may seem impossible; it’s one of those concepts people talk about but feels impossible to master. The good news is that you can achieve work-life balance by implementing a few different strategies. As with all habits, it takes consistent effort to succeed. 

In the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, he talks of making desired habits easy and rewarding while also making less desirable habits invisible and more difficult to achieve. For instance, if social media is consuming your time, make it harder or more difficult to access. Delete the app off of your phone or place time restrictions. Even better, change the password to your accounts weekly or move them around on your phone so you aren’t mindlessly clicking on them. 

7 Strategies To Achieve Work-Life Balance

Below you’ll find seven ways to achieve a healthy work-life balance so you can feel more successful in all that you do. If you work all day, constantly checking emails and never taking days off, you’ll miss out on your life. If you are too focused on work there is a chance you’ll miss out on fulfilling goals you set for yourself. With these steps, you’ll work your way toward a happier, healthier you. 

1. Track how you spend your time.

Keeping track of how much time is spent on social media, responding to emails, travelling, sleeping, etc, will give you a clear view into how you’re spending your time. If you don’t know how you’re spending your time, it will be difficult to tailor your schedule for a healthy work-life balance.

2. Set work hours and stick with them.

If you’re more productive in the morning, set your most pressing work projects during that time. But once you’ve completed your tasks or you’ve surpassed the hours set to finish it that day, shut everything down. This is especially important for those who have more flexible work hours. If you’re doing work all throughout the day, you’re going to miss out on the “life” part in a work-life balance. 

3. Schedule personal time.

If your work is on a schedule, set aside personal time where you do the things you enjoy. Spend time with the family, get a massage, or go on an adventure. Schedule personal time consistently so it becomes a habit — and make sure to turn off work notifications during this time.

4. Assess your long-term goals to help set short-term goals.

If you want to go on vacation, you’ll need to plan for it. Assess how much time and money you’ll need to do what you want, and then break that down into weekly and daily goals. You can do this with both personal and professional goals. The clearer you are about the kind of life you want to be living, the easier it will be to create habits that support this lifestyle. 

5. Cut back on time-wasting habits.

We’ve all got our vices that take away from the kind of person we want to be. If you’re stressed out that social media is taking up too much time, delete the app. If you want to exercise more but can’t seem to find the time, schedule it and stick to it, even if it’s a daily ten-minute walk. Realizing where you are wasting your time will allow you to remove the excess and replace it with positive habits or activities.

6. Do what you love.

This isn’t always easy to achieve at first glance. Doing what you love professionally and personally requires self-awareness, reflection, and sometimes sacrifice. When you do what you love, you’ll be more excited about tending to it. If there are aspects of your life that you don’t love, see what you can adjust to make them less prominent. If you watch too much TV, remove the power cord or add parental controls to limit your access. Eventually, it will become a habit and you’ll replace it with activities you enjoy more. 

7. Pay attention to decisive moments.

Decisive moments are when you choose between two things that you want to do, but one of them won’t bring you closer to your goals—for instance, answering that email vs. playing with your kids, hitting the snooze button vs. getting up and exercising, or delaying a work project to scroll social media. Each of these moments is a choice. As you get more practiced at noticing when the decisive moment is at hand, pause and decide which one will truly make you feel better. The more you choose the habit that leads to a happier you, the closer you’ll be to a healthier work-life balance.

A work-life balance that makes you happy is a constantly evolving thing. Taking time to care for your mental and physical health will only benefit you on this journey to achieving the ultimate balance in your personal and professional life.