The concept of work-life balance has continued to gain popularity over the past few decades, and it is now an important consideration in today’s workplace. This is especially true for knowledge workers in the post-COVID-19 era.
With laptops, tablets, and smartphones that are always within reach, the lines between work responsibilities and other commitments in life are becoming increasingly blurred.
Although technology has added new dimensions to conversations about work-life balance, the concept itself is not new. The idea first surfaced in the 1970s when people discovered that they were working so hard and did not have enough time to live a well-rounded life or enjoy the rewards of their achievements.
Even with the time-saving devices and technology tools that are now widely available, many people still struggle to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
What exactly is work-life balance?
It is important to note that work-life balance is not just about having enough time in the day to take care of all your obligations. You also need to have extra time and energy to take care of yourself and enjoy life outside of work. It is about making sure that your professional and personal lives don’t become so intertwined that you become ineffective in either one. [Click to tweet]
Furthermore, the concept of work-life balance goes beyond keeping yourself healthy—physically and mentally. It also involves making sure that you meet your professional and personal goals without one compromising the other.
Finding a good balance between work and personal life will help you to be more productive and effective in both. By maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you will be able to appropriately prioritize your tasks and responsibilities. That means you can focus on the most important tasks and projects first, while still having time to relax and enjoy your personal life.
Achieving work-life balance will also help you reach your professional goals, whether you’re trying to meet deadlines or pursue opportunities for career advancement. At the same time, you get to maintain your relationships and stay connected with your family and friends.
Why does work-life balance appear to be elusive?
If the concept of work-life balance is so important, why then do many people find it difficult to achieve? To start with, we often struggle with competing demands at work and in our personal lives. For example, you might work in a role that requires putting in long hours to get ahead, but you also want to be available for your family, volunteer for causes you care about, or pursue other interests. It can be very challenging to effectively juggle these competing demands.
Another reason work-life balance seems to be a pipe dream is that many people are already overwhelmed, overworked, and overcommitted. This makes it difficult to make time for family and friends or to participate in recreational activities. You might feel that if you don’t do your job perfectly, you will be penalized or even lose your job. This can make you put so much emphasis on work at the expense of your personal needs.
That said, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that work-life balance is not a permanent state. There will be times when you truly need to prioritize work over personal matters, and there will be other times when your personal life must take precedence over work responsibilities. For example, even if you have a lot of work to do, you might need to take time off if you have a health emergency and need to get care.
Work-life balance requires deliberate effort to avoid getting derailed. The prevailing culture generally makes us prone to burnout and overwork. So it’s important to know when we need to take a step back and refocus.
Practical tips for achieving work-life balance
As a woman, you’re often pulled in many directions, leaving you feeling stretched and overwhelmed. You want to be successful in your career, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and still find time for your family and friends. It can be very challenging to achieve a healthy work-life balance when trying to juggle all of these responsibilities and commitments.
Nevertheless, you can still have a well-rounded life even as a busy professional, as long as you are willing to pay the price of careful planning and dedication. Let’s explore some practical tips to help you achieve this.
1. Set boundaries
Set clear boundaries between your personal life and professional responsibilities. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself and not allowing work to encroach on your personal time. This will help you maintain a healthy balance and make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Make time for the things that matter to you and prioritize your tasks to ensure that you take care of the most important ones first. Plan breaks into your day, and don’t work so much that you are too depleted to do anything else.
3. Get support
Asking for help or delegating tasks to others can be helpful in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Be quick to ask for help when you need it, and don’t be ashamed to admit that you need a break.
4. Take time for yourself
Make sure to set aside time each day for yourself and to look after both your physical and mental health. This entails getting enough rest and sleep, exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet. Taking time for yourself will help reduce stress, improve productivity, and restore balance.
5. Develop healthy habits
Developing healthy habits and routines can help you stay organized and productive. This includes setting aside time for tasks that need to be done, scheduling time for self-renewal, and avoiding procrastination.
6. Find time for hobbies and friends
Make sure to find time to have fun and enjoy the company of friends and family. To have a healthy balance between work and life, you need to be able to relax and nurture the relationships that matter most to you.
Work-life balance can feel like an elusive goal, but with dedication and hard work, it’s something that can be achieved. Achieving work-life balance requires you to be mindful of your needs and to make sure that you are making time for yourself and your loved ones. You also need to be realistic about your expectations and recognize that there will always be times when work has to take priority.
By following these tips, every woman can achieve a healthy work-life balance and enjoy a well-rounded life. It may take some effort to make it happen, but it’s worth it in the end. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and remember these tips so you can stay on track and get back to a place of balance.
If you would like to get even more insights and strategies to help you achieve better results with work-life balance and in other areas, you will love The Peak Performing Woman’s Companion. It is a practical guide that we developed specifically for women who are committed to consistently delivering excellence. Please check it out and get your copy at this link.