Improve Your Work-Life Balance by Focusing on Small Wins

To say many people in today’s workforce feel over-worked and underappreciated is an understatement.

It seems like we’re doing more with less, and the stress is taking a toll on everyone. How can you set the kind of responsible boundaries that will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Try these strategies to stay more focused at work and still have time for your personal life. 

Know when to start and finish your day  

If you work outside your home, lucky you! You might find that you can set aside a little time for a run, watch your kids at their sporting events, or even eat dinner early enough to catch a movie afterward. 

Remote workers, however, have the most challenging time scheduling their days. 

It’s all too easy to slide into work during the early hours of the morning when things are quiet. Before you know it, it’s 7 pm. The day disappeared, the dog wants out, and you haven’t even thought about your own dinner yet. 

Establish a schedule and stick to it. Knowing exactly when to start and finish your day allows you to define which hours belong to you, without any work.  

Find the small wins

When emails fill up your inbox, the data for your report still hasn’t arrived, and the meeting drones on, work feels overwhelming. Instead of giving in to the dread that you’ll never finish your day’s work, look for tiny victories to keep you going.

Small successes can lead to larger ones, and before you know it, these victories become a habit that entrenches itself in your work and leisure time.

Identify one thing for improved work-life balance

This week decide what one thing will give you more balance in your life. Everyone will have a different answer. For some, it’s listening to music during commutes. For others, it could be spending time on a hobby or with friends. Whatever it is, they commit time to make it happen.

Determining your priorities will help you focus on what you want rather than what you should do in ways you could never imagine.

Celebrate your imperfections

You don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is impossible to achieve, so striving for it puts you in a position of never being good enough. The fact is that you are already good enough, or you wouldn’t be where you are today. 

Most people appreciate knowing that their colleague, friend or family member is just as human and capable of making mistakes as they are. 

Permit yourself to have fun

Feeling guilty that you turned off your phone for the evening, and you have looked at an email? Let it go. 

You’re allowed to have fun, even if that means disconnecting from work. It’s a strategy already in place in France, where employees are banned from answering emails after work hours. As a result, productivity is rising, and workers express improved satisfaction at work and when on leisure time.

Take time to practice the self-care you need before the balance between your work and leisure time begins teetering on the edge of tipping over. 

When you balance work and life, you will have traded anxiety and guilt for confidence and self-satisfaction. That’s a pretty sweet spot to find yourself in!

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