n this day and age, it seems like we are constantly working. Whether it’s a corporate or retail job, it can be extremely difficult at times to get away from the constant assignments and deadlines. Sometimes it feels like we prioritize our working life over our health and well-being. 

But, by only focusing on this work-life, we become stressed and less productive, leading to negativity at home. This is why we need some sort of balance between the two. This blog will teach workers how to maintain a job while still having time for themselves! 

What Work/Life Balance is and Costs to Your Life 

An individual who has work/life balance is able to have a sense of stability between their career and their personal life. They don’t allow for one to interfere with the other, and they can maximize their time outside of work even after long shifts by:

  • Relaxing
  • Exercising 
  • Hanging out with friends 

Someone who lacks this balance doesn’t have enough personal time and works longer hours. They spend their leisure time worrying about work instead of pursuing new hobbies like knitting or even spending time with loved ones. 

When there’s less time for workers to do what they love, their work and home life can deteriorate due to the off-balance of the two aspects. Some consequences can include:

  • Tiredness. Your ability to make decisions will diminish if you always come to work exhausted. It can also lead to poor work ethic and bad productivity. 
  • Decreased mental and physical health. If you’re struggling with health issues and working too much, they can become worse and even lead to more issues in the future. Make sure to take sick days and always have time to recuperate and rest after an illness.  
  • Harmed relationships. If all your free time is spent at work or thinking about work, your relationships with significant others and or friends will be harmed since you’re spending more time with work than with them. Always try to make time for others to ensure healthy relationships. 

Here are some ways workers can increase their work/life balance. 

Woman Sitting in Front of Macbook
It’s important to maintain a work/life balance so you don’t become too stressed. 

Setting Limits 

An important aspect of gaining a good work/life balance is making time for yourself by setting workplace limits. Examples of these limits can include: 

  • Changing work hours. If you think you spend too much time at your workplace, think about asking your employer about different options for hours, maybe even asking for weekends off if need be. When you have more freedom with your hours, you’ll feel happier during your workday!
  • Take a Break. Set time aside for a self-care vacation somewhere exotic or go see your family far away. You’ll feel relaxed and like a whole new person when you come back to work. This break can even mean going for a drive down to a beach or a favorite coffee shop. Make time to relax and enjoy life outside of your career, everyone deserves a break, and it’ll feel amazing! 
  • Yes doesn’t always have to be an answer. If your boss asks about extra hours when you’ve already worked your maximum, you can always say no. Every worker needs to do what’s best for themselves, and if those extra hours aren’t, say no. 

Prioritize Health 

Having good physical and mental health is a top priority when it comes to balancing your job and your personal life. You should always make sure that you’re doing what’s best for yourself, whether that’s:

  • Eating healthy 
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Sleeping enough hours 

Never be scared to call off due to an illness either, if you go in during one, you’ll feel less productive and unable to work effectively. Rest is always needed for sickness, and overworking yourself could potentially make it worse. Remember that your body needs rest, and working during your prime rest time will interrupt your body’s track to getting better. 

Time Alone or With Friends

Your job isn’t your life, and time to yourself is always needed. If workers were able to have time to themselves before the job, they could also make time for themselves during their job. It’s important to work but also to have some free time to enjoy hobbies and activities that you adore. 

Your office can also help with this time by setting aside a staff fun day or doing a benefit run together as Michael Scott did during The Office. But, if you’re not an avid runner, you could always make a get-to-know-you dinner with staff members as well. 

Any activities together will allow for getting to know one another outside of the workplace. Maybe you’ll even find out things you would never have while working! 

Have Priorities 

Everyone has priorities in their lives, and the best thing to do with them is to recognize they’re needed. Some priorities can include:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Hobbies
  • Health/Mental Health 
  • Fun

Although work can also be a big priority, to achieve a good work/life balance, all priorities in our lives need to be known and achieved, like family time. If workers are unable to have their main priorities, work will seem less productive because of the unhealthy relationships that will occur due to more time spent at work and less with one another. 

Relationships can also start to deteriorate if time isn’t given to help them grow and thrive. Make sure to set a schedule for date nights and family gatherings so that work doesn’t get in the way and you can spend the most amount of time with others! 

Find Time to Unplug 

We are always working from our devices, so finding time to get off of them would be great for many reasons since it can: 

  • Reduce stress 
  • Reconnect you with the outside world 
  • Increase happiness 
  • Ease anxiety 

By just sitting outside and reading a book, our minds can recover from weekly stress and learn information differently. Instead of checking the constant flow of emails every couple of minutes, we can enjoy the birds chirping and can indulge in some good stories while off from the heavy workflow. 

A calm scene featuring a person reading a book on the beach 
Reading and enjoying your surroundings are great examples of unplugging from work.

Love What You Do  

One of the keys to success in your career is doing something that you love. You never want to be stuck somewhere just because of the benefits or the money, and you want to have a purpose in why you're doing what you're doing. 

Being happy at work will allow you to have:

  • Great productivity 
  • A smile is always on your face
  • Better performance 
  • Better business decisions 

People who enjoy what they do for a living are able to be motivated to go every day, are optimistic, and have a more meaningful life in general. Life is too short to hate what you do on a day-to-day basis so remember, when looking for a job, find what you love. 

This will also help in your work/life balance since if you like what you do, then you can find more time to enjoy both aspects of life and of work. You will be able to succeed and won’t dread getting up every day either! 

Group of People Having Discussion At Work 
Doing what you love will make for a better life. 

Communicate Effectively 

If you ever feel too stressed or unmotivated at your job, you want to make sure to communicate that to your employer, so they know what you’re going through. If it’s especially affecting your life, it can be hard to maintain equilibrium between your work and home life. 

Try to think of alternatives, maybe changing your schedule or setting more time off to make sure you can handle your home situations while also handling tasks at work. You don’t want to feel more stressed at work due to issues at home, so always try to communicate with someone to make sure you’re not going through anything alone. 

Everyone is human, and chances are your boss will completely understand and will help you find ways to deal with tough situations. Talking with someone will always help, and you can maybe find someone going through something similar. Never be afraid to speak up! 

Four women working in a business meeting in a cafe coffee shop 
Talking to others about situations going on at home always helps to relieve stress. 

Establishing a work/life balance is one of the most essential aspects of our adult lives. While it can be difficult to dramatically change a bad work/life balance, taking one step at a time will help you reach your ultimate balance goal! 

Jun 7, 2022