6 Tips to Achieve a Work-Life Balance


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Julie Morris,

How many people have you heard proudly proclaim that they regularly work 50-hour or more workweeks at the expense of everything else because they’re 110 percent committed to their jobs? It doesn’t help that technology has invaded our lives and made it possible to remain accessible 24-7. But is that a good thing? Experts agree that spending too much time focused on work compounds the effects of stress and anxiety. Over time, stress damages your mental and physical health, personal relationships and happiness.


If you want to find work-life balance, here are some helpful tips.




Smart devices, mobile programs, telecommuting, and never-ending notifications create never-ending workdays. Use the silent mode and leave the phone in another room at dinnertime. Keep it in the car at your kid’s baseball game. Don’t pay lip service to quality time. Instead, really commit to being present in the moment.


Start by tuning out of work for a few hours in the evening and then, if you must, briefly checking messages. Some jobs do require some after-hours work but make a conscious effort to set specific parameters — whether that means working for two hours each night or working three nights, but taking off Thursday and Friday evenings.


Say Goodbye to Perfectionism

Perhaps you’ve always been the “A” student. You balanced school, a weekend job, sports and hobbies — and this early routine lead to becoming an overachiever. That perfection becomes more and more difficult to maintain as you get older and assume more responsibilities at home and at work. Perfectionism is exhausting. Instead, work toward excellence. To maintain a habit of perfection becomes mentally draining and often leads to burnout.




Decide what’s most important to you. Look at everything that hasn’t made the “priority list.” See what you can trim from your schedule. If you find yourself drawn into mindless, less constructive activities like scrolling Facebook or exploring the depths of Pinterest, consider using productivity software such as LeechBlock, RescueTime or Freedom.


If unproductive people leech away your time, learn how to politely excuse yourself or make yourself unavailable. Set aside specific times to check emails instead of allowing notifications to interrupt your flow. Make a conscious decision to focus on what’s most rewarding professionally and personally. When you run a business from home, it’s easy to get distracted. When you’re just starting out, utilize lists to keep yourself focused. Another way to limit distractions is to set up a home office away from high-traffic areas in your home.


Learn to Delegate


You might believe that no one can do it better than you. But in fact, maybe others do it as well, just differently. Figure out what you do best, the areas where your knowledge and contributions are most useful, and focus on that. For everything else? Delegate.


Letting go is tough, especially for overachievers who find it easier just to do it themselves. But you’ll cause yourself stress and angst, and everything suffers. Give others with whom you work the opportunity to strut their stuff, learn something new, and grow. Also, if your business involves selling products online, look into the increasingly popular dropping model. For example, when someone purchases an item from your company, you order the product from a supplier, who then ships it out to the customer. This model involves less upfront investment and could free up some much-needed time for a little relaxation.




Want an easy stress-reliever? Exercise. Ironically, we make time for other critical life activities such as sleeping and eating. However, when the calendar overflows with appointments and meetings, exercise goes out the window.


You don’t need to spend an hour a day, seven days a week getting your sweat on. But you’ll benefit from regular exercise, which lowers blood pressure, improves heart health, and reduces stress by sending those feel-good endorphins through your system.


Start Small


Change doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t try to drastically slash your work hours or run three miles a day in week one. When you leave your office for the day, choose to deliberately focus on giving yourself a well-earned break to recharge your mind and spirit.



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