The goal of finding a manageable balance between your work life and your personal life can seem lofty and unattainable, something that you’re working towards your entire life but can never quite achieve. You might be making $200 in 20 hours, but is it worth it without time to yourself? While finding the absolute perfect balance between the two may be impossible with all of life’s twists and turns, there are certain things you can do to get closer to welcoming that balance into your life.
For anyone feeling stressed about not having enough time in the day for their work and personal obligations, knowing these simple tips can go a long way in feeling more balanced and relaxed all day long.
The average American spends about eight and a half hours per day in front of a screen of some kind. For many people, these hours add up during the work day in front of a computer screen. When it’s finally time to go home, many then turn to their television screens for some much-needed relaxation time.
While sneaking some T.V. time into the day is in no way a crime, spending too many of your waking hours in front of a screen can tire out your eyes and your brain more than you realize. Smartphones have also kept us more connected to one another than ever before through social media and messaging apps, but being available 24/7 can quickly cause you to burn out. And burnout can lead to depression, which affects about 350 million people worldwide. When you have a moment of free time, try to get away from the tech that fills the working world and find other ways to relax.
Although you may attribute your difficulty in balancing your work life and personal life to not having enough time in the day for both, it is possible to set aside time for yourself. Make adjustments to your schedule so that you have one hour per day to do something that you want to do.
This can be an hour to read a book, write in a journal, exercise, or learn a new skill. Whatever you choose to fill your hour with, be sure that it is for you. If you love baking, dedicate your hour to making an apple pie, which is 47% of people’s favorite pie flavor. It may be hard at first to justify taking this time away from your work or social and familial obligations but stick with it for 30 days. Even taking 30 minutes for a laser hair removal session counts as self-care. Once you give yourself an hour every day for 30 days, it will become a habit. Biking 20 miles a week because it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 50% might sound tough at first, but give yourself time to build up to it. You’ll soon start to see this personal hour as a necessary part of your daily schedule and it will help you reconnect with what you really care about.
The biggest obstacle to balancing your work life and personal life is often having so many things to do. Try taking a hard look at your to-do list and identify the ones that are critical to cross off of your list that day. Be sure to focus on only three to five important tasks every day. It will be much easier to achieve just a few and you’ll feel an amazing sense of accomplishment when you can cross them all off your list. You can even include self-care tasks, like drinking the recommended two liters of water every day, so that you are still prioritizing your wellness.
If you can’t easily narrow down your to-do list, think instead about what it is you want to achieve in the big picture and how far into the future you’re looking. Once you know whether you’re thinking about one year or five years down the line, you can work backward to create plans and goals within that timeframe to achieve your bigger objectives.
For instance, you may realize that you see your growing family in a new home in three years. With this big picture guidance, you can create 90-day outcome goals that will help you better identify your priorities. These goals should be attainable and measurable, such as improving your home’s curb appeal, which is one of the five most important factors in selling a home. You can then create a to-do list focused only on boosting your home’s curb appeal and know that you’re prioritizing something worthwhile.
Striking the right balance between work and play is one of the toughest challenges any person faces in adulthood. It can be even harder for freelancers who make their own hours or remote employees who work from home in the middle of familial chaos.
Whatever your unique challenges are, remember to think about your own needs and develop a plan to satisfy those needs. If you’re among the 74% of adults who believe that an unattractive smile can hurt your career, make time to see your dentist. You won’t be able to tackle anything in life if you haven’t taken the steps to make sure you are happy and healthy.