Most of us have experienced the long hours, the deadlines, and the stress. Once in a while, work requires the 40+ hours a week but when it becomes the norm – and for all the wrong reasons – it leads to a low quality of life.
Working for a company that sets healthy hours can go a long way in helping to establish a great work-life balance, especially if that company also provides generous paid time off, parental leave, or a work from home option. Not everyone is so lucky though. In any case, it’s important to recognize that creating a healthy work-life balance is an individual responsibility too.
Here are a few things you can do to create a more happy, more productive, and more balanced life:
1. Prioritize your work and address your responsibilities accordingly. One helpful way to do this is by using the Eisenhower Matrix. Categorize your work into the following groups:
- Do First: Important tasks that need to be completed the same day.
- Schedule: Important but not very urgent tasks that should be scheduled.
- Delegate: Urgent but less important tasks that can be delegated to others.
- Don’t Do: Tasks that are neither urgent nor important, and shouldn’t be bothered with.
2. Define the hours when you will work. Unplug from your devices once those hours are up – easier said than done, but not impossible.
3. Take short breaks during the day and take vacations when needed. Again, unplug when you’re on those breaks.
4. Most importantly, remember that setting boundaries to nurture your personal life is OK.
If you want to spend more time with your family, take care of a newborn, connect with your friends, work on hobbies, travel, or just unwind, you’ll have to take the initiative. Figure out what is most important to you at this moment and take action. You can always review and adjust your priorities as needed.
In case you’re interested in finding a company that will make achieving a work-life balance a bit easier, here are just three companies our users commonly recommend: