As the old saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That especially relates to work-life balance. For example, you can’t aspire to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 while only working 20 hours per week. That might work in a rare case, but it’s not feasible for most as being the CEO of any company requires a lot of time and effort.
Finding work-life balance has become a phenomenon that so many professionals are in pursuit of and while it’s possible, it takes a certain amount of sacrifice and a realigning of what’s important to you. Here are three ways to find work-life balance.
Cut out the Toxicity and Focus on What’s Important to You.
Destroying toxic relationships and habits is the easiest way to figure out what you really want in life. This could include no longer browsing social media for hours a day or associating with negative or pessimistic friends.
Do you value climbing the ladder at your work or are you interested in starting a family? Do you value your free time and being able to do whatever you want during that time? Perhaps what’s most important to you is reading your Common English Bible and going to church. You might also want to spend your free time planning retreats or going to bible study.
Figure out what’s important to you, start prioritizing, and create the work-life balance you desire. It’s easier said than done, but it’s also possible if you’re honest and realistic with yourself.
Be Upfront With Your Boss.
If you want to work fewer hours (or possibly days), then you have to be upfront with your employer and also willing to negotiate. As an example, if you want Fridays off, then you can either ask for that day off and be willing to take a pay cut, or you can negotiate working four 10-hour days to make up for the lost time.
During the pursuit of work-life balance, people tend to find solutions to work fewer hours and not work when they’re home. While we live during a time when we’re expected to be connected 24/7 thanks to technology, the point of work-life balance is to separate work and life outside of work. As long as you’re capable of doing the same quality work in fewer hours, your employer should be willing to work with you. If not, then the second solution is taking a pay cut to work less. You have to be open to all options, but you also have to start the conversation.
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Cut out Distractions and Don’t Combine Work and Pleasure.
It’s amazing how much people can get done when they aren’t distracted, and cutting out distractions can lead to you taking control of your work-life balance. After all, productivity and minimizing distractions can lead to focused work that you complete faster. The time you save can, of course, go toward your life outside of work.
While it might seem like a good idea to, let’s say, watch TV while you’re working, the point of work-life balance is to separate work and pleasure. Not to mention, multitasking can lead to less quality work and missing an important scene in your favorite show. In most cases, you can’t give two tasks your full attention at the same time.
Work-life balance is about enjoining the present moment when you’re not working and doing your best job when you are working. It’s about balancing the two so you don’t feel overworked and underappreciated. When the opposite is true, you could feel burned out. Taking care of your mind and body are important during this journey.