Work-life balance can have a different meaning depending on your personality, but what exactly is work life balance and how can you achieve it? Let’s first look at the definition: “Work life balance describes the relationship between your work and the commitments in the rest of your life and how they impact one another.” It can also be described as finding a ‘happy medium’ between your work, your play and your needs. Finding that balance is not a case of equal parts among your life and duties, but a cohesive amount of dedication and time for each aspect of your daily life.
Work-life balance will be different for each person because everyone has different priorities, responsibilities and personalities, as mentioned by Jim Bird, publisher on worklifebalance.com. Your definition of balance could be a reflection of how much money you have in the bank account or how often you are able to stay home with your family. The key to finding balance is to identify where stress is occurring within your work and your life and to find a remedy.
In order to make progress towards a happier, well-balanced life, keep these five things in mind:
Find your why
What makes you happy and content? Are you satisfied knowing that you are able to fully disconnect, stop checking and answering emails at the end of your work day, or take your time to complete a project? You may be working towards a less stressful environment in order to spend more time present with your family. Whatever your goal is keep track of that and work towards it.
Recognize your struggles and be vocal about them
If there is something that brings you down day after day, it is time to pinpoint the cause and remedy the problem. There shouldn’t be a negative stigma around recognizing your weaknesses. Ari Horie founder of Women’s Startup lab says “Design your own life and don’t be scared by the culture or being judged.”
Discover your personality
Your personality has a large effect on how you work and the atmosphere that is most beneficial to your success. If you are a planner, you may be happier when you are able to organize your day based on a to-do list and finish your day when it is complete. You may also not be as productive if you often have to wait on others to finish their own projects.
Step back when you need to
If you fill your life with extra activities that don’t make you happy, it is time to separate yourself from them. Start by taking note of all of the activities that you feel waste your time. Is there a way to minimize them or stop them completely? Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, said that you can do this when you “take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.”
Trial and error is of the essence here. It is impossible to jump into a new routine and have it succeed 100% immediately, but in time you will find what works best for you. There will have to be small changes for a greater impact. “If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.
Keep in mind that the definition of work life balance will be different for everyone. Take a look at these 12 descriptions of balance for individuals–do any of them resonate with you or your situation? Another important aspect of work-life balance is asking yourself if you are living to work or working to live. Once you have discovered your balance, you should always be choosing the latter. Let us know!