With every new year comes New Year’s Resolutions to hopefully make our lives more fulfilling and us happier.
Something many of us believe would make us happier is achieving a work/life balance. The imbalance of the two can cause stress and a lack of satisfaction in both areas.
When someone has more “work” than “life” he may be viewed as an exceptional employee, but outside of work he runs the risk of being pegged as a workaholic, and his personal life may suffer.
On the other hand, when someone allows his personal life to overflow into his work life, it’s often viewed as laziness or a lack of focus and will likely have negative ramifications on his career.
So how can you achieve a better work/life balance? Consider the following.
Quality determines quantity
People tend to spend time according to what they value.
For example, if one’s personal life provides more fulfillment than one’s work, work may suffer as one pursues those aspects of one’s life that bring happiness. By the same token, if someone is passionate about work and the fruits of his labor (a sense of purpose, monetary gain, the approval of coworkers or superiors, climbing the ladder, etc.), you’ll commonly find him pouring himself into his vocation.
When a balance of meaning and fulfillment are found in an individual’s work and personal life, therefore, he or she is more likely to experience an overall balance or blending of the two. However, fulfillment within a profession is a relatively new concept, and business owners in particular may find the line between work and leisure becomes harder and harder to decipher.
Better time management leads to better balance
In all reality, finding and maintaining the spot where work and leisure blend well isn’t an option for everyone. At the same time, technological developments make it all but certain we’ll become more attached to our work life while at home, and in some cases, our home life while at work.
For example, it’s very common for people to check their work email when not at work AND to check their personal email or texts while at work. If you want better work/life balance, however, you have to dedicate time to one or the other and stick to it.
Everyone needs a break every now and again
More now than ever Americans are pouring themselves into their work and not using vacation time. This phenomenon has been covered in countless articles and even poked at in commercials. But the time is there for a reason. Plan it. Use it.
It’s important to avoid distractions
If you want more work/life balance, it’s best to compartmentalize as much as you can. While at work, focus on work. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the outside world. Get your work done.
In the same regard, when at home, sometimes it’s best to put your phone, computer, or whatever connections you have, away. Focus on life for a little while, and you might find that when you do go back to your work, you’ll be more refreshed and produce a better work product.
For more information, see our related post: “The future of flexibility in the workplace.”