B is for BalanceMelanie Lemus
How to Find a Work/Life Balance
Feeling Balanced is About Effective Time Management
In today’s current work environment, many of us are working from home part-time or full-time. I know I am not the only person struggling to focus at home when my kid needs help with something, or the laundry needs switching out, or I think of something late at night, and decide to get a jump-start on tomorrow.
When I constantly allow myself to be interrupted, I am not nearly as effective as I could be. I’ve found success in setting a 20-minute timer on my phone, and I commit to focused work for just 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, I take a minute or two to refill my water, change out the laundry, use the bathroom, or put out whatever fire pops up. Then I get back to my next 20 minutes. Before I know it, a couple of hours have gone by, and I’ve managed to get more done than I would have in 5 hours of multitasking.
Feeling Balanced is About Setting Boundaries
As I mentioned before, many of us are working from home. Likely, even those of us who don’t probably make ourselves available during off-hours. Technology allows for constant connection, and while that has been positive in many aspects, it has demolished any sense of a work/life balance for many of us.
It is essential to set boundaries for yourself when it comes to working. If you’re working from home, treat work just like you would if you were going in person. Get dressed in something professional-ish (you are still at home, after all), set hours that you’ll work, and stick to it.
I find that an end-of-day ritual is beneficial for transitioning my brain from work to relaxation. I check my emails one more time, clear my desk of any clutter, straighten things up, turn off my computer and desk lamp, and change into comfortable clothes. This simple routine finalizes my workday, even though I’m at home.
Finding Balance Means Learning to Say No.
It’s impossible to hope for any semblance of balance when you cannot say no to anyone. But saying no is a vital life skill that everyone must learn. When you say no, you will be able to choose more meaningful activities versus doing things out of guilt or a false sense of obligation. By saying no to unimportant items, you give yourself more time to focus on things that are more rewarding or more in line with your long-term goals.
Self-Care is Important to Finding Balance
Self-care does not have to mean weekly massages – although I wouldn’t turn that down! Self-care is simply listening to your body and respecting the boundaries that it’s trying to tell you. Are your shoulders up to your ears because of hours spent at the computer? That neck pain is telling you it’s time for some exercise or gentle stretching. Are you feeling guilty for missing your child’s soccer game? Your heart is telling you to say no to less important commitments so you can be there for what matters—schedule regular time for relaxation, hobbies, friends, and family.
Finding a Work/Life Balance that Works for You
Defining what balance means to you is important. Your definition may not be the same as that of your coworkers, spouse, or friends, and that’s okay. Many think that balance means a 50/50 ratio – and while that may be true for some people, work/life balance typically looks different to each individual. Balancing your work and personal life will likely vary on different days of the week or varying seasons. You’ll know you’re succeeding when you are satisfied with your productivity to a point where you can thoroughly enjoy your downtime and recharge. That’s the real sweet spot.
About the Author
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.
About Vision to Purpose
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