Unlocking the Elusive Work – Life Balance

The “Work – Life Balance” is a buzzword concept we’re all aiming to achieve, but an active working life doesn’t always make it easy. Our work is certainly important, but without relaxing and fulfilling personal time, our efficiency and our mood crashes. We have eight practical tips to work towards a more even balance in our lives, for benefits that reach everywhere from better sleep to a more productive work life.

Know when to let go – Striving for perfection is noble, but learning when a job is done well will allow you to move on and tackle the next project without bogging you down.

Use your downtime to the max – If your downtime is limited, truly unplug to get the quality time you need. This means logging out of your email, putting your phone aside and disengaging from work entirely.

Curate your life – With limited downtime, spend it on the people and on things that really fulfill you. The people who restore your energy and the activities that relax and entertain you should take top priority and weed out the rest that don’t reach that bar.

Avoid overcommitment – Feeling the need to say yes to everything that comes your way may feel necessary, but overcommitting yourself means sacrificing the quality of work you have across the board and minimizing your time to yourself.

Set deadlines to leave (and be vocal about them) – Decide when you’re going to leave work that day and let people know! It’ll hold you to getting out of the office on time and you are less likely to get that last minute task that keeps you at work later and later.

Instead of multitasking, overlap activities – Instead of trying to do everything at once, try to find where things you love  intersect and make the most out of your downtime. Catch up with a friend at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try or try a new recipe while listening to that album that always makes you feel great.

Make spaces deliberate – Keeping laptops out of your bedroom, and setting up a space just to focus on work in your home, keeps work and life from bleeding together. Relaxing and focus spaces should be different and set up for only that activity.

No time is a good time to take off – There will always been another project or a mini work crisis or something getting in the way of taking a vacation, but that shouldn’t stop you. Plan a bit ahead but then stick to it, time off to replenish is essential to both reconnect with you and come back to work refreshed.