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5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance

An African American woman sitting on her couch while working on her laptop.

There is an expectation for people to achieve a balance between their private and professional lives and be perfect at both. This is a myth. You only have so much time and energy in a day, and you have to prioritize the people and things that are most important. You won’t be able to do everything you want, so it is essential to put the most important things first. This is what it means to have a healthy work-life balance.

Work-Life Balance – The School of Life

It can be hard to get started if you’re not certain why you are here, and the reason is different for everyone. Once you know what life’s purpose is, you will find it a lot easier to achieve balance and stay focused.

Elite professionals have learned how to make the most of the time and energy they have. I’ve narrowed down the essentials for easy discussion. Keep reading to discover my top time management tips for work-life balance.

5. Slay Your Energy Vampires

You may not believe in vampires, but chances are, you know one. How many hours of your workweek are sucked away by energy vampires? Some energy drains are obvious: the negative person at work who complains even when everything is going right, but there are others. Passive-aggressive people will talk nice to your face but are creatively unreliable once your back is turned. Overly critical or needy people can pop us as coworkers, underlings, or even managers. The first step is recognizing the problem. Examine your life and find out who or what is taking up time and not returning value.

Angry boss yelling at employee. Know how to have a healthy work-life balance to be productive at work.
Find Out Who Is Your Energy Sucking Vampire (Image source: Shutterstock)

Once you identify the people who drain you the most, learning how to make friends better can help you transform them into better resources. In some cases all it takes is better communication. Examining how you enable people and the ways you are a good friend and a bad friend can transform your life.

But it’s not just people. Sometimes the drain is a phone game or a hobby, and the next thing you know you’ve lost another hour of time down an endless black hole. But procrastination is not laziness, it’s mood regulation. Instead of that mobile game or the latest news ticker, take advantage of the mental health benefits of nature. When you regulate your mood better, you’ll find fewer reasons to procrastinate and your focus will improve, increasing your productivity. The more work you get done, the better you will feel about your job, and the better your team.

The meditation with muse 2, a guided meditation device, can provide a powerful boost to help you locate and deal with your energy drains, and once the drains are gone, you can focus your powers of attention on work.

4. Learn How to Delegate

If you work on a team or have people who report to you, get to know them well enough to know their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. When a new pile of work comes in, see if you can’t match each person with a task that targets their best skills or is in an area they enjoy. Give them a short list of optional tasks that is clear and easy to understand.

A woman delegating work to her employees.
Work In A Team And Give Them Task That Are Clear And Easy To Understand (Image source: Shutterstock)

If you don’t learn to delegate, your personal life will suffer and you will get off track, for example, on your goals for the new year.

It can be easier to get people to accept unpleasant tasks if you make it clear you are willing and able to do the worst job on the list. If you set the tone by taking a difficult job, then others will be more likely to show initiative. Once everyone has something assigned, follow up to make sure everyone is being properly utilized. Once you are familiar with how to delegate, morale and productivity should both improve.

3. Maintain Healthy Boundaries

There is only so much of you to go around. If you don’t protect your boundaries and learn how to say no, your time and energy will not be used in efficient ways. Don’t be afraid of being firm. People will respect you more when they know what your limits are and that you will defend them. They will also be more grateful when you do say yes.

A woman saying no to a project that will take up so much time and energy.
Protect Your Boundary And Learn To Say No To Time And Energy Wasting Projects (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you don’t currently have healthy boundaries, it can be hard to know where to draw the line. When you’re at peace on the inside, it is easier to know when someone is taking advantage of your good nature. I’ve found 7 wellness books to feed your mind in 2020 that can help you find your center and keep your wellness wheel balanced.

2. Keep a Schedule

The most successful people learn how to make a schedule.

A woman making weekly schedule.
Keeping A Schedule Will Make Everything Organized (Image source: Shutterstock)

A schedule doesn’t have to be complicated. The basics can be picked up as easily as learning how to make a to-do list. And, it’s an important tool for maintaining your work-life balance.

The secret to scheduling is to be nice to yourself. Literally. Make the schedule you want to have, not the schedule you think you have to have. It’s hard to form a new habit around things you don’t like, so for the first month, only schedule things you enjoy.

Once scheduling becomes a habit, you can add in the rest of your activities, but you may not have to. You may find that the rest of your life spontaneously organizing itself around the things you enjoy. It’s easier to say yes to the hard things when you are focused on good rewards. It’s been said that anticipation is half the fun, and it’s easier to anticipate something if you’ve written it down on your schedule.

Another way to ease into scheduling is to track your food. Just write down what you eat and how much. It sounds simple, but it can be deceptively difficult, so don’t take it for granted. Knowing the difference between TDEE vs. BMR, ways of calculating and balancing your caloric intake, will help you decide if you are eating too much or not enough. Once you’re tracking your food, you can plan future meals and other events. In no time, you’ll be master of your own schedule.

1. Schedule Family Time and Outings With Friends

Once you make social plans, stick to them! Your family and friends need to be a priority in your life. Work is important, but work-life balance is essential for your happiness. When you are at work, give them your full attention. When you are with your loved ones, give them your full attention. Avoiding distractions will make sure there is more of you to go around.

A woman having a meal with her whole family.
Keep A Schedule For Family And Friends (Image source: Shutterstock)

There will be times something comes up and work has to intrude on your personal life. When you make the most of your time at work, it will minimize interruptions and help your family be more understanding when it does.

If the boss insists you come in for overtime on the weekend, ask in advance for priority time off when the crisis blows over. If that’s not possible, examine the rest of your schedule and see what you can do to make it up to them (and seriously consider looking for new employment). Your family and friends love you and deserve your best, and as you show them how important they are to you, they will be more likely to show you the same in return.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance is a Win-Win Scenario

When your life is properly balanced, everybody gets more of you, but nobody will get “enough.” It’s important to remember that life is short and your time is limited, so you’ll never get to everything on your list. Make sure you get to the most important people first.

How many of these tips are you already good at? Which one needs the most work?