It's virtually impossible to achieve the perfect work-life balance. Work-life integration, on the other hand, is more achievable. You can achieve this by acknowledging there are times when work is going to demand more of your attention, by setting boundaries and practicing healthy habits. Keep reading for 5 top tips.
If you're connected to work 24/7 it's going to be impossible to switch off. There are certain types of jobs, for example, a firefighter or ambulance driver, that require being on call. For those of you who aren't in such a role, take time out. Switch off your pager, beeper, smartphone, or laptop. If you're not getting paid for being on call 24 hours a day, it's perfectly reasonable to expect some time off.
The end of your working day starts long before you walk through the door at home. You can start to wind down while you're still in the office. Being more organized is going to allow you to enjoy the commute home without fretting about all the things you forgot to do. When you get home, you're more likely to enjoy your time with family and friends, rather than constantly worrying about what's going on at the office.
Don't spend your evenings on tender hooks waiting for a call from the office or worrying about that pile of paperwork waiting for you tomorrow. When you walk through your front door, put all thoughts of work out of your mind. It's time for you to do something you enjoy doing and finding things to take your mind off work. Find something comfortable to wear. Take your dog for a walk. Cook up a storm in the kitchen. Try out a new hobby or simply relax in your armchair with a book.
You may have already noticed a difference in your workload, so now's the time to think about planning for the next day. With a plan in place, you're going to achieve more and stop feeling stressed about the work piling up. Your plan is also going to help you feel more satisfied about your day because you'll better appreciate what you've done.
Physical exercise is good for your health. Not only that, it also helps switch your brain off from work and allows you to be more focused on your home life. Regular exercise is an important part of leading a healthier life, and it doesn't always have to be strenuous. A brisk ten-minute walk, half an hour swimming, even cleaning the house is valuable exercise.
One final tip is to learn to say “No” and mean it. Learn how to prioritize things and how to let go. If you really don't need to be slogging away on your laptop in the evenings, then don't.