Work-life balance is one of those concepts that’s often talked about but seldom achieved. Lots of studies show that job seekers consider not only salaries and benefits, but also work-life balance.
If you want to climb the corporate ladder without jeopardizing other important things like relationships with family and friends, achieving a good work-life balance is critical. Becoming a workaholic might help your career trajectory, but it will come at the expense of other things.
According to one source, 94% of U.S. service professionals spend 50+ hours per week working, and many of them also work on weekends. And almost half of Americans (48%) say they are workaholics, though 72% of them consider work-life balance when looking for a job.
So, it’s something that most people want. But it appears as though most struggle to attain it.
Below are three tips that will help you achieve the sort of balance that you need in your life.
1. SEEK FLEXIBLE WORK OPTIONS
Many people had to work from home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to slow the spread of the virus resulted in work-from-home orders. So, employees swapped their workstations in office buildings for laptops in private residences.
Businesses now realize that, except in some circumstances, workers can be just as productive working from home as they are working from office buildings. If you’ve returned back to your company’s office space, why not ask if you can return to working from home? It might help to get a better work-life balance.
Ask if you can work from home full-time or even work a few days of the week in the office and a few days of the week from your home office. As long as you can be productive and efficient, your employer might be okay with such an arrangement.
It might be necessary to change your career in order to gain the flexibility you need. Studying via eLearning can help you earn a degree or diploma in a new field. Are you interested in online courses that can lead to a career in the medical field? There are opportunities to gain credentials online in a whole host of career paths.
2. KNOW WHEN TO SHUT DOWN
The same technology invented to simplify our lives has actually complicated it. In fact, a wireless device can, unless you’re cautious, tether you to the workplace. Unless you learn to untether, detach from work after the shift is over, and relax, you won’t achieve a good balance.
Do you want to have the sort of balance that allows you to spend time with family and friends as well as enjoy leisure activities and other special interests? If so, you need to know when to shut down. If that means switching off your computer or turning off phone notifications, so be it.
3. TAKE TIME OUT FOR FAMILY AND SELF
While striving to succeed in your career, don’t forget to set aside time to spend with loved ones. Studies show that parents spend very little time each day with their children. Working hard to provide for your family is critical. But spending quality time with family is also important.
So, achieving a good work-life balance means setting aside the time to spend with your family. Notice, the term is “setting aside” time rather than “finding” time. The former is about intentionally earmarking time for a specific purpose, while the latter is about going about your day and potentially finding some time for a specific purpose. Be intentional–set aside some time.
And don’t underestimate the importance of taking time out for yourself. Do you like to play an instrument? Do you enjoy pounding the pavement while jogging in the morning or evening? Are you interested in hanging out with friends from time to time? Take time out for yourself, too.
If you take these tips to heart, you can take positive steps toward achieving a good work-life balance. The pursuit of this balance has proven to be elusive for many men. But it’s possible with the right approach. So much is at stake, so it’s worth the effort.