If there’s one universal truth, it’s this one: there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.
These days, time is everybody’s most precious commodity. It seems scarce in the professional world, and many people believe that it’s also scarce in their personal lives. This is why the topic of “work-life balance” has been so popular during the past several years.
Of course, actually achieving work-life balance is easier said than done. Just think about everything you have to do on a daily basis. Obviously, you can’t get everything done. That would be impossible.
However, you can get the most important things done. And people who get the things done that are most important to them are the people who feel as though they enjoy the best balance.
Below are four simple steps for achieving a better work-life balance:
#1—Identify your limits.
Everybody would like to do more and accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. (Well, maybe not everybody—but most people, especially high achievers.) However, everybody has their limits, and you must able to recognize those limits and when you’re reaching them. Balance will be difficult to achieve if you’re consistently pushing yourself more than you should. If you’re a workaholic, then you’re probably already familiar with your limits.
#2—Do NOT exceed your limits.
There’s no point in recognizing your limits if you’re always going past them. Limits are set for a reason: so you do not exceed them. Look at it this way: there are already plenty of forces trying to throw your work-life balance out of whack. Don’t help those forces by first not setting reasonable boundaries and second by not observing those boundaries.
#3—Actively prioritize your existence.
A better work-life balance is about doing the most important things first and giving them priority. You can’t do that unless you know what those things are. Prioritize your life both personally and professionally, creating two lists. Combine the two lists into one and prioritize everything together. Then you will truly know what is most important to you. Once you know that, you can take the appropriate action.
#4—Find out what your employer offers.
It’s in the best interests of your employer for its employees to be well rested and happy. That’s because well-rested, happy employees are more productive employees, and more productivity means more profitability. It’s a simple equation. So if your employer is truly interested in being more profitable, then it should offer solutions that can provide more flexibility to improve your situation. Identify these solutions and explore them.
Now connect the dots: do the things most important to you first while taking advantage of whatever solutions your employer provides and being careful not to exceed your limits. Work-life balance is a state of mind . . . not a tabulation of hours working vs. hours playing.