Small Business Tips: How to Develop a Good Work-life Balance

Overview: Learn what a good work-life balance looks like and how to accomplish that for you and your team

We hear a lot about work-life balance these days more than ever. But did you know that several statistics show that more than 60 percent of U.S. employees feel like their work-life balance is out of whack?

We’ve shared other work-related tips in the past, and learning how to achieve a good-work life balance is a necessity. But this one’s a bit more tricky because, well, the truth is: we can’t have a “perfect” work-life balance because the perfect work-life balance doesn’t exist – and it’s rare if it does.

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“Balancing your professional and personal life can be challenging, but it’s essential,” says Business News Daily. So, how exactly can we accomplish a good work-life balance, and what exactly does a “good” work-life balance look and feel like? Those are questions we’ll answer by the end of this article.

Achieving a Good Work-life Balance:

According to Business News Daily, cited above, work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life. The key is to remember that balance in anything is achieved over time, not necessarily each day. Therefore, it’s best if we strive for a realistic schedule.

When it comes to work-life balance, there might be days where we focus more on work and other days where we spend more time with family and loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or just relaxing at home.

A healthy balance allows us to meet our deadlines at work while still having time for our family and friends, sleeping and eating properly and not worrying about work when we’re at home.

Things to Do for a Better Work-life Balance:

In addition to this very practical list of tips for a better work-life from Forbes, we’ve also curated a list of dos (and don’ts) when it comes to creating a work-life experience that works for you.

  • Learn to say no. If you can’t take on more at work OR at home, learn how to communicate that.
  • At work, take breaks, including using your lunch break as an actual break away from the workplace.
  • Communicate boundaries. Let your colleagues and customers know your work schedule. When you are ‘off the clock’ do not answer that email or take that call.
  • At home, block out time that is devoted entirely to family.
  • Take vacation time, without guilt. Plan fun activities for your personal time.
  • Develop self-awareness. Explore what is causing you stress; be aware of your emotions and reprioritize where and when needed.

Remember that achieving a better work-life balance is an ongoing process. And this process is a cycle, not an achievement in and of itself. What we’re saying is that these tips are not a one-time activity, but rather a cycle of continuous re-evaluation and improvement.

So periodically revisit your priorities, see how you feel about your life, what level of stress you’re experiencing, and what further changes could be implemented. Then you’ll be on your way to truly experiencing a good work-life balance.

Happy working and living! And be sure to check out our article “How to Have Productive Team Meetings (that Don’t Suck)” for more work-friendly tips.

Jeanie Edgecomb, Smith Marion

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