4 simple ways to achieve better work-life balance, without compromising your ambition

‘I’m running 100 miles an hour, 10 hours a day, but when I get to the end of the week, I don’t feel like I’ve made a valuable contribution.’

 

Sound a lot like your working week? If so, you’re not alone. In the modern era it’s becoming more and more difficult to achieve a healthy work/life balance.

 

The constant distractions of modern working life mean it’s all too easy to get stuck trying to keep on top of small tasks.

 

All those interruptions from emails, notifications and even our colleagues not only make it hard pause but they can also have a real impact on our mental health.

 

Driven to Distraction

The way people consume information has changed considerably since the first few decades of the Internet. Email, pop-ups, and notifications all contribute to a feeling that we must be accessible at all times. Not only does this make us less productive, but it also prevents us from reaching our full potential.

Unfortunately, those distractions are a necessary evil of the contemporary business world- we can’t wish them away. How to control distractions is the key to creating a more focused working environment. The first step in doing so is to communicate your limits with others.

 

Setting Your Boundaries

For many managers, the phrase “unplug” implies less labour. In this scenario, you must explain to your employer how establishing some limits will improve your job. If you’re going to give yourself more time to complete projects and get more meaningful work done, we can all see the benefits.

However, it’s critical to inform your supervisor if something unexpected comes up so that they may call you and you will always answer. “Most managers agree with it when it is presented in that manner because they feel their staff aren’t receiving the most essential work done.”

 

Outside of Office Hours

Many of us struggle with the pressure to be constantly online outside of our working hours. People want to work when they want, on their own terms. They want their jobs to fit into various parts of their lives, but because office schedules are any time, anywhere, many individuals are struggling to switch off outside of non-working hours.

We’ve all been there – that brief evening email check that leaves us feeling emotional, wondering how to reply. When you’re in that mood, you’re not recharging and downtime is important for optimal mental wellbeing.

When you run that cycle of alertness through days, weeks, and months you see increased levels of stress, low employee satisfaction, lower engagement, and increased levels of burnout.

 

Ask Yourself Why

So, what can we do about it? The first step is to figure out why we feel compelled to check-in outside of work hours. It’s often because we’re scared we’ll miss something significant, or because bosses don’t value and include us.

To overcome this, set aside periods of time when you can feel comfortable being completely away. Determining how you’ll be able to manage your schedule is a difficult job. However, it’s not always the case that taking care of things yourself is the best option.

 

What makes a company an appealing workplace? According to studies, one of the most important factors that attract job candidates to a firm is having an employer who understands the importance of work-life balance.

Work-life balance is particularly important for physicians, who often work long hours, travel frequently, and have to deal with demanding patients. Prioritizing job happiness leads to a more productive workplace

 

But how can you have work-life balance without giving up your ambition?

 

1. Take a moment to consider how you work

It’s not as simple as taking a yoga class or spending more time with your family to achieve real work-life balance; it’s about changing how you think about work and deciding where your priorities lie. So, what matters most to you? There’s no need to go into too much depth, look at the practical aspects as well. Create a realistic timetable and write down what you want to achieve professionally and personally.

Consider the following questions: How are you dividing up your working day? How much time do you spend commuting each day? When are you at your most productive? Are you a candidate for remote work if so, why or why not? What assistance does your firm provide? Leaving at 5 p.m. every day is fine, but can you turn off when you leave the office?

It will be simpler to compartmentalise different elements and avoid placing unrealistically high expectations on yourself once you’ve a better sense of what takes up your time right now and what you’d like to spend more time doing. Accept the fact that you will never be able to achieve an exact work-

home split all of the time, and that one will take from the other at times. Recognizing this is essential in attaining your job ambitions.

 

2. Don’t compare yourself to others

This is vital advice for your professional and personal lives. Don’t rely on others to validate your success or happiness. While keeping track of your development to ensure you’re not coasting or underperforming is important, don’t get caught up in the progress or accomplishments of others.

For one, it has no bearing on your career path; for another, it’s doubtful you’re seeing a fair comparison. On the other side of the equation, as they say, the grass always looks greener.

 

3. Learn the power of saying no

Collaborating, adaptable, and offering to assist coworkers are great qualities, but there is a limit. It’s not the method to speed up your career allowing yourself to be a dumping ground for late deadlines, extra tasks, and overtime.

When you say yes to everything, your coworkers may undervalue your time rather than recognizing it. Learn the art of the polite but forceful no. The development of technology has made working remotely and being “always on” easier.

 

4. Establish that you’re ‘offline’ when you’re not in the office

There are several advantages to being hyperconnected, but you’ll never achieve equilibrium if you’re always accessible by phone. When you’ve finished your day’s work, log out of your employer’s emails and messaging applications and refuse any calls from the workplace.

Unless you work in the life-saving industry, there will never be an out-of-hours emergency. Don’t be concerned that establishing boundaries around your working day would harm your career prospects. It’s really a fantastic approach to let others know how important your time is and to enforce procedure.

On that note, you don’t have to justify or explain anything about your personal life outside of the workplace. Once your job performance is not impacted, it’s not a problem for your employer to learn about your busy partner or childcare issues. So don’t make it one.

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