Finding Your Healthy Work-Life Balance
I think it’s safe to say that most of us wouldn’t work if we didn’t have to. Unfortunately that’s not the reality of the situation. We have to work in order to live our lives and support ourselves. But, we do have a say in what we do for work and how much of it we do. Some people work more than others because they’re trying to get a bump in pay. Some people work more than others because they’re trying to launch a business. Some people work more than others because they feel they need to compete and keep up with the Joneses. Work is definitely important, but making sure you enjoy what you do is even more important.
Have you ever heard the saying, “money can’t buy you happiness”?
I'm sure you have.
That’s mostly true but not completely. You do need a certain amount of money to feel secure. When you’re secure, you’re naturally happier. Things like health insurance, being able to afford a home, being able to buy groceries, and other living expenses, all come into play. If you’re able to do all of those comfortably and you have a little wiggle room to enjoy other things, then you’re probably right around your peak. This spectrum would be a little different for everyone but it comes down to how secure you feel. Anything beyond that isn’t happiness coming from more money, it’s from how you’re living and enjoying your life.
In some countries, a typical work week is only 30 hours. In North America, it’s significantly higher. Those countries that work less per week have happier people on average. With that said, I think it’s very important for people to find their happy work-life balance. Unfortunately, many of us are simply working more to get more money so they can live up to certain standards and comparisons. That shouldn’t be the motive for anyone. We’re wasting so many precious moments in our lives just to have more stuff. We need to find a balance that makes us happy, so we’re able to enjoy the things we love as much a possible.
I love what I do for a living. It’s rewarding, mostly stress free, and gives me the flexibility to do things I love to do. I was recently offered a job that paid $15,000 more a year, but it required more headaches and less flexibility. I didn’t even have to think about it. As flattered as I was to be offered the position, I respectfully declined because I love what I do now. I chose my happiness over making extra money. And I would every single time.
No matter what job you’re in, there’s always ways to have a better work-life balance. Choose your happiness first.
Here’s some simple ways to help with your work-life balance:
1. If you’re sick, you’re sick
When you’re sick, don’t force yourself to go to work. We see this way too often. You won't look weak or lazy if you don't. And you’re risking the other people who you work with. Just tell your boss and I’m sure they’ll understand, and appreciate you telling them. As well, when you’re sick, you’re less productive and tasks will take longer. It’s always best to rest and allow your body to get back to 100%.
2. Play to your strengths
Work is already stressful enough. It’s best to know what you’re really good at so you can do those tasks. Each person you work with will have their certain strengths. The workplace becomes more efficient when each person is working to their strengths, and people tend to enjoy it more too.
3. Work the amount of hours you’re required to work
I’m not sure why but this one seems tough for a lot of people. If you’re required to work 40 hours a week, then work that amount. Don’t work 50 hours a week. You’re adding extra stress for yourself and not getting paid for it. You’re going to run yourself down. If you’re finding that you can’t complete everything within the 40 hours then let your supervisor know. They’ll be able to evaluate everything with you and help disperse the tasks.
4. Do something you love, or at least something you like
If you’re hating every second of your time at work, then you’re probably not in the right field or position. You’re not stuck to that position. There’s many options out there. It’s best to at least enjoy what you do as much as possible and the people you work with. Having a stressful job you hate could potentially take years off your life.
5. Plan to enjoy things before and after work
If possible, plan and schedule things you love to do before and after work. It’s something to look forward to each day. If you love working out then plan to go to the gym before work in the morning. If you love to go hiking then make sure to schedule it in for after work. Don’t push those things off. It allows your body and mind to replenish itself because you're doing something you love.
6. Take your holidays
This is similar to number 6. Plan that vacation you’ve been waiting on forever. Or take that time off to simply relax and enjoy yourself at home. Whatever it is that you want to do, know that you deserve it. Take your holidays and don’t keep pushing it off. It’s something to look forward to and helps keep you happy.
7. Manage your stress
If you’re feeling really stressed out then you know it’s time to step back for a moment. Work on your mental health as much as you can. You can try meditation, yoga, working out, talking to someone, getting out in nature, along with so many other things. Managing your stress will make you feel much better when you’re at work and at home.
I challenge you to step back and really think if you’re happy with your work-life balance. You should be enjoying life as much as you can, every single day, even if you’re working. Each person will have a different balance so it’s important to find what works for you. Decide what’s most important to you and then adjust accordingly.
Are you happy with your work-life balance? Do you have any tips for me?