The image of an empowered individual today is undeniably associated with how they proactively actualise their own happiness.
Because of this link between control and overall well-being, someone caught between the attempt at fulfillment and its resolution will be faced with self-reproach. This guilt can come about in the form of feeling inadequate at work or at forming or upholding important relationships, or it can manifest in not giving yourself the time you need to relax and take care of yourself. On the flip side, guilt can also present itself in self-aware, self-conscious overindulgence. What some people forget is that the sense of happiness and fulfillment you obtain from work and home is different for each individual.
Therefore, these too must be balanced according to your own needs and aspirations.
Here are some ways you can actualise and manage your very own guilt-free work-life balance.
Simplify and Organise
Envision your current and ideal work-life arrangement. What is your current situation? What would you like to change about it? What would you like to maintain? What is manageable to you at the moment? What will add more value to your life? How can you align your ideal with your reality? Ask yourself these questions, and you will bring yourself closer to understanding how you stand.
Don’t forget to update your schedule, and plan ahead. Being prepared when it comes to managing your leisure time and tasks for work will save you from a lot of backlog.
Create your own priority matrix. If sorting out big and small tasks helps you with your productivity, try out this Action Priority Matrix. This tool lets you organise tasks by categorising them as ‘Quick Wins’, ‘Major Projects’, ‘Fill-ins’, or ‘Thankless Tasks’. You may also take a different approach by breaking down large tasks into smaller, easier tasks.
Finally, minimise and keep things simple. Be honest about what you can or can’t do, and do what you can to the best of your ability. By admitting what is manageable to you, you empower yourself as you spend your precious time and energy on what matters the most.
Efficiency and Clocking Out
Sometimes the best way to maximise work is by taking short breaks. This could mean having a stretch at your workplace, taking a walk outside, stepping out for a breath of fresh air, savouring a healthy snack, or even watching a couple of fun videos online. This gives you a short, healthy space between you and your work, so you can step back into it with a fresh perspective. Some people work best with limited distractions, but healthy distractions are a good way for you to avoid burning out and maintain a good relationship with your work.
When at home, be home. Clocking out is something people often forget to do when caught up in the progress of work. Compartmentalising and savouring time alone, with family, or with a partner will give you the rest and rejuvenation you need. And although it may sometimes be difficult to maintain a relatively peaceful home, it is possible to strike a harmonious balance by devising an agreement everyone is happy with. It is best to be realistic when it comes to how you maintain the household. Delegate tasks using a system that works for everyone, because let’s admit it: no one is superhuman.
Self-care is one of the most empowering things we can do for ourselves. Make time for exercise and physical training. Do it in an environment that inspires you the most, whether it is in the great outdoors, in a fitness studio or gym, or at home. Enjoy movement and be in your body – your future self will be happy for it.
Feed your mind and body with the things you love. A balanced diet – and arguably some of your favourite unhealthy snacks – is the secret to unlocking an intuitive diet that works best for you. Likewise, the benefits of personal growth are just as important. Whatever it is that feeds your soul, feeds into yur life. Read a book or listen to a podcast from time to time. If you are fortunate to have your work as your art, and your art as your work, then surely exploring something different and learning new things will keep you excited about where you are and where you could be in life.
Finding balance and happiness when it comes to work and life is different for everybody. The key to guilt-free work and enjoyment relies on your honesty with yourself. Know your limitations and your strengths, and have a healthy dose of realistic expectations.
Take things at your own pace and avoid putting unhealthy pressure on yourself. Be flexible, and acknowledge that, honestly, a tad bit of dirty laundry never hurt anyone.
Daniel Ross is part of the marketing team at Roubler — a scheduling and payroll software platform founded in Australia. Their mission is to change the way the world manages its workforces.
Do you have any work/life balance tips to share with our audience of working mums? Comment below.