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Work-life balance: more than instructions

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Work-life balance is an increasingly current and discussed topic further heightened by the pandemic global context. But do we really understand the true meaning of this concept? 

First of all, you should ask yourself this question: can I successfully and comfortably conciliate my personal commitments and responsibilities with my professional commitments and responsibilities? 

If you can’t get a clear and immediate answer, then this article is for you! 

Find out the best strategies to properly distribute your time to satisfy both your personal and professional interests.

Where should we begin?

Above all, you must realize that balancing time doesn’t mean distributing your time equally. But understanding the best conciliation according to importance and well-being.

Today, work-life balance is one of the most important attributes of the workplace, often ahead of financial compensation.  

It shouldn’t even need to be mentioned at this point but it is true: workers who feel they have a better work-life balance tend to work harder than workers who feel overworked. And when we say “harder” we are talking about performance, creativity, and proactivity to develop solutions that otherwise would never exist.

On top of that, the chances of feeling that they belong to a group and the sense of accomplishment and purpose suppress anything else.

Companies that promote work-life balance have more satisfied employees and the investment in time flexibility measures can solve problems such as health risks, decreased productivity, employee turnovers, absenteeism, mental health, stress, and overall life satisfaction. 

When we talk about work-life balance we cannot ignore two major things: motivation and autonomy. This means autonomy over your time and sense of purpose in working on something meaningful that really matters on your own terms. When this autonomy and motivation are in alignment we are stimulating increased productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.

6 strategies to easily improve your work-life balance 

Do you have control over your life or does it seem like you do?

Well, it’s something that can really be worked on and improved together with your company. But if your company applies flexible measures and you are not aware of the improvements you can make in your habits and perception of what really matters, what’s the point?

Here is how you can make a start and enhance your work-life balance: 

  • Structure your week

Take a look at your diary at least one week in advance and find gaps and opportunities to prioritize your well-being first. Review your tasks carefully, there is always something that can be improved to allocate more time to the tasks that really matter. The more control you have over your work, the less stressed you will get. Even more important, ask for help whenever necessary and make time for yourself every day. Be it 30 minutes or 1 hour, It will help not only your relationships but your career as well.

  • Support a flexible work culture

First of all, it is important to understand that each of us works at different times of the day, especially within a global company. So we can find ways to work together without the “pressure” of response times. You can always find and suggest practical alternatives like putting a note in your signature to let your colleagues know in advance. You are not alone in this, chances are they are facing the same struggles, so support and stimulate a stronger support system.

  •  Turn off notifications and establish boundaries

Digital communications have come to make our time easier and more flexible, but they have also come to steal the time we need for our personal commitments and needs. It is very important to create boundaries to maintain healthy digital habits. And this should be communicated clearly with your supervisors and colleagues as well, so they know you won’t be responding and paying attention after hours. Turn off notifications from apps like Slack or your email outside of work hours and set limits on accessing them in a personal context. Before you know it, you have already wasted an hour of your family evening hooked on to the digital.

  • Create daily to do lists

Sometimes it can be hard to disconnect from work especially when you just had a very intense day with many meetings and tasks. This can cause anxiety and stress in order to catch up on everything the next day. A good way to feel more confident and prepared is to organize and write down your thoughts, ideas, and follow-up tasks at the moment. This way you will save up time the next day and be able to properly leave work at work and enjoy the present

  • Don’t be afraid to unplug

Using time more efficiently also means knowing when to stop and take a break. This should not only be a habit you make in your daily life but something you actually schedule. It should be encouraged by companies and colleagues! Regular breaks will allow you to recharge and will give you the energy you need to perform your tasks successfully. 

  • Take some time off

Vacation time has finally arrived and you feel that this will be the time to recharge all energies and really switch off. It sounds both obvious and easy, but it’s not. And it shouldn’t be the only time to do it. As you noticed in the previous tips, there are many ways to do this during work time. It needs to be clear to your team that you will be completely absent but, above all, it should be clear to you as well. Don’t peek at your email, don’t wake up to see if you have any notifications. Relax, recharge, and refocus

In short

Before you can improve things, you have to realize the problems

Over time you will easily gain control over your life and make the right choices and habits for your personal well-being. It’s not just up to your company, it’s up to you. Before instructions are the will and the motivation, and you have to want it.

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