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4 Simple Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

work-life balanceWe all want to make more money and succeed in our careers – but at what cost? If you make a lot of money but spend all of your time working, what good is the money? It is crucial that you are able to strike an appropriate work-life balance in order to succeed in your career but also enjoy your life away from the office.

It can certainly be a challenge to succeed in this effort, but it is worth your time to try and get it right. I know it has been a challenge for me way too often though it’s a battle worth fighting. If you’re wanting or needing a better work-life balance, hopefully some of these tips will help towards your effort.

#1 – Put Work Away

It isn’t healthy, or productive, to feel like you are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Instead, you need to have some time when you put work away and just focus on other things that you enjoy. This has become more difficult with the advancement of cell phones, but it is still possible.

Put your phone away at certain times and commit yourself to not checking email for a period of time. As long as your work is in order, it will still be there for you when you get back.

#2 – Keep Up with Your Hobbies

As people move further into adulthood, they have a bad habit of getting away from their hobbies and simply focusing all of their energy on their responsibilities.

Don’t fall into this trap.

Keep up with the things that you enjoy doing, and make sure you dedicate enough time to them on a regular basis. Whether it is golf, running, music, camping, hiking, or any other interest, make it a regular part of your life to provide yourself with an outlet from work. Not only will you find that it actually helps you manage your time better, but it also can help you stay healthy as well.

#3 – Prioritizing is Key to a Better Work-Life Balance

Most people are busy, but you can always make time for the things that are important in your life. If you have a family and want to spend time with them, keep that priority high on your list and don’t let work overrun it too often. You may have to make sacrifices for your job from time to time, but make sure that your boss and co-workers understand that you have priorities away from the office as well.

I have found that listing my priorities and taking time off actually helps me be more productive business-wise. It means I’m spending less time working but I know what I need to work on and what can be left til later so I can focus on spending time with my family.

#4 – Plan Your Career Path

Some careers are simply better suited for a good work-life balance than others. If you are just getting started in your career, or even if you have been working for a long time, it is important to pay attention to your own career path and try to steer it in a direction that will give you the kind of balance you are looking for.

Talk to other people in your field to get an idea of what various positions are like, and then work your way into one that sounds desirable to you. It might require some time to research, but is well worth the effort in the long run.

 

What are some of the things you struggle with in trying to reach a better work-life balance? How do you prioritize tasks to ensure time for yourself? What is one hobby you’d like to take up but haven’t given yourself the time to do so?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Kool Cats

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

12 comments

  1. Try to compartmentalize too. Don’t bring work problems at home and don’t bring family problems at work.

  2. The toughest thing is always being connected. In the past, when you left work, you were done for the day. Now that you get work email on your phone, it’s easy to make it a (bad) habit of checking it all of the time. On top of that, some employers expect you to be on call 24/7. We live in a world now where nothing is able to wait.

    When I go on vacation, I make it a point to put my phone in airplane mode. It’s tough the first day or so because I want to check emails, but eventually the need wears off.

    • I know what you’re meaning Jon. Technology can be a great thing, but it makes it very easy for us to be reachable at any point in the day. I’ll commonly give my wife my phone when on vacation to purposely remove it from my thoughts.

  3. Putting work away is important. You need time to recharge and you can’t do that if you’re constantly plugged in. Sometimes you just need to turn off your phone and computer and focus on relaxing and having fun.

  4. I never feel like I have a good grasp on work-life balance but the last year or so, I have made a concerted effort to commit to the different parts of my life when I can and give them quality when I can. For example, last week I took my son to Florida for his winter break. I got behind on my work; however, I know that work is going to get really busy in the next month and I wanted to make sure that I gave my son quality time where I could in advance of a busy work schedule.

    • Good for you Shannon! I’ve started to try and be more purposeful about prioritizing different things in my life. I don’t want to look back years from now and regret decisions I made to work more.

  5. I work online and blog, so my husband’s constantly nagging me to get off the computer. And to remember to actually take a lunch break. Drives him crazy.

    So now I turn off my computer when my workday ends. If I want to write a blog post, I’ll go ahead and turn it back on. But it keeps me from doing “just one more thing.”

    Granted, we still have an iPad that I’m constantly fiddling on, but one step at a time, right?

    • I’m the same way Abigail. Actually both my wife & I work from home so it can be a challenge at times. She is much better at disconnecting than I am. But, yes, one step at a time. 🙂

  6. Great tips John! I try to always take one evening completely “off” from work of all kinds. I go home from my day job and don’t look at my computer or smartphone at all. I just veg out and enjoy the night off. I also try not to do housework on my night “off” too. Then I try to take at least half of a weekend day off too.

  7. Although there is work put in when it comes to blogging, I consider it be a hobby and I enjoy doing it. Reading peoples’ blogs and comments helps keeps me going with my financial goals.

    I’m one of those people who actually needs to get out of the house in order to really unplug. I can relax at home for a bit, but most of the time I find myself only relaxing for an hour or two on the weekend, then I find something else to do.

    Nerdy as this seems, I actually wish I had more time to practice coding on Codecademy. 😛

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