A Healthy Work Life Balance

shutterstock_329341901The importance of achieving a healthy work life balance

In today’s world, being busy is inevitable. Between raising a family, working 9-5, entrepreneurship, school, homework, housework, senior citizen care, hobbies and socializing, it seems we strive to do all and be all we can be for everyone around us. We hardly ever make time for ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I get the answer (and I’m guilty of this as well), “Doing good; just busy,” when I ask, “How are you today?”

Our lives are filled with so much noise--from the expectations and demands placed on us, the constant buzzing of our cell phones and the constant struggle of prioritizing your work and personal life. It’s not easy. It’s something we have to work at daily. It’s an ongoing journey.

Studies show that a poor work/life balance can result in unhealthy levels of stress, unhappiness, reduced productivity, fatigue, anxiety, poor health, lost time with friends or loved ones, depression and increased, unrealistic expectations. As long as you’re working, juggling the demands between career and personal life will always be a struggle. How can you win the battle, though?

Some people get confused and think that you can reach a healthy work/life balance by maintaining an equal balance between all of the activities you do in life. In reality, trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. In fact, work/life balance is a concept that includes proper prioritization between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).

You can make work/life balance a reality. You can beat burnout and make more time for the activities and people that matter most to you. Some key points to make it happen include to:

  1. Put family first. Be present in your family’s lives.
  2. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
  3. Set priorities. Identify the top five things you would like to focus on.
  4. Focus on one thing at a time vs. multi-tasking.
  5. Schedule one thing that you look forward to each day.
  6. Set boundaries. Learn to say, “No!”
  7. Take care of yourself.
  8. Evaluate your work/life balance on a regular basis.

We want it all, hence the phrase “having your cake and eating it, too.” However, we don’t have to damage ourselves to get the cake and eat it, too. In today's world, there are a plethora of "work from home" alternatives and entrepreneurial pursuits. Most employers are more accepting of employees who want more of a work/life balance.