Achieving work-life balance is a goal to which most of us strive. But that “perfect” balance is different for everyone. While some people are comfortable and happy putting 12 hours of work in a day, others just can’t do it. It depends a lot on who you are and what stage you are in life. If you’re a young 20-something trying to get your foot in the door, working long hours might be necessary for you. However, if you’re older and have a family, you probably need more personal time outside of work. Work life balance can be difficult to manage, especially if you’re an entrepreneur and have your own business, and there’s no magic number for everyone. There are ways, though, for you to figure out the perfect work-life balance for you and work toward achieving it.
How Much Time Are You Really Comfortable Working?
The first step is to figure out how much time you really are comfortable working. Just because your job requires you to put in a lot of hours doesn’t mean you’re comfortable with it. If you have the time to put in more than 8 hours everyday, then that’s really your decision. A healthy work-life balance doesn’t mean that you have to spend equal amounts of time on work and on life. It just means that you have to find the right balance for you.
What are your priorities?
When you think about work-life balance, you also have to think about your priorities. What’s more important to you, work or personal time? Within each category, figure out the things that are important to you or truly add value. They may be projects or tasks at work that you like doing more than others. At home, you might want to spend more time with your kids or significant other. It’s important to understand what your priorities are. Otherwise, you’ll just be spending time on the wrong things.
What can changes can you actually make?
While it may seem like your work-life balance is out of your control, it really isn’t. For the most part, you can change it or at least attempt to make it somewhat better. If you’re unhappy with how much time you’re spending at work, figure out what you’re spending too much time on. Is your workload too much? Are you not getting the support you need? Talk to your manager about it. Many people are too afraid to speak up if they’re overworked but your manager with appreciate the open communication. If you own a business, you may want to think about how efficiently your time is being spent and if it would be better to hire some additional help.
Achieving the perfect work-life balance doesn’t happen overnight. But once you find it, you’ll be surprised by how much easier your life is to manage.