Managing your professional and personal life is like riding a bicycle. You must always maintain your balance and keep moving forward, because if you don’t, you’ll fall and hurt yourself. According to a recent study by the American Sociological Review, 70% of American workers struggle with finding a work-life system that works for them. Technological advancements, as much as they have increased convenience and efficiency, have made us accessible around the clock, squeezing out time free from professional obligations.
Despite our fast-paced work environments, there are those who manage to live meaningfully outside of work. The following are some of the habits they share:
Make choices and plan accordingly
Instead of being sucked into the whirlpools of the daily grind, people who achieve work life balance make deliberate choices about their goals in life and make strategic plans to achieve those goals. They work together with the people who are important to them to devise a realistic and obtainable road map, and commit to following their path.
Evaluate and communicate
People who are good at staying on track constantly evaluate their methods – what’s working and what’s not. They also make conscious efforts to communicate their progress with the people who are important to them and embrace necessary changes in order to reach their long-term goals. While life is unpredictable, routine monitoring and self-assessments reduce the likelihood of ending up in a place they didn’t want to be due to passiveness.
Set aside time for important people and interests
People who manage work-life balance efficiently prioritize and carve out times dedicated to personal relationships and interests. They also diligently guard this time by resisting intrusions and distractions. While emergencies happen and situations come up at work that may need their attention outside of their set schedules, they understand these should not be regular occurrences.
Define personal success
People who manage work-life balance maintain a keen sense of their values and use this as a guideline to help them determine what success means to them. They know what makes them happy and strive to make as much time for those activities as possible, whether it’s family or professional development. Therefore, the right balance is highly personal and varies greatly between individuals.
Cultivate strong support networks
People who have achieved good balance have established reliable support networks that they can depend on during difficult times and emergencies. They build their support groups by extending themselves to help out others in their family and communities. They connect with new people based on having a variety of interests and are always open to new opportunities. They want to experience life to the fullest and understand the importance of teamwork in achieving their personal and professional goals.
If you know what you want out of life, commit to a reasonable and achievable timeline, regularly evaluate your progress, unapologetically guard your priorities, invest in your support networks, and make conscious efforts to communicate with the people in your life. These simple habits make it realistic to achieve a work-life balance that works for you.
What habits have helped you obtain an optimal work-life balance? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.