Work Life Balance: How Do You Achieve It?

Having a work life balance is your best bet to ensure happiness at work and at home.

Certainly, there is plenty of research that suggest that companies expect more work from fewer employees especially after the large layoffs and downsizings that have occurred over the past few years in many companies and industries.

You've probably heard the old adage that money can't buy happiness but not having money certainly doesn't buy happiness either. Your job obviously provides you with income but no job is worth throwing away your personal life for.

At the end of the day, if your job requires you to work long hours and/or weekends that disrupt your personal life, you might either need to figure out how to get the proper work life balance or decide if this is the right job for you.

Here are some suggestions to help you get the proper work life balance:
  1. Improve your time management. Do you waste time at work that could otherwise be spent on productive tasks? If you spend 20 minutes per day in the smoking area, 20 minutes talking sports with colleagues and 20 minutes making personal phone calls, there is 1 hour you have wasted. Don't procrastinate. Look for ways to improve your time management and organizational skills.
  2. Ensure you are doing everything you can to remedy the situation yourself. Do you take work home with you even though you don't need to? Is everything at work a crisis to you? If your manager seems to be less stressed about work than you are, then something is wrong. We sometimes have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills and make things bigger than they actually are. Not everything is a crisis and not everything needs to be treated as being critically important. Learn how to distinguish between tasks that need to be done now and things that just need to be done at some point and don't require you to drop everything else.
  3. Speak with your manager regarding your situation and possible remedies. A good manager will understand the need for a work life balance and will help you achieve it. Is there the option for you to work from home one or more days per week? Do you require an additional staff member to help you with your workload? Could some of the work you are doing be done by other staff members? Write down options that you and your boss can consider and discuss them together to figure out how to move forward.
  4. Change jobs. Some companies work their employees harder than others, that's a reality. Before looking for a new job, ensure you have done everything you can to achieve a work life balance and that your inability to achieve it is not your fault. It would be a disaster to switch jobs and then find out you face the same (or a bigger) problem with a new employer.
  5. Change careers. Certainly this is drastic but some careers/industries are known to demand more from employees than others. In some cases even if you have done everything you can to achieve a work life balance, your career might simply prevent if from happening. I know some people who have changed careers and taken less money and responsibilities but are happier for it. Your priorities might determine whether or not this is as option.
The balance between work and life can be a tenuous one but your long-term happiness and health depends on it. No job is worth ignoring your personal life for.

Before achieving a work life balance, you need to take stock of your life and see what you can do to make things better.

Look for ways to improve your time management and organizational skills and don't procrastinate.

Don't make things more difficult than they need to be.

Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.

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