Originally published in the Bend Bulletin, January 21, 2024 edition
Having the right work-life balance is a key factor in fighting burnout, lowering stress levels, and maintaining strong relationships with friends and family. But sometimes this sense of equilibrium can feel elusive.
Making a Life is More Than Just Making a Living
Conflict between responsibilities at work and at home can create significant stress when family relationships and job performance suffer. But how can you harmonize your professional and personal lives?
One way to start is to have a range of fulfilling activities that create mental, spiritual, and physical energy—a balance of work, fitness, family, relationships, worship, community service, hobbies, rest, and recreation.
By holistically engaging multiple dimensions of your being, you can lead a more satisfying, well-rounded life that keeps life’s minor crises in perspective while developing your creative potential.
10 Strategies that Balance Family and Financial Security
- Learn where you’re using and losing time - Log everything you do for one week, including work-related and personal activities, and record the amount of time that each takes.
- Establish your priorities - Create a list of your personal and professional priorities. Compare your list with your time audit to understand if you spend enough time on the things that are important to you.
- Set goals - Turn your priorities into S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals so you can begin to achieve them.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule - Make time to achieve your goals by creating a daily plan of the tasks and activities you want to accomplish each day.
- Draw a line in the sand - Create realistic boundaries between your work and personal life, for example, avoid checking your work email in the evening.
- Be present - Be where you are, work at work and enjoy your personal life at home. Find ways to transition between the two—listen to a podcast, read a book, or enjoy a cup of tea.
- An apple a day - Take care of your body by watching your diet and exercising. If you are suffering physically, then your life at work and at home will be impacted.
- Nurture the relationships that nurture you - Some of our most fulfilling experiences are rooted in our relationships with others. To improve your work experience, prioritize your relationships.
- Me time - Find 30 minutes of uninterrupted “me time” for small pleasures every day. These can help you recharge and re-center your mind.
- Flex your work options - Take advantage of policies and programs at work that promote work-life balance like flexible hours or working from home.
When are work and family in equilibrium? You will know that you have balanced your life when your job helps you reach your personal goals, and your family experiences help you succeed professionally.
Finding the balance between family and work will mean different things to different people. But what is important is that your work-life balance works for you and your family.