Achieving a balance between work and your personal life is a concept that is challenging and unique to each individual. For example, working from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. versus working shifts, or being an entrepreneur, a parent, or a caregiver brings different challenges! However, regardless of your reality, we all seek a healthy balance.
Balance can never be taken for granted. As I am sure you will have experienced, one day, I feel like everything is under control and the next day, I don't know what to think! Feeling overwhelmed, helpless, guilty and even incompetent sometimes becomes common in these states of imbalance. If this imbalance persists, health problems can result, such as sleep problems, anxiety, weakened immune system, etc.
The Conference Board of Canada survey of human resource managers in Canada shows that :
25% to 50% of all human resource problems in organizations were associated with work-life balance issues. These problems are manifested by absenteeism, demotivation, reduced productivity and overall poor performance. (LazzariDodeler and Tremblay, n.d.)
Reconciliation between work and private life is essential for our overall well-being and that of our loved ones. As you know, there is a variety of strategies to maintain balance but unfortunately, there is no magic formula. Above all, be attentive to your needs.
7 tips to regain balance
Here are 7 tips, based on my personal and professional experience, to help you regain your balance. First, take a deep breath before you start: Inhale-Exhale-Go! Happy reading!
1. Roles and Responsibilities
Take a step back to identify and observe your roles and responsibilities associated with the different spheres of your life. To be fully present and at your best in each of these roles, be sure to "put on the hat" that suits the situation. For example, when I spend time with my children, I do my best to change my "professional hat" to that of a parent. Conversely, personal concerns can interfere with my productivity at work. In this situation, I set aside a time during the day or week to deal with them and until then, I allow myself to forget about them. In short, visualizing one's different roles and responsibilities allows one to prepare mentally for the tasks at hand. Which brings me to the second tip...
2. Time Blocks
Assign blocks of time in your schedule for these different roles and responsibilities. If possible, you can schedule blocks of work at times when you usually feel most productive (morning, afternoon or evening). However, remember that you are human; it is normal for your mood or level of productivity to vary from day to day. Be flexible and adjust your schedule accordingly. Personally, this trick allows me to free my mind to focus on one task at a time. It also makes it easier for me to quit after work. For example, at the end of the day, I make a list of what I need to continue the next day to meet my deadlines or commitments. Then, I make the effort to stop thinking about it and take some time for myself.
3. To do list
Then, within these blocks, schedule your tasks (To do list). List what you have to do in relation to the tasks of the house (bills, taxes, groceries, daycare, etc.) and list those related to work (projects, follow-ups, business development, etc.). For more complex tasks, break them down into smaller steps. Then, assign a beginning and an end to each of these tasks to avoid procrastination.
Then prioritize! To help you, keep a diary with only one day per page. This allows you to focus on one day at a time (less overwhelming) and have more space to adjust the list according to the day's unexpected events. The important thing is to be realistic. You may be tempted to add more on your plate just in case you have time to do everything, but it's a trap! Instead, estimate the time needed for each of your tasks, including time for the unexpected and breaks. It's not the quantity of hours that counts, but the quality. Our society glorifies performance and productivity (glorification of busyness) a lot, but it's a myth. Find your satisfaction in a job well done and keep busy living a healthy life.
5. Breaks and Rewards
Plan for breaks and rewards. Usually, for every hour of concentration, we should take a break of at least 10 minutes to avoid mental fatigue. Feel free to get up