person being pulled in two directions by family and boss

11 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

For most of us, work is an essential part of life. It puts a roof over our heads and food on our tables. But it shouldn’t be our whole life. Work-life balance is about spending time at work and on your life without one taking over. No matter how much time and energy you spend at work, it’s essential to spend time with your friends and family and doing hobbies to stay physically and mentally healthy. This balance is different for everyone, so it probably won’t be a 50/50 mix of work and life. Keep reading to learn 11 tips for creating a better balance for yourself.

1. Go home on time

When you work for a small business, you have a lot to juggle and often take on multiple roles during a single day. So, it’s easy to work late, but that can quickly cause you to burn out. There will be times you have to stay late but try to leave work on time as often as possible. If you have a hard time following through, tell your coworkers what time you’re heading out for the day so they can help you stick to your schedule.

Read also: 8 Tips for Preventing Burnout in Your Small Business

2. Schedule blocks of time

When you’re planning your week, decide what your most important tasks are. Then, schedule blocks of uninterrupted time to work on those. Make it clear to your coworkers that you shouldn’t be bothered during those times. You might even consider turning off your notifications so you can give each task your undivided attention. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can knock your priorities out.

3. Schedule your downtime

Just like you schedule meetings, put downtime on your calendar. This will give you time to recharge and will be something to look forward to.

Read also: 11 Ways to De-Stress After Work

4. Take vacations

It might be challenging to take time off work, but vacations are good for your mental health. They give you a chance to recharge, so you’ll come back refreshed and with new solutions to old problems. If you can’t commit to taking a full week off work, take a day off occasionally. Even just one day to relax can give you a whole new perspective and allow you to focus on life outside work.

Read also: 7 Reasons You Should Take a Vacation

5. Be open about your needs

Be honest with yourself about what you need to better balance work and life. Maybe you need to leave work early once a week to have dinner with your family or friends. Or, you might need to come in a few minutes late occasionally to take your kids to school.

After you’re honest with yourself, be open with your boss. Tell them what you need to be the most productive at work. They might not always be able to accommodate you, but you won’t know until you ask.

6. Set boundaries

Set limits about when and where you’ll work. Maybe you won’t even look at your email between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. Or, perhaps you won’t answer any work-related calls after 8 p.m. Whatever your boundaries are, share them with your coworkers and stick to them.

7. Follow your passions

Take time to focus on whatever you’re passionate about – cooking, hiking, spending time with friends, etc. By taking time every week to follow your passions, you’ll be happier in life, which will make you happier at work.

8. Be flexible

Some days, you’ll have to focus more on work, while other days will be more about your life outside of work. Be flexible and try to be focused on what you’re doing at that moment. If you’re at work, focus on work; if you’re with your family, focus on your family.

9. Try to overlap things

You can’t always fit everything into your day or week, so try to overlap events. For example, if you want to spend time with a friend, but you also have errands to run, ask them to run those errands with you.

10. Say, “no”

Just because you have a night free doesn’t mean you have to say “yes” when someone asks you to do something. It’s okay to say “no” because you need time to yourself.

11. Forgive your mistakes

If you try to be perfect at everything you do, you’ll get burned out and exhausted. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on.

Read also: Five Steps to a Healthy Work-Life Balance