Balancing Life Between Your Career and Personal Happiness

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Balancing life between various competing responsibilities is a state you likely strive to achieve. Finding a healthy balance between your career and personal life can be challenging, even though there are many benefits. Having specific strategies to follow can help you improve this delicate balance between work and personal pursuits for increased happiness and personal satisfaction. In this article, we discuss the definition and benefits of work-life balance and eight tips you can implement to find the balance you seek.

What is balancing life with work?

Balancing life with work is the awareness and adjustment of priorities and focus between professional and personal responsibilities. Adjusting your time to balance the two areas helps to share your mental capacity to ensure an equal distribution of focus. While there is not always an equal 50/50 split of attention, you must find an allocation of time and energy that works best for you.

The benefits of work-life balance

Because we spend so much of our time at work, it's critical to balance our careers and personal lives. Several of the benefits to balancing your life include:

Enhanced happiness and personal satisfaction

When you balance your personal and work life, you enhance your overall happiness and personal satisfaction. Instead of your entire focus being on a specific area, you have more flexibility to pursue the most important things to you. For example, when you have a balanced life, you have time to invest in personal relationships, fulfilling hobbies, and improving your physical health. You also have an increased sense of happiness because you spread your focus over multiple areas instead of a singular focus.

Improved professional and personal relationships

Working to balance your career and personal life leads to improved professional and personal relationships. Spending all your time and attention on your work leads to less time with those you love, your family, and your friends. When you create a better balance in life, you can dedicate more quality time to improving your personal relationships. A ripple effect then happens. You feel more satisfaction in your personal life, leading to an increased sense of happiness and fulfillment. This leads to a better quality of life, increasing your joy in all areas, including your career.

Increased productivity

When you create balance in your life, you increase productivity and efficiency in all areas. Balancing your life allows for improved mental and physical health, healthy boundaries, and having the time and space to think and process information. This space can enable you to increase your productivity, focusing on what's in front of you with full attention instead of being distracted by other things.

Related: 18 People Skills for a Productive Work Environment

Tips for balancing your work and personal life

Here are several tips for balancing life with your career:

Accept there is no perfect balance

Often, individuals strive for the perfect balance between personal life and career achievement. Unfortunately, there is no one right way to balance your life. Accept that there is always going to be a fluctuation between work and life priorities, and you need to be flexible enough to make adjustments throughout your days, weeks, and months. There can be times when events are happening in your job take priority over your personal life. There can also be times when your personal life takes precedence over your career.

Accept that this balance is constantly shifting in your life, and you can achieve greater satisfaction instead of struggling against the change. Strive for a realistic balance instead of a perfect one. You also find that you achieve a balanced life over time and with constant awareness.

Let go of perfectionism

When you focus on balancing life, you need to let go of the need for perfectionism. Perfectionism is unsustainable in the long run and can cause career burnout and workplace stress. Instead of focusing on perfectionism, shift your attention toward completion and productivity. Most times, done is better than perfect. You can always go back and embellish that presentation or double-check that report before sending it . When you let go of perfectionism, you encourage space for creativity and flow, leading to better work quality and higher personal satisfaction.

Limit time-wasting activities

When balancing your life, one thing to do is to identify what's most important to you in your personal and professional life. Understanding your priorities and values in the various areas of your life provides a clear path to staying focused on what matters most. Once you identify your key priorities, you can focus on the tasks that move you closer to your goals. This allows you to minimize time-wasting activities that can easily refocus your attention on unimportant areas.

While it's essential to allow for time to rest and relax, you want to limit your time-wasting activities during periods of peak productivity and focus. Examples of time-wasting activities include mindlessly scrolling social media, engaging in office gossip, or inconsequential researching about specific topics that don't move your project forward. There are several strategies you can use to be aware of falling into these time traps. For example, you can use productivity software to track your work quality, turn off computer and cellphone notifications when focusing on a task, or setting a timer for a period of undisturbed work.

Log off your computer and unplug

If you want to create a better balance in your life, a critical key to success is learning to log off your computer and unplug. This is especially important if you work remotely or from home. It is easy to get caught up in the opportunity to work at all hours of the day, and while there are many benefits to the ease of accessibility, it also has several downsides.

Get into the habit of turning off your computer at the end of your workday. If this isn't possible, then set up your computer notifications to turn off from the end of your workday to the beginning of the next so that you have fewer work distractions during your personal time. In addition, consider unplugging from your cellphone and resist the temptation to check your emails while away from the office.

Related: Best Remote Working Tips To Encourage Productivity

Review your schedule

While working to create a better work-life balance, consider reviewing your current schedule. To achieve a more healthy balance, you may need to adjust your work and personal schedule. For example, if you have a significant project due at work, you may need to readjust your personal commitments short-term to accommodate more extended hours at work. Learning to be flexible with your schedule, adjusting to make the most of your time, and delegating to others can lead to a better work-life balance.

Communicate with your employer

There may be times when you need to talk with your manager or supervisor about your desire for a well-balanced life. Maintaining open communication with your employer can ensure that you have the support and tools necessary to meet your career and company objectives. Letting your manager know when you need extra personal time for a special event or additional support at work when you're feeling burnt out allows you to readjust your schedule for better balance.

Related: 7 Ways To Communicate Effectively (Plus Benefits and Tips)

Practice healthy stress management techniques

When you find an imbalance in your work and personal life, you may experience greater stress levels. To combat this increased pressure, it's crucial to practice healthy stress management techniques. It may be tempting to handle stress with easy and convenient strategies such as overeating fast food, binging on television shows, or indulging in after-work drinks with your colleagues. Instead, try to focus on healthy stress management techniques that improve your physical and mental health.

Some ideas include adding exercise to your daily routine, enjoying healthy whole food meals you prepare at home, or going to bed a little early to prepare for that morning meeting. Consider adding meditation and breathing exercises to your day, or adding in a light yoga routine. Going for a walk outside during your lunch hour is an easy way to decompress and revitalize yourself for an afternoon back at the office. In addition, consider the personal hobbies and activities that bring you joy, and make more time for these areas.

Related: Sunday Scaries: Causes And How To Manage Them

Find a job you love

Another tip for balancing your work and personal life is to find a job you love. When you are doing work that you enjoy, which brings you personal satisfaction, your stress level decreases, and your happiness improves. When you dislike your job, you are more likely to feel a sense of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Take some time to determine what kind of work makes you happy, providing you with a sense of purpose and service.

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