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How do you attain a work-life balance?


17 June 2022 at 4:22 pm
Wendy Williams
A good work-life balance means you have harmony between the different aspects of your life. But while there are obvious benefits to achieving this, in practice it can be hard to put in place.


Wendy Williams | 17 June 2022 at 4:22 pm


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How do you attain a work-life balance?
17 June 2022 at 4:22 pm

A good work-life balance means you have harmony between the different aspects of your life. But while there are obvious benefits to achieving this, in practice it can be hard to put in place.

If you have been feeling more stressed in the past few years, you are not alone.

Studies show that in 2020, the world’s workers reached an all-time high for experiencing stress during a lot of the previous day. In 2021, this percentage went even higher. 

In this context, it is perhaps no surprise that movements to attain “work-life balance”, implement four-day workweeks and expand remote work are now everywhere.

Striking a balance comes with numerous benefits, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being – all of which not only benefits employees but employers, too. 

But while balance is essential, as Gallup CEO Jon Clifton writes in the intro to this year’s State of the Global Workplace report, it implies a work/life separation. 

“Emotionally compartmentalising work, or anything in life, is hard. Even if your boss can’t call or email you after 5 p.m., you probably haven’t recovered from the berating he gave you earlier in the day,” Clifton says. 

“It’s almost impossible to leave that kind of emotional baggage at work. In a Gallup study in Germany, 51 per cent of actively disengaged workers said job stress caused them to behave poorly with loved ones.”

Clifton goes on to say that a key solution is better leaders in the workplace. This makes a lot of sense. But for those of us who can’t change their managers, what can you do about it?

The first thing to do is to accept that there is no perfect work-life balance. Don’t try to implement the perfect schedule, be realistic. There will be some days where you might need to focus more on your work, on other days you might have more time for your loved ones or favourite hobbies. The key is not to have a balance every day, but over time.

Secondly, know your values. Spend time thinking about what is important to you in life, and make time for the things that you care about.

Thirdly, learn how to say “no”. It is important to set boundaries and be proactive in setting time aside for other activities. Perhaps set specific work hours, switch off your phone if you are able to do so, or limit your access to work emails. You could even try going internet-free for a few hours. 

Practice time management. There are now numerous apps available to help you track your time, and calendars and to-do lists can also be useful strategies to help you prioritise and cut down on time wastage.

Find a job you love. We’ve all heard the saying: “Find a job that you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work again in your life.” While this is not exactly true, and every job comes with its own unique challenges – if you really hate your job, it can make life impossible. You should consider changing.

Lastly, don’t forget to focus on your health. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, only drinking alcohol in moderation and getting regular exercise, all of which help to reduce stress. 


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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