Most young professionals have a hard time living their lives because they are busy finishing tasks for their careers. The issue here is drawing the line between work and life balance. But what is it in the first place?

The work-life balance means that you can successfully finish all your tasks while having time to spend on hobbies and other activities in your life. As such, working too much can burn you out and leave no time for you to breathe in fun things. Meanwhile, shirking your responsibilities will prevent you from enjoying the things you like.

If you are looking for help in achieving a realistic work and life balance, then this article is for you. Continue reading the following sections to find out more about it.

  1. List the things that give you joy outside of work

You should know the things that make you happy in life because these are things you should always look forward to. Without them, it would be harder for you to have motivation in life. Additionally, your joys in life will serve as your driving force to finish your work for the day!

To get started, think about what makes you happy. This could be anything that comes to your mind:

  • A person
  • Your pet
  • A friend
  • A TV show
  • A special memory
  • A place you want to visit
  • A hobby that you love
  • A dish that you have been wanting to taste
  • A bag that you have been eyeing.

The list goes on! Once you are finished with yours, keep this close to you at all times so you can look at it whenever you feel demotivated.

  1. Always list your tasks at the beginning of work

Sometimes, you can get caught up in a sea of deadlines you have to meet for the day. This can be overwhelming, which can affect your productivity due to anxiety. A tip to combat this is for you to list all the tasks you need to do for the day. Once you finish writing all of them, you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders because you are taking a step toward facing your deliverables.

Aside from that, it is possible to have a few tasks yet these are the ones that are hard to accomplish. If that is the case, one thing you should do is break all tasks into smaller versions. While this may seem a lot on your plate, it will be easy for you to take things one at a time.

Doing this can lighten your load in some way, and it will also ease your mind into the zone of focus. As a result, you now have the power of breezing through your work!

  1. When at work, take some time to relax and unwind

Always remember that you are free to take breaks while working! This can prevent you from having frequent burnouts because you are giving your mind to rest. Moreover, going on a break is a good way to collect all your energy and ideas and transform them into outputs for your deliverables.

Break times vary per person, so it is best to do what makes you happy during your downtime. This can be anything, but here is a list of examples that can give you an idea:

  • Take a nap
  • Have a cigarette
  • Stretch
  • Walk around the block
  • Eat some snacks
  • Use your phone for entertainment
  • Chat with your non-busy co-workers
  • Daydream
  • Touch up your makeup
  • Hydrate yourself
  • Read a chapter from the book you are reading
  • Listen to music
  • Listen to your favourite podcast
  • Write down your thoughts and emotions, regardless of their randomness
  • Express gratitude for the things you are grateful for
  • Brew a cup of coffee or tea.

It is completely up to you how long your break times should be. The important thing is to remove your mind from work and take your time in recovering all that lost energy.

  1. Say ‘no’ and let your mind rest in peace

One of the problems of professionals is the difficulty of saying ‘no’. This is because it is believed that the act of declining people can come off as rude or offending. That is why people would instead say yes even though they do not want to.

With that being said, you should learn and practise to say ‘no’ courteously to avoid offending people. So, here are some tips to help you:

  • Avoid beating around the bush because there are people who would appreciate it when you say no directly. 
  • Avoid offering explanations to your decline because they will try to find loopholes in it and provide resolutions just to make you say yes.
  • Say ‘no’ then offer an alternative so that the problem will be solved.
  • Cushion your decline with kindness. It can go something like ‘Thanks for offering, but I’m afraid I have to say no this time.’

By saying ‘no’, you are protecting your peace of mind from any trouble that can arise in the future. At the same time, you are giving more time to yourself to rest, especially when someone is asking if they can add more work to your load.

  1. Determine your boundaries and communicate them

Everyone has their limits and boundaries, and it is important to respect all of them. These are what sets you apart from other people, and it is a safe space for you to protect your mental and emotional state. Moreover, boundaries take good care of you because it knows your needs, wants and other things that keep you sane.

With that being said, you should determine your boundaries now so that you can protect yourself. Here are some ways how you can set your limits:

  • Ask yourself your rights. What do you think is right for you?
  • List down your needs and wants
  • Always follow your gut no matter the situation
  • Ask yourself what will be the repercussions if your boundaries are violated. This will make you realise their importance.

Once you know your boundaries, you should always communicate them with people from work and to your loved ones. This will let them know your limits and how they can work around them without disrespecting your mental and emotional well-being.

  1. As much as possible, use all vacation leaves

Taking a vacation is your right, and it is a must not a luxury. That is why you should use them as much as you can, depending on the number of leaves you are allowed to take. During your vacation leaves, this is the perfect time to spend on things you have been wanting to try for a while. You can take a hike, a dancing class or do anything that makes you happy. Above all, you are also allowed to do nothing and just rest during those days.

  1. Invest in yourself

Another way to achieve a great work-life balance is the act of investing in yourself. With this method, you are putting yourself first and giving importance to what truly makes you happy. Here are some examples of how you can invest in yourself:

  • Prioritizing your health by working out and subscribing to a gym membership
  • Write your thoughts, emotions and reflections in a journal so that you can better process them.
  • Declutter your house or room so that you can remove anything unnecessary
  • Treat yourself responsibly (in terms of finances)
  • Grow your savings by setting aside money now and then
  • Learning how to invest in the stock market
  • Set realistic and doable goals
  • Increase your knowledge by reading more books
  • Find a creative outlet
  • Try something new
  • Acquire a new skill.

Doing these during your free time can make things more interesting because it is something to look forward to. Aside from that, you are improving yourself each day!

  1. Only take overtime from work when necessary

Working longer hours can easily burn you out in the long run. While you may be adding a bit of money to your income, the price you have to pay is energy loss and mental health decline. That is why you should only take overtime when it is necessary. This means that you should extend your work hours when a deliverable needs to be done by the end of the day. Other than that, save your time for yourself and rest at home.

  1. Seek help from a therapist

There is no shame in asking for help from a therapist because these are people who are open to unravelling your thoughts with you. At the same time, they can give you a lot of recommendations on how to achieve a good work-life balance. Additionally, your mental health improves since you learn how to condition your mind to be mindful! 

Balance is the key to harmony, and it will help keep things working right for you.