Achieve work-life balance

How to stay productive without losing your cool

By Erica Pierce

 

You know what they say: “Work hard, play hard.” What happens when you can’t quite manage to intertwine the two? Finding work-life balance can sometimes prove to be easier said than done. According to recent studies, the typical workday now lasts much longer than in previous years. This doesn’t always prove to be beneficial or helpful in maintaining a sense of normalcy. Not to mention, the stress harbored from work or home can play a huge role in your overall health, happiness and wealth. It’s crucial to create the narrative that works best for you. At the end of the day, balance is certainly achievable and obtainable. Here are a few much-needed pointers to help you along the way:

Set goals

Think about how you feel reaching your desired weight after those lengthy and exhausting weeks of working out and eating right. You feel a sense of accomplishment, right? Sure you do! Apply this same scenario to the workplace. When you set work goals and complete them, you’re overcome with relief and pride as you check each task off of your office to-do-list.

Prioritize

Prioritizing is simply a way of ranking the importance of one task to the next. This can prove to be difficult for some when determining what is or isn’t considered to be “important.” Ryan Karim, president of the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition, sees prioritization as a common solution for many families. “I see it often. The thing is, what one may consider to be a top priority, another may not. What works for one family may cause chaos within another.” It is crucial to understand that priorities are necessary for both home and the workplace. Loretta Penn, former president of Spherion Staffing Services, takes it a step further: “You don’t have to respond to every email or voicemail as soon as it comes in. Just because someone else deems something a priority doesn’t mean you should, too.”

Do away with distractions

While trying to balance both work and your personal life, it’s critical to know and understand when to let go of unnecessary distractions. Those 30 minutes spent engaging in “water cooler” convo with your co-worker could have easily been put toward something more productive. In the case of your family, you’re attending your child’s extra-curricular event, but you missed an important highlight because your glazed eyes are fixed on the latest social media craze. When you remove the distractions, you allow yourself more time to spend toward work productivity and/or your household affairs.

It’s OK to say no

When you’re trying to balance your personal and professional life, there are times when you simply can’t take on every task thrown your way. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable saying that two-letter n-word. Say it! Yell it from the kitchen to the office stairwell! It is perfectly acceptable and understandable to politely decline. Learning when to say no can play an integral part in both living and working stress-free.

Take time for you

There comes a point in life when you have to put yourself first. If you’re not healthy, you can’t be proactive or productive, so take care of yourself. Exercise, proper nutrition and rest go a long way, but so does taking a moment to “smell the roses” too! Enjoy a nice movie outing, hang out at your favorite coffee shop, or do whatever it is to center your chi. You only have one body to care for and one life to live. If you don’t put yourself first, who will? From making executive decisions in the workplace to juggling life as a working parent, it is essential to set aside time devoted to the overall wellness and well-being of you.

 

Having a positive work-life balance isn’t something that will come easily, nor will it come overnight, but it is certainly achievable. Cheers to less stress, more success and balance both at work and home.