Work Smarter: 5 Steps to Better Work-Life Balance

Note: following is a guest post by Samantha Rodgers

Growing concerns over the failing economy lead to even greater focus on work over family life, and it’s occurring to the detriment of the work-life balance.

There’s an old adage that asserts that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jane a dull girl, but this only covers part of the problem. Overemphasis on work can lead to stress and this, in turn, can adversely affect your health, relationships and quality of life.

More than ever, it’s important to make an effort to balance your work with other areas of your life.

Here are 5 tips that will help you enjoy better work-life balance:

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  1. Don’t Take Your Work Home With You. Work-life balance is destroyed when the line between the two becomes blurred by bringing work home with you. If it’s not possible to finish your work on time, it’s actually better to stay at the office a little bit later once in a while than bring your work home. The important point is to ensure it doesn’t happen regularly.
  2. Use Vacation Time. Some people say they have too much work to do and can’t afford to take a vacation, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to. Physical rest, a mental break and time spent seeing other things and being with loved ones is beneficial to your overall well-being. Using your vacation time also allows you to return to work with renewed interest and an increase in morale.
  3. Schedule Leisure Activities for Yourself. If you find yourself planning to participate in leisure activities but always back out at the last minute, it’s wise to schedule them ahead of time. Good intentions often fall by the wayside due to tiredness and poor planning.  Sign up for a class pertaining to a hobby or join a club. Once you’ve made the commitment, the accountability will help you get there even when weekend laziness sets in.
  4. Plan Some Social Time. Long-term relationships can really suffer when too much emphasis is placed on work. If your partner and children are dealing with your fatigue and crankiness on a regular basis, tension and resentment are going to build. Relieve some of your stress and place value on your family by scheduling a weekly activity together. This could be something as simple as riding bikes together or going to see a movie.
  5. Take Care of Your Health. Sleep is often the first thing to be sacrificed to get more done during the day. Burning the candle at both ends is okay once in a while, but when it’s done regularly your health can be negatively affected. The same holds true for diet and exercise. A healthy diet and 150 minutes of exercise each week can help you maintain overall health and well-being. Incorporate your exercise into your leisure or family time to be more efficient with your time.

People often sacrifice leisure activities and even family time so they can be more productive at work. But achieving and maintaining a work-life balance actually helps you work smarter, rather than harder, so you can get more done in less time.

The rejuvenation and revitalization you feel after engaging in recreational activities or spending time with those you love will naturally spill over into your work life in the form of renewed enthusiasm and energy. It’s truly not necessary to sacrifice one area of your life for another; a healthy work-life balance helps all areas of your life work together, while increasing your personal fulfillment and happiness.

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Contributed by Samantha Rodgers, who is a freelance writer and work at home mum. She regularly blogs about money saving ideas and ways to work from home. She is also currently writing about the process of volunteering and joining a medical trials volunteer panel as a means to raise income. As a busy work at home mom she understands the importance of finding more balance in work and home life.