How to Achieve an Optimal Work-Life Balance

Brad Robinson
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Optimal Work-Life Balance

What Happens When You Have It?

If you are at work and feel like you're in a good mood, it means you have an optimal work-life balance. With a healthy work-life balance you will find yourself happy sometimes.

You can enjoy the fruits of your efforts at work and still have the energy and time to enjoy the fruits of your labors outside of work.

The key to maintaining an optimal work-life balance is holistic attitude that takes into account more than just work.

You need to consider a long-term strategy that incorporates mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Having an optimized work-life balance will lower your stress levels, reduce burnout, and improve your performance.

Optimizing your work-life balance will allow you to give 100% to your work without giving up your health or your life. Your efforts will be rewarded with better work, better life, and you will feel exceptional.

Draw the Lines

It’s something we can’t help but think about daily. That moment when you say to yourself “I’m sitting at my desk and it’s 6:00 but I’ve hardly accomplished anything.”

You do have a job to do, and someone is paying you to do it.

But is it really the only thing that you do?

And don’t we all have our own lives to live and love?

We exist in a 24/7 world where it’s rare to have any downtime. And when we do, we’re likely to spend it playing around on our phones, watch TV, or pick up a hobby.

What about carving out a little time to address these essential and important aspects of life.

One of my favorite quotes from the bestselling book, Eat That Frog, read, “If you live to work, you’re likely to die from overwork.”

Reward/Punishment System

I am a big fan of reward systems. I actually think that everyone should have a reward system in their life.

The reward can be anything that you like, but the most important thing is to make sure that it’s attainable. Easy to reach rewards tend to stick.

At a stretch you should be rewarding yourself once a week if you’re sticking to your routine. But a smaller reward should be given at least once every 3 days. It really depends on you and how consistent you can be.

So have a quick think about how you can reward yourself for getting your “life routine” done for the day. It should give you a good pat on the back for the efforts you are putting in.

The trick is to pick something that you really like and that makes you smile. Like I said earlier, don’t pick too big a reward from the start or else you won’t get motivated. If you pick something small and cute enough, it will make you a happy and content person overall.

Now let us get down to the nitty-gritty and discuss some of the things you can do to make your reward system effective.

Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro technique is one of the most popular time management methods in the time management community. Rather than standard sense optimisation methods, it focuses on improving the quality of your productivity through managing the way you spend time.

The main idea of the Pomodoro technique is having a 25-minute work sprint, followed by a 5-minute break and afterwards repeating this cycle.

The idea is that if you can focus on one task for 25 minutes, you can do anything for 25 minutes, and subsequently with many tasks.

The reason for taking 5 minute breaks is that it gives your mind a chance to return to its initial state which is necessary before you start again. The Pomodoro technique is built around this kind of focusing and relaxing cycle.

By focusing on one task for 25 minutes and having a 5 minute break, you can work 8 hours in a day without feeling exhausted at all.

But if you just sit in front of your desk for 8 hours working on every task that comes your way, you’ll get a lot of stuff done, but you will not experience a fulfilling day.

For people who use the Pomodoro technique, even if they have a fully packed schedule, they can make sure that by the end of the day, they’ve spent the optimal time on the right things.

Proper Diet & Lifestyle

A hectic lifestyle is not just the result of a high-pressured job. In order to achieve a good balance, you must take care to identify and set up a routine that works best for you.

If you know you are a stress-eater, try not to snack or skip meals when you are under pressure. Instead, go for a walk to clear your head or chat to a friend about something else.

Steer clear of refined sugar and try to make your snack healthy. Fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and popcorn make up for a great mid-day snack.

A high sugar treat is not necessarily a bad thing if you can limit yourself to that one time out of the day.

Establish a sleep routine and stick to it. Catch up with your favorite TV show before bed and have a cup of warm milk before sleeping. These habits will ensure that you wake up refreshed and are ready to take on the world.

A good night’s sleep is often all you need to feel fresh. It’s the time when your muscles and body get the time they need to repair any damage and be ready for more the day.

9-to-5 Alternatives

Living a balanced life is hard to come by nowadays since a stressful and stagnant work-life can bring various negative impacts on your mental and physical health.

Try these tips and you’ll be on your way to having a healthier and happier life.

Unplug; Take a Break!

Unplugging from the social medias will help you eliminate distractions, have higher productivity, avoid unnecessary tasks, and much more. It will also help you rest, relax, and savor the moments of your life.

Eliminate the Habbits

What we do every day is literally what a habit becomes.

So make sure to identify what are your hhabits and do things that will make you healthier.

You can eliminate a habit by monitoring your habits and continue to focus on your optimal health.

Trigger Your Inner Creativity

If you go on a run or walk, its a perfect time to trigger your creative juices by visualizing in your head the solutions to your problems.

Imagine how you can improve your current situation.

Doing so will help you get away from your problems for a while and give your brain the time to process things.

Rock the Music

Turn on your favorite tunes and move your body. Get your groove on.

Music is a great mood and energy booster.

Ask for Help

Having family and friends support you during your time of grieving is very necessary.

They know you the best and will be able to help you carry out tasks that they know you enjoy. They will provide a shoulder to lean on when you are feeling alone in your sorrow.

Talk to them first before attempting to complete the tasks they might volunteer for. As with many things, a little assistance from your loved ones can go a long way.

Be sensitive to their loved ones’ time. Yes, you have lost your loved one, but they may have other loved ones who have lost a loved one as well. So be sweet.

Share your advice and support with them and just as they supported you, you can do the same.

Don’t try to cover all the tasks at once. In doing so, you might not perform them as well as you would have if you had taken your time with them.

Take breaks when you need to. Don’t push yourself too hard. You’re going through a tough time and chances are that you’re emotionally exhausted.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You know your job better than anyone and others might have some suggestions to help you overcome it.

It might be frustrating to know that your productivity probably decreased during that time, but that’s life.

Other Work-Life Hacks That Might Work

Here are some other ways you can achieve and maintain an optimal work-life balance:

Stay Healthy to Perform at Your Best

People are more likely to be productive when they are healthy. Many times people fail to see their tiredness as a symptom until after they have crashed once or twice.

Create a Daily Routine

The pitter-patter of a morning routine is almost magical. Forcing yourself out of bed and doing the same things each morning will not only prevent you from putting in a sub-par performance at work but will also improve your happiness levels throughout the day.

Work Out More and Eat Better

Healthy food and exercise are closely tied to performance levels so push yourself to make changes. You don’t have to start off as a gym monster or join a marathon’s training team.

Monster fitness is a natural consequence of sustained, incremental work.

Schedule Health Time

Always give priority to health over work. Schedule time during the week, preferably on a day dedicated to health.

Having a day where you work on your health has benefits that directly relate to the kind of lifestyle that you want to live.

Separate Professional Time and Personal Time

Finding New Work

Time is one of those things in life that you can never create more of. Each of us is given a set amount and we need to make the most of it.

Life also involves stressful situations in general, and we try to find moments of peace and relaxation to cope with it. We get our bodies into work, but when it’s time to relax, it’s also hard to find the time for it because we have work and other commitments to keep us busy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 75% of all people in the world have a lack of leisure time, and this is where work-life balance comes into play. It is the understanding that work is not the only thing you can do in your life.

Knowing the importance and value of work-life balance can give you the opportunity at times to step back and try to find time for meeting personal needs and rest.

Priorities change in life, and work-life balance is the most important thing during these changes.