Second Story Blog

Finding Work-Life Balance

It’s refreshing to have a clean slate, isn’t it? Many of us relish the chance to reset our priorities, goals and primary focus in our life. Doing so renews our energy, keeping us excited about the future rather than bogged down by distractions and frustrations.

It’s the start of a new year, and with it you may have some resolutions you want to achieve in the coming months. Maybe you’re hoping to eat healthier, work less, travel more or spend more time with your family. Whatever it is, we have a feeling it has to do with one word: balance.

In particular, work-life balance can be one of the hardest things when it comes to managing the everyday that makes up your life. We know the struggle, which is why we want to offer some ways you can make 2019 a year that has more laughs, less stress and more time doing what matters most to you.

Choose what sparks joy. What brings the most joy in your life? Those activities will help you not only develop your priorities, but also make decisions that line up with them. Say yes to what inspires joy and no to everything else — it may seem like you’re saying no far more than yes, but you’ll be focusing on what truly matters, and you’ll feel less frazzled as a result.

Set boundaries. If you want to be more available to your family, for example, commit yourself to leaving the office right at 5 p.m. or limit your time on Facebook to 15 minutes a day. Establish boundaries for yourself that are built into your schedule so that, over time, actually living out your priorities comes naturally.

Get adequate rest. In a society that tends to praise those who can manage a busy schedule on little sleep, rest is often undervalued. Your body was designed to need rest so it can reset and function at its best throughout the day. Arriving at the office exhausted can lead to a groggy day, making productivity difficult at the very least.

Maximize time at the office. Being well rested and also committed to your family and friends can motivate you to maximize your time at work. The more you keep your work during work time, the more present you can be when you’re off the clock (no emailing at the dinner table, please).

Get your body moving. Similar to rest, our bodies were made to move. We function so much better when we regularly exercise our bodies, whether that’s formal exercise like taking a fitness class or less formal movement like taking your dogs for a daily walk. Doing so clears your head, reduces your risk of disease and provides a host of other benefits. Plus, it just makes you feel good.

Simplify. Stress has an enormous impact on our health and happiness, and it can be caused by many different things. One of these is clutter — both mental and physical. Are you committed to too many things throughout the week? Are you trying to focus on too many goals? Does your home have so much stuff that it’s hard to recharge and find calm? Simplify by cutting out what doesn’t propel you toward the future you want to have.

Be realistic. Whatever your goals are at work and at home, remember to cut yourself some slack. Perfection is impossible, and you are human, after all. We all are. Start small and recognize the individual steps you’re taking. Celebrate your successes as they continue to build.

Just remember that when it comes to managing your work and life, you’re not alone in feeling the difficulty. Both are important, and striking that balance between the two will become easier as you practice it purposefully.