How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Here’s how to develop and maintain the ideal work-life balance.

Self-employment provides opportunities to take on as many or as few projects as you want. But if you are working more than you are living, you’ll never be happy.

Work pays the bills, but it actually offers much more. In fact, work provides a sense of purpose, allows you to enhance your current skill set and build new skills, among other things. Yet you are much more than your work. If you lose sight of this, you risk putting your work above all else in your life — something that virtually guarantees disaster.

Ultimately, a healthy work-life balance is key for self-employables. Because if you become too entrenched in your work, your life will suffer. Plus, you risk burnout, depression, exhaustion and other long-lasting problems.

What Is a “Healthy” Work-Life Balance?

A healthy work-life balance means your work allows you to meet your personal demands, and your personal demands don’t interfere with your ability to optimize your work productivity, psychologist Joanie Connell told Business News Daily. It won’t necessarily result in a 50/50 time-split between work and life. Instead, if you maintain a healthy work-life balance, your work supports your life — not the other way around.

Work and life are frequently intertwined. When forced to choose between the two, the choice should be clear: life over work. However, for some self-employables, work consistently comes ahead of life.

Self-employables want to work. But in order to work to the best of their ability, self-employables need a happy, healthy life. That’s where a healthy work-life balance comes into play.

A healthy work-life balance is crucial to succeed in self-employment. Without it, you’re living to work. And if you’re solely focused on work, you’ll never scratch the surface of all that life has to offer.

Tips to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance can be difficult, particularly for self-employables who are looking to attract and retain as many clients as possible. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to achieve a healthy work-life balance, such as:

  • Establish daily goals. Create a daily to-do list, and number your list items based on priority. That way, you can focus on finishing the most important tasks first.
  • Account for breaks. Schedule breaks throughout the work day. Research indicates that taking a 15- or 20-minute break helps boost concentration and energy levels, resulting in increased productivity and reduced mental fatigue.
  • Open the lines of communication. Discuss work tasks and projects — and the stress associated with them — with clients and colleagues and brainstorm solutions to deliver the best-possible results.
  • Stay active. Make time for walking, jogging, working out and other physical activities that help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Change your work venue. Work at different venues as needed. For example, if noisy neighbors are making it tough to work in your home office, transition to a coffee shop or library.
  • Finish your work day at a set time. End your work day at a set time; ideally, you should try to finish your work around the same time each day so you can build a consistent work-life routine.
  • Practice self-care. Unplug from your laptop and other mobile devices at the end of the work day. Then, do something you enjoy on your own or with people you enjoy.
  • Get sufficient rest. Set up a comfortable, distraction-free sleep environment where you can get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Don’t forget to turn off all of your electronics before bedtime, too.

A healthy work-life balance is attainable, and how quickly you attain it is up to you. So, here’s my recommendation: make achieving a healthy work-life balance a priority. Work comes and goes, but you only get one chance to live life to the fullest extent. With a healthy work-life balance, you can live life with purpose and work to your full potential.

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