What is work life balance?
The sweet spot between your personal and professional life. Being able to maintain a healthy relationship between your personal life and professional life.
I’ve had a hard time maintaining a healthy work life balance for as long as I can remember. I didn’t set clear boundaries when it came to staying later or taking work home. Even when I did, I didn’t always enforce it and bosses have found ways to make me do extra work or do work on my time (off the clock). I’ve done work during my (unpaid) breaks sometimes as a compromise, which isn’t fair or healthy for me. This has often left me feeling tired and burnt out.
How do you maintain healthy work-life balance?
- Don’t take work home. There should be enough time to do your work during your shift. If you start taking it home, then your bosses, higher ups and even your coworkers will expect you to do that every time. That puts you at risk of getting last minute tasks and so on. Pro Tip: Keep a google or digital calendar of sorts and mark down all your tasks on a weekly basis. If anyone tries to pile on more tasks, simply show them the calendar and ask them which of the other tasks will be taken off your plate. This puts coworkers and bosses face to face with all your tasks which may make them back off.
- Set and enforce clear boundaries. If you would like to leave work on time, then make it clear that once your shift ends, you’re going home. Pro Tip: If your boss often “forgets” when your shift ends, call them about 15 minutes before it ends every day. They’ll get the hint after a while. Also, make sure to tell them that they need to call and ask you to do overtime if they want you to do it.
How I’ve Learned to Maintain it
First, I stopped doing work from home. I became more adamant about doing all my work while I’m on the clock. If I was not given the time during the day, then it wouldn’t get done or it would get done whenever I was able to finish it.
Second, I got annoying. My boss suggested that I call fifteen minutes before my shift ended so that the front office could be reminded and find coverage for my class when I left. Mind you, I’ve had the exact same schedule for months at that point but whatever. I did exactly what my boss told me to do. Every. Single. Day. There is a point where you have to get annoying to get your point across….. I had reached that point. If you can find small “annoying” ways to get your point across, I only recommend it if you have exhausted all the other civil routes.
Lastly, when I had to go work at another location temporarily, I made my boundaries clear, and I have had no issues ever since. I still sometimes do paperwork during my breaks, but only for ten to fifteen minutes. I get an hour lunch every day, I would like to spend most of it relaxing, so I do.