How To Achieve The Perfect Work Life Balance

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“To thrive and be successful, you have to be able to set boundaries.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Living a healthy lifestyle is a result of various choices and practices. As humans, our general lives hinge on how we pay attention to various fragments of our lives, which applies to personal and workplace realities.

There is a myth that many persons have fallen into—the work-life balance propaganda. There is nothing like a work-life balance. Instead, there is work-life integration.

While the former is very abstract and unrealistic, the latter is highly holistic and realistic. Individuals need to be able to integrate their work duties with their off-work duties.

This involves setting boundaries, creating a to-do list, being disciplined enough to always get work done when needed, etc.

Leaving work at work is saving yourself the stress of being burdened with work when you get home and an avenue to increase your level of discipline.

Knowing how to leave work at work is a survival skill that every entrepreneur or employee must learn. Your workspace should be solely meant for your work and should not interfere with your personal life.

If you work in an office, you would realize that there are times when you end up taking some of your tasks back home so that you can meet up with deadlines. This can be an unhealthy thing to do.

This article will discuss ten tips to help you ensure that you leave work at work. Getting a job is a responsibility that many adults take up to take care of other responsibilities.

However, the derived demand for work has made it an essential part of life which sometimes encroaches on different aspects of life and creates an imbalance.

Hence, the need to draw boundaries that must be adhered to. Here are a few ways to ensure that you do not fall into the overwhelming work trap.

 

1.  When At Work, Get Work Done

Your main aim should be productivity and meeting set targets for the day when at work.

Your time at work should be spent tending to your deliverables rather than just passing the time and waiting to get home before starting an actual work.

Firstly, create a timesheet to schedule your daily workload and break it into achievable timelines. This way, you can access your performance, monitor your progress, and note your shortcomings.

Remember, the goal behind getting the work done is to be productive; else, you’d be busy without creating or adding value.

Productivity comes with achieving well-defined goals, and these goals should be met within work hours to ensure that you do not infringe on non-work hours.

Hence, office work must remain and be completed during office hours to get yourself an excellent work-life balance.

 

2.  Make Lists And Prioritize

The importance of lists cannot be overemphasized at the office and even in everyday life. From the market, school, to the workplace, lists have proven to be essential for planning and aiding memory.

To ensure you do not go home still thinking about unfinished work on your table, start your day at the office by outlining your daily tasks and ordering them according to importance.

This method helps you visualize the day’s work and helps channel your energy towards treating the more important tasks early in the day before likely distractions set in.

You could use notepads, Microsoft word, or marker boards to outline your tasks. However, if you are working on a project or enormous task, it is wise to break them down into smaller chunks and order them accordingly.

Ensure your lists are flexible and can be tweaked to fit your office hours perfectly—another essential point of leaving work at work.

 

3.  Be Organized And Have Mental Clarity

Leaving work at work requires that you have mental clarity. Of course, it takes discipline, but the reward for being organized outweighs whatever pain comes with the process.

Being organized entails having a clear mindset about the task ahead. This implies that your goals are well defined, the means for achieving them are known and outlined, possible bottlenecks are also stated, and reasonable timelines are set.

With all these in place, a clear path and guide have been created, and you can focus on the tasks ahead with respect to time.

Mental clarity is key to a good start. You should begin listing or creating your to-do list after adequately analyzing the task and creating mental images of your workflow.

Mental clarity ensures that a good thought process goes into planning your day and contributes to your leaving work without much stress.

 

4.  Do Not Stress About Finishing Everything On Your List

It is important to note that sometimes you may face daunting tasks that stretch beyond your set timelines. There are bound to be outliers, and work isn’t an exception.

Remember, he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. So, if work stretches beyond your set timeline, feel free to push it to the next working day.

Sticking to your list religiously by making it mandatory to complete each day’s task can have side effects. For example, working with a tired body or stressed brain can yield unproductive results due to diminishing marginal productivity.

Taking work home is deadly; leaving work at work is the same as leaving stress behind.

This is why you should begin with the most critical tasks while you are still full of energy so that when the less important tasks are not met, they could be pushed to the next day with little or no cost to bear. Of course, there is nothing wrong with leaving work behind at the end of the day.

 

5.  Define Your Closing Time

Leaving work at work requires being resolute. An old saying is that whatever has a beginning also has an end. So, when resuming work, you should never forget that you do not have all day to spend at work.

Clearly define your work hours, and while you make conscious efforts towards resuming early, you should also do the same towards closing at the right time. Unless you are opting for overtime, your closing time should be respected.

 

Things You Can Do After Leaving Work At Work

What should I be doing after work hours? If you are the type that asks such a question, you can indulge in several activities to pass the time and relax after work hours. Below is a list of things to do after work hours.

 

1.  Try Recreational Activities

You should try recreational or social activities such as yoga, jogging or other exercises, strolling, trying to dance salsa, tango, or taking ballet classes.

You could also try some form of martial arts like boxing, taekwondo, karate, judo, or other sports such as swimming, golfing, tennis, football. The list is endless.

 

2.  Communicate Your After-work Hours With Your Colleagues

Do your colleagues at work know when your closing hours are? If they do not, ensure that you tell them your after-work hours.

There is a huge likelihood that if you do not tell them about your boundaries, they will not acknowledge them.

Work colleagues have a culture of invading your private space. If you do not correct them as early as possible, you give the impression that you are comfortable with them creeping into your personal time.

When at work, do well to pass across a message to your colleagues or team members about your deadlines for work. A simple “Hi! I’d like to know if you still have anything you’d want me to do for you as I do not entertain official work from xxx time” would do.

When you properly tell them your boundaries, they will always respect your wishes. That way, you are already creating a difference between your work hours and your personal hours.

 

3.  Create A Ritual That Helps You Transition Properly

This is one thing I love to do. As humans, we get accustomed to things we do regularly. It will be an added advantage if you learn to string your daily activities around a routine that helps you transition from work hours to personal time.

This is a helpful tip on how to leave work at work and focus on yourself. Tons of routines can be symbolic of your transition.

For some, workouts are symbolic of the end of a workday in their personal lives, and for some others, they have a warm bath to transit from work to personal duties.

It is essential to have a significant thing that can indicate when you transit.

So take a walk, listen to podcasts, write out your achievements for the day. Just do whatever you can to ensure that your mind is free from the clogs of work duties.

Your mind helps your cross over to a new phase with ease, and in no time, you are off the stress that work comes with.

Of course, leaving work at work can be taxing, but you would be doing yourself a favor with ease in switching with the proper ritual.

 

4.  Write Tomorrow’s To-do List Today

I remember writing a to-do list one time for the last day at work. Then I realized that this is the problem that many people have when writing their work to-do list.

You do not have to write your to-do list only on special days. You can write a to-do list for tomorrow, today. This is one way to kill the load of work that comes with the next day! You can plan your day before going to bed.

In fact, this could even be your ritual for transitioning from your work hours to your personal hours. One of the dark sides of productivity tips is that you get down with the feeling that you are not doing enough, but this can be curbed when you already have your day planned.

There is beauty in waking up and having a clear-cut focus on what your day is like. You should do this writing the night before the next day.

Why? Not only would you be waking up with a direction of what you want to do for the next day, but you would also be going to bed completely disconnected from work. Leaving work at work is easier when you have a to-do list for the next day.

 

5.  Keep Your Calls Separate

You must know how to keep your private calls separate. I am a huge fan of using more than one phone number. One for work and the other for personal activities.

One major advantage of this is that you do not necessarily have to actively avoid calls from colleagues at work. Instead, you need to switch off your phone.

It’s tough having too many things to do at home and still having to shuffle between calls from home and from work on the same cell phone. It’ll result in a mental disaster.

 

6.  Set Boundaries With Your Emails

This tip is similar to the previous one. To focus properly, you may need to separate your work email from your personal email. I remember using my personal email for work at some point in my career journey.

It was frustrating because I had issues separating my personal emails from the ones from work.

This, however, became a thing of the past after I created an email specially for work. So I go there only for work-related issues.

 

For You

So, there you have it! Great tips that can help you learn to leave work at work and set boundaries between your work life and personal life.

For more tips on habits and routines that can improve your daily life, check out the article in the link provided here.

All these activities give you the required break your brain and body need to function at their best. Also, they help combat stress, keep you fit, and better prepared for the next day.

As stated earlier, living a healthy life is a combination of various right activities in your lifestyle and habits.

Thank you for reading this article. I believe that you must have learned a thing or two about leaving work at work. I would love to know your opinions on the points made. Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section.

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Author: Afam Uche

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