Will 2021 Be the Year of Work-Life Balance?
Is a better work-life balance on your list of goals for the New Year? If so, you’re not alone. For so many people, 2020 saw many of us lose sight of the boundaries between our work and social lives. Many lost their jobs, and saw every moment of their lives being taken over by financial stress. On the other hand, for those who began to work remotely, work became less of a daily pattern and more of an all-encompassing lifestyle. And so, along with the many things we are hoping to change in 2021, balance between career and daily life may be at the top of our wish lists.
Still, achieving a work-life balance is harder than it sounds. According to a report on work-life balance for business professionals, some of the top barriers to finding harmony include personal perfectionism and company culture, two factors which can’t exactly be changed overnight.
Therefore, to try to find effective ways to regain control of your life and priorities, it’s essential to listen to the experts. Here are some of the best tips to make sure that 2021 is the year where you get back in check.
First, make some SMART goals. With every New Year’s Resolution, unorganized wish lists often lead to failure, so it’s essential to think about work-life balance with a purposeful and strategic mindset. The best way to do this is to come up with SMART plans, that is, goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, don’t just say you want to spend more time volunteering. Instead, write down a detailed plan of what steps you will take to volunteer and check in on your volunteering hours and accomplishments at check points through the year.
Next, ask an expert! If you want to achieve a better work life balance, it’s likely because you see someone in your life who is somehow able to juggle it all a little better than you. And while general guides and goal-setting are helpful, the insights on how to prioritize work from one of your specific co-workers or value family from another parent in your school will be massively helpful. Plus, how good will they feel when you come to them looking for advice?
Finally, one really important piece of advice comes from the Mayo Clinic: ask for help! Think about it, in life and at work, you wouldn’t take on a seismic shift alone, so why should you try to find balance alone. The Mayo Clinic recommends not only reaching out to people you know in the office and at home for support in managing conflicting priorities, but also reaching out to professionals. Mental health professionals and employee assistance programs are great options to get support with finding your balance from a third-party perspective.
In the end, work-life balance isn’t easy. But if we’ve gotten through 2020, who knows what we can accomplish in 2021? Good luck!