5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

In today’s world where we see companies like Google filling their roster with smiling employees, it’s easy to get a little jealous. If there is one thing we all long for, it’s to be happy. Happy at work, happy at home—balance is something we strive for in our daily lives. Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne are two entrepreneurs who decided to ask the question, “How do successful entrepreneurs manage to achieve a healthy work-life balance?” The answer to their question was recorded in their book, Winning Without Losing, which includes 66 strategies for any professional to work toward their own healthy work-life balance.

Having the chance to speak with Martin personally, I asked him, “What are the top 5 ways to reach the goal?” Although there are many strategies there can be used, Martin listed the following five tips that include not only bigger strategies, but also simple acts that can help anyone achieve better Work-Life Balance:

Be part of a great team

If you want to be able to combine success with work-life balance and a great life quality, the first thing you need to make sure is that you are part of a great team. No one can make it all alone. Work together with people who have similar values but different skills sets. Invest in the relationship. Be open, honest and trustworthy. Make the difficult decisions when needed; nothing is static, so sooner or later someone may have to leave the team for it to continue to be ideal for the mission you are on.

5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Having a group of people who want to achieve the same goal is crucial, but that’s not necessarily enough. The best team also has to work well together and share similar ideals to successfully bring the entire team towards their end goal.

Make a today list

A To-Do list is one of the most common organizational tools used today. I will agree that it feels good to be able to write down what you need to do, and the accomplishing rush of striking out a recently completed task makes the To-Do list almost fun and reassuring. An issue with a To-Do list is that it keeps growing, and can sometimes cause stress when more tasks are being added faster than they can be scratched off. Instead, make a “Today List”. Keep the list small, with maximum three items of top priority for TODAY. Scratch them off early in the day, and get that accomplished feeling!

5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

To-Do list are popular organizational tools, but they can continue to grow endlessly and cause stress. By making a “Today List,” it becomes easier to accomplish your tasks, without becoming overwhelmed.

Learn to let go

No matter how successful you get, it won’t help you get a good balance in life unless you learn the crucial ability of letting go. There will always be a million tasks to do—more than anyone can do in a lifetime. That’s the nature of the beast, and the only thing we can do is not to take ourselves too seriously. Do your best, but realize that some things are just out of your control. In the big picture, many things don’t matter that much anyway. Go easy on yourself and your loved ones.

5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Although it may be a tough when you work so close with a project, but if things are not working out, you may need to pull the plug. It’s a difficult decision, but the ability to let go will allow you to move on, learn from your experience, and start something better.

Take a meeting while walking

Meetings tend to be the main culprit of filling up your busy schedule. We have this preconceived notion that a meeting must take place in a room, around a table, and focused solely on a monotonous task. Being shifted from room to room, day after day, can be mentally and creatively draining. So take the initiative and reinvent the meeting. Leave the room with your colleagues and go for walk, bike ride, or run. Change the setting and get your creative juices flowing throughout your team. Discuss your work and you may find alternative solutions tend to arise in the more welcoming atmosphere.

5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Meetings do not have to be confined to a room with a conference table. Change the setting, go outside, do a different activity, allow for your creativity to breathe outside the stifling four walled office.

Know what matters to you

Our agenda can easily get filled up with tons of commitments, meetings, activities, and to-do’s. But what really matters to you? On an overall level what mission are you out to accomplish and why? You can only stick to your priorities if you know them—and remind yourself about them often. Make sure to do those things you truly enjoy, and reach those goals that you dream of. You can do that and still have balance, as long as you are aware and able to say no to those tasks that may seem intriguing, but are really not that important to you.

5 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

In the end, to achieve work-life balance, you need to establish what is important to you. Make sure that this takes priority, and is intwined in everything that you do so that you do not have to sacrifice to become successful.

These five simple tips can be used as stepping-stones toward achieving a healthier work-life balance. A common theme here is that you need to realize what makes you happy—you should never have to sacrifice your own happiness for work, so make sure your own priorities factor into the decisions you make.

If you want more inspiration on how to gain work-life balance, check out our Winning Without Losing Blog Series, or give Winning Without Losing a read.

Images from: here, here, here, and here

Philip Trampe
6 May 2014

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