Top 3 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance This Year

This is your year to achieve work-life balance! 

Improve work life balance this year

Happy New Year all! Each day is a gift, and ushering in a new year is especially humbling. I wonder if you have ever heard the old adage, “the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time?” This simply means if there is something that seems like a huge problem to overcome, view it in small manageable sections and tackle it that way. In comparison, I’d like to say that the way to achieve work-life balance is very similar to the way you eat an elephant, one small step at a time. There are many changes and activities that will improve work-life balance for you, but you should focus on a few of them; one at a time.

Tip #1: Commit to making necessary changes to improve work-life balance.

One thing that many people put on their New Year’s Resolution list this year is a better work-life balance. In addition to financial and fitness goals, I think work-life balance has become the next most desired goal in 2018. Time seems to be a shortage these days and has been ever since the growth of single parent and two working parent households. Moms and dads have been working extremely long hours to provide all the luxuries of life and electronic gadgets at the expense of their well-being and family time. Enough! Now is the time to put forth the effort to achieve and maintain a desirable work-life balance that affords you the time and energy to do those things that really matter. That takes commitment. So first thing first. You have to make work-life balance a goal and decide to make changes. Before you take action, you should purpose in your heart to reach your desired goal no matter what. Envision what it feels like with so much free time. Does it feel exhilarating? If so, then commit to creating and embracing more moments like that. In addition, if you are one who admits to working far too much, then change is imminent if you commit.  I know there are many things you can not control, but one thing you can control is your commitments.  Decide, Commit, Succeed!

Tip #2: Discover your primary reason for working excessively and create a positive habit around that. 

Achieving a better work-life balance is not easy but it is doable. There are so many demands on life and seemingly little time. No matter what we tell ourselves, career and work often win out over personal pleasures. On average, eight times out of ten, work demands will take priority over personal matters. Even when we have intentions of doing something else, work is usually the choice we make. There are various reasons or excuses we make to justify habitually working long hours. What is the single primary reason you choose to work too much? Is it any of the following:

  • Bored and don’t have anything interesting to do
  • Don’t set boundaries
  • Escape family matters
  • Excessive workload
  • Fear of losing job
  • People pleaser
  • Money, too many bills
  • Work is fun

Now that you have identified your reason, developing one habit to counteract that problem is your next step. Think of one change you can make, commit to doing that, and take action on it daily. Practice your action until it becomes a habit.

Achieve work-life balance

Tip #3: Focus on prioritization.

Many people believe that the primary root cause of poor work-life balance is poor time management. Can that really be the primary reason? I heard an interesting TED TALK by Laura Vanderkam about time management in which she gives a different perspective of looking at time on a weekly basis. Basically, we are all given 168 hours in each week to do whatever we desire. In an ideal situation, if we sleep 8 hours a day and work 8 hours per day, that leaves 56 hours per week to do whatever else you desire. That’s a lot of time to schedule for personal matters. View her twelve minute video below.



The real issue is prioritizing how you spend that remaining 56 hours. Prioritization, not time management, is typically a bigger concern.  When I refer to prioritization, I am talking about  doing those things that are non-negotiable. In other words, your priority list should contain non-negotiable things to do. No matter what, you will let anyone or everyone who have demands on your time know that you can not adjust that particular scheduled activity. What is on your priority list? How do you determine which things you do? For additional help with setting priorities, click here

What are the important things (health, family, personal time, children’s sports, etc…) that you typically give up when you decide to work long hours? Let’s just add one of those things on your priority list. As an example, your health may be one thing you neglect for work. So the one thing you may choose to add to your priority list is going to the gym two days a week. Again your priority list means the activity is non-negotiable and it must be scheduled.  Just as you show up for work at a scheduled time, you have to show up for your non-negotiable at a scheduled time. That may sound like a big sacrifice for some, but I am asking you to do that for one thing. work-life balanceAfter you master that one thing, you can add another. But start with One thing.

Sometimes people who work too much tend to take on too much. I don’t want you to do that in this instance. Just one thing, one bite.

Adapting these three tips would render the elephant ineffective. You could transform your life in a huge way just by focusing on doing the three things above. There are tons of other things you can do, but none as effective as the combination of these three. You will naturally begin to do more work-life balance activities just by practicing the three above.

I’m interested in hearing your opinions and experiences with work-life balance so please leave a comment below. If you have a favorite work-life balance tip that has helped you over the years, please share that with this community as well.

I would love to know if the information in this post helped transform your life. If you are willing to try the tips for 30 days and provide me feedback after 30 days, please jot down my email and send me your feedback about your experience. I would greatly appreciate your act of kindness.

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10 Replies to “Top 3 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance This Year

  1. Hi Claudette. Great article! I believe prioritization is key for having a work life balance. Get the stuff you absolutely have to do out of the way first.

    1. You are absolutely right Erin. Too often, people handle the squeaky wheels first. It may not necessarily be the most important priority, but the things that are the most nagging. This is why having a priority list is necessary. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hi Claudette,
    I have never consciously thought about the work life balance, but truth is I really need it. You article has given me food for though and it has left me contemplating on the suggestions you have made.

    1. Val, I am glad to have peeked your interest. You may be able to share these tips with others who have an issue with work-life balance. Work-life balance is truly not an illusion as many think.

  3. I think we all need a work life balance, something I never got the hang of until this last few years coinciding with a job change.
    Personally I set small goals to prioritise my work schedule that I ensure I commit before the end of each working day within the work-day’s time-frame thereby freeing up time to create a better home-life balance.
    Previously I used to keep on working yet my home-life did’t really exist. I currently find small goals lead to small steps which do take longer to achieve the end goal however life is so much more enjoyable having that extra bit of free time with family.

    1. Simon, you make great points in your comments. First, you have to be willing to change to achieve or maintain work-life balance. In your case, changing jobs made a drastic difference. Although people crave work-life balance, so many people are not willing to change jobs to get it. So kudos to you! Second, just as you demonstrate, not all changes have to be big; setting small goals daily works as well. Being intentional by setting goals that revolve around making time outside of work, really helps. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Hi Claudette,

    Great article. Commit, Decide and Do!!! Making a commitment is the first step to action. True Action. WOW After reading this article I finally got it.

    1. I’m happy you found value in this post. Sometimes it is hard for people to grasp that commitment is action, and without that action, the physical actions won’t necessarily bring about long lasting change. As I’m sure you know, true action is action that occurs in the mind. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I’m a caregiver and I lived by the motto “Neglect Thyself”. After reading this article I no longer feel this way. It is not selfish to put yourself first. When you are able to take care of yourself then you are equipped to take care of others.

    1. I’m happy to hear that you can relate to this post and that it had a positive impact on you. Stay encouraged and know that putting you first does not equate to neglect for your loved one. Sounds like you get it. Thanks for sharing.

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