Photo: Bruce Mars
You’ve probably heard plenty about the topic of work-life balance. But the thing about work-life balance, especially when it comes to trying to improve it, is that most of the tips you might find or read about it are all the same (or at least very similar).
You’ll likely find routine advice telling you to do things like make lists, plan everything ahead, schedule downtime, etc. etc. And while these tips are helpful at first, doing just those things isn’t always enough. There must be more that you can do to make a more harmonious work and home life, right? Right.
Here are a handful of modern-day tips that will help you go a step further in balancing your work life and home life. The end goal; maximize time and minimize stress in all areas of life.
1. Set up a command center at home
Whether you’re a working parent, college student trying to earn a supplemental income, or somewhere in between those two, a home command center is a super modern, super stylish way to improve your work-life balance.
Your home command center can include whatever you need it to: wall-mounted baskets to sort important mail and documents, a dry erase calendar to plan chores and busy schedules in advance, your shopping list, your meal plans, your daily goals, and more. Having a dedicated place at home to work that isn’t your dining room table, living room couch, or worse yet, your bed(!), is one huge step towards a better balance between work and home life.
2. Use apps to organize your life
If you’re already using technology to find a date or listen to music, you should absolutely use technology to create optimal work-life balance. There are a plethora of cool apps designed to give you just the balance you’re looking for. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Focus Booster, an app that uses the highly effective Pomodoro technique to help you stay focused and reward yourself with short, frequent breaks. The app is actually available for your desktop and starts at just under $3. The more focus you have at work, the sooner you can disconnect and more disconnected you can stay during your time at home.
- Simply Yoga, which is designed to re-energize you anywhere, any time with easy-to-follow yoga sessions ranging from 10 to 60 minutes in length. Physical movement throughout your day can improve focus, energy, and mood, helping you be the best you at work and home. Simply Yoga is available on the iTunes store for less than $5.
- TimeTune allows you to find out where you’re spending the most time and how dedicated your time is because you can’t make changes until you know the facts. Use TimeTune to track your work time, personal time, and distracted time (work time spent on home and home time spent on work). Once you know where your hours are going, you can make small adjustments to achieve better balance.
3. Choose a modern company & ask for modern benefits
Today’s company is more interested in helping employees achieve balance than ever before, which means the most modern companies are offering benefits you’ve never had access to before, like flexible work schedules, the opportunity to work from home, newer workspaces that promote creativity and focus, and awesome health and wellness benefits that help you reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Be on the lookout for companies when you’re job searching and make sure to do a good amount of company research to make sure they have the things you’ll need to balance work and home life the way you want to.
4. Explore minimalism
While minimalist living might feel like a bandwagon concept, it’s authentically a peaceful, clutter-free way to live. Minimalists tackle ALL clutter – the kind that fills your home AND the kind that fills your body and mind, too. Use this same mindset to take small steps toward getting rid of unnecessary noise in your life. It’ll help you clear your mind and give yourself more time to focus on what matters most – like your hobbies, career, and loved ones.
Begin your minimalist journey just one small step at a time. Here are some ways to clear your mind and space:
- Close your computer applications and windows before you leave the office every day; once you establish the habit, close out windows mid-day, too, and start fresh
- Rid yourself of obligations that don’t make you happy; say ‘no’ next time someone asks you a favor if it brings added stress to your life
- Consider building a capsule wardrobe, comprised of a few staples and a few accent pieces that can all be interchanged to make choosing an outfit simple and cut back on laundry
- Declutter your home every night before bed; ask yourself, “What is here that I don’t need?” and throw it away