Did you know in the US they only get 2 weeks’ vacation? In Australia, we get 4 weeks, but even 4 weeks out of 52 is hardly a perfect work-life balance. What would be your ideal time working? A 4-day work week? Working whenever you like? Not working?
It’s always been important for me to work to live. I’ve never been someone that lived to work. My work supported my lifestyle, and therefore for some 13 years, I have been self-employed. After 13 years I feel like I am living my perfect work-life balance and so I want to share some of the secrets I’ve found to help you achieve your own perfect work-life balance Zen.
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What is work-life balance?
A good work-life balance is a harmony between the different aspects of your life. The benefits gained from each area can support and strengthen the others.
Many people are time poor, constantly rushing to juggle different commitments. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), employees working more than 50 hours per week are working very long hours.
Who’s affected by poor work-life balance?
We often think of the overworked having poor work-life balance as the long hours impact health, increase stress, and cut into leisure activities. But part-time employees can also suffer from a poor work-life balance as they struggle with low-wage and ensure employment, also possibly leading to unsocial hours.
And while everyone says self-employment is the dream job, we too struggle with maintaining the perfect work-life balance, since there’s almost no separation between work and home.
What happens with poor work-life balance?
Stress is a natural human response, and a small amount can be helpful and lead to increased alertness, energy, and productivity. However, only for a short time. If the pressure goes on for too long or becomes greater than your ability to cope with the stress, it can be physically and mentally draining.
Burnout is a state of emotional and physical exhaustion that can occur after a long period of excessive or stressful work. Burnout can look like emotional exhaustion, a feeling of detachment from work, or reduced efficiency. Burnout also affects relationships as it leads to compassion fatigue, where one loses the emotional capacity to care about others.
Why is work-life balance important?
Work-life balance allows you to separate work and home, meaning that the stress of work should stay at work. Allowing work stress to infiltrate your home life is one of the primary indicators that you are not achieving a work-life balance.
When we have a perfect work-life balance we become less susceptible to burnout. We can give attention where attention is due, like being a mum when with the kids or being an exemplary worker while at work. And finally, we experience fewer health problems.
It’s no secret that when we are run down, tired or stressed; our immune system is the one to suffer. Stress can impact your health so maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important. Taking the time to look after yourself by exercising, eating well, and relaxing can contribute to limiting your health problems.
How can you create the perfect work-life balance?
Now you know what work-life balance is and why it’s important, I am going to share my 3 tips for how you can create your perfect work-life balance.
1. Follow your passion
You can be happy in your job if it’s a job you love. What was it you wanted as a little kid? To be a fireman? Why aren’t you? To write a novel. Where is it? Following your passion is a sure-fire way to create the perfect work-life balance because you’ll hardly know which one you are doing when you love both. I have a friend who loves working in a furniture store, and she’s happy. It doesn’t have to be acceptable to anyone, but you. It’s your passion, no one else’s.
2. Passive Income
Many people create a work-life balance through passive income. When money is not something you need to think about every day, you can pursue your life passions. Travel, writing, art, music. If you can create a passive income that makes you money while you sleep or draw, then you’ve found the perfect work-life balance.
Passive income is available in multiple places whether you dabble in crypto, bitcoin, indexing, affiliate marketing, google advertising, or Amazon shops. There are so many options these days. For example, the AQRU service gives you a much higher interest rate (12%) on any investment which is a great source of passive income if you have savings.
3. Create the life you want
I have both above. I love travel blogging and travel. It’s my greatest passion. On top of that, I’ve created passive income through real estate and my blog, which frees my time to work less and live more. How do I make money a blog? Here’s 15 Ways Travel Bloggers Make Money.
I wake when my body clock says. I travel without permission. I walk my dog daily, go to the gym several times a week. I eat out with girlfriends in the middle of the week and have wine nights with friends on a Tuesday. I go to the movies on a Wednesday, because I don’t even know what a weekend is. Are there days I hop on my computer and work? Why yes, that’s most evenings. Why? Because that’s when I enjoy working from my couch, when there are no calls, no email and the kids are sleeping.
Work-life balance to me is being me every day. Working to live and not living to work. Some liken it to early retirement. I simply say create a life you don’t want to escape from, and you’ve got the perfect work-life balance.
What are you waiting for? Go get your perfect work-life balance!
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