Our top tips for a healthy work-life balance

Femme à l'ordinateur

This morning, you enter your office in your slippers. Nearby, your neighbour is mowing the lawn... This scenario becomes quite commonplace if you telework full-time or in hybrid mode: You rarely leave the house. The real question is, at the end of the day, do you have trouble disconnecting from work?

If the lines between your professional and private life are becoming increasingly blurred, you might find our tips very helpful. Some of them apply to teleworkers, while others are applicable to everyone!

Balanced approach is best

Family, hobbies, social life, professional obligations...our weeks can be pretty go-go-go! When your private and professional lives start overlapping, your daily life becomes more difficult. Sometimes you get more disorganized or try to do too much.

If physical and mental fatigue set in, you may start experiencing:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Weakened immune system
  • Mood swings
  • Burnout, etc.

These problems can create other issues with your partner or family members. That’s why it’s essential to unplug and truly keep your personal life and career as separate as possible. There is no perfect solution, but you can strike a balance!

1. Plan for tomorrow

It’s not always easy to leave office problems behind, especially when you work from home. Before you log out, think of what you settled today.

Then, list your tasks and priorities for the next day. Writing them down will help free your mind for the evening or weekend.

2. Learn how to properly let go

Create a routine that will allow you to end your day smoothly:

  • If you work in a room that you use exclusively for work, close the door when you leave.
  • What if your work space is in full view, even at night? Close it up before powering off your computer.
  • Make sure you turn off all work tools so you don’t have to hear your notifications dinging through the night.
  • Don't read and reply to work emails unless it’s an emergency.
  • When your day is done, do an activity that will create a barrier between your office and personal life. For example, call a friend, start cooking or go out for a stroll.
  • Unplugging from your phone or tablet is crucial to limit screen time, especially if you spend all day in front of a computer. The benefits of logging off are legion! You’ll also have a lot more time for other, more stimulating activities.

3. Teamwork

Balancing your professional and personal life is a team game. Have honest conversations about your problems with your partner or children who are old enough to understand your reality.

Ask everyone to chip in to maintain a proper balance: How can your loved ones help make your life at home and your life at the office co-exist more efficiently? These joint efforts can take on various forms.

Here’s an example

In the Campbell family, the teenagers age 13 and 18 were told to leave their parents alone when they’re working: don’t ask for anything, no texts or calls unless it’s an emergency.

The chores around the house are shared. The older one makes dental appointments. She also takes their dog to the vet and grooming appointments.

The younger one takes care of a few household chores like emptying the dishwasher.

Important: Delegating more to the kids is fine, but you must accept that some of the jobs you give them will not be carried out according to your standards...which leads us to our next tip.

4. Learn to let go

It’s impossible to be in control of everything. Go easy on yourself, both at work and at home. Perfectionism can quickly become exhausting and is not constructive.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Dedicate your time to what’s essential, don’t waste your energy on the rest.
  • Space out the more intensive and less pressing tasks such as doing the groceries, weeding your garden or cleaning out your fridge.
  • Buy prepared meals once in a while...or often! It’s not easy to cook like Ricardo or prepare your own canned food. Martha Stewart has an army of helpers behind her, but you don’t!
  • Try to be more flexible with family members. The right mix of discipline and pleasure will help you find the right balance.
  • Practice meditation or some new relaxation techniques.

5. Create traditions

Plan activities for couples or families that you can pick together.

No two families are alike. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Camping
  • Pizza and movie night
  • Escape games
  • Ski day
  • Hiking, etc.

These moments will strengthen your bonds and allow you to spend time together.

Famille en ski

6. Time to think of number one: Take care of yourself!

Finding the right balance means you must also take care of yourself. Block time on your calendar and save it for your well-being. Get up, stretch and move around. Physical activity reduces stress, clears your mind of work and other daily troubles.

Get back into sports or other hobbies you liked before getting absorbed by your career: swimming, arts and crafts, reading...

7. Focus on your priorities

What would you do if you had more free time? What are your current needs and professional goals? A specialist may be able to help you define them if you’re not sure.

Write down what would be an ideal situation for you. Take note of the activities you wish to include into your schedule to achieve a better balance. Having everything written down on paper can help with managing your time, which is reorganized based on your priorities.

Have a discussion with your boss about expectations, including yours, and your difficulty in finding a healthy work-life balance. It's a good opportunity to take a closer look at what types of daily obstacles are getting in the way, such as your work schedule or tight deadlines. If last-minute requests are preventing you from having a better quality of life, it’s time to mention it.

Re-evaluate your priorities every now and then: Have they changed? Juggle your schedule around if you haven’t attained the right balance.

By the way, does Beneva have a job that may interest you and is better aligned with your objectives? It’s very possible! Check out our Jobs section...

Finding the right balance doesn’t happen overnight

With awareness, communication and a little determination, you will find the right balance between your professional and private life. All you have to gain is a better quality of life! After all, your mental and physical health both play a role in the equation.