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5 Ways to Create Work-Life Balance and Get More Out of Life

By HERWriter Blogger
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Wellness related image William Iven/Unsplash

Americans spend a lot of time at work. They come early and leave late and don’t take lunch hours. Some continue to be tethered to the job by cellphone and email long after they have supposedly clocked out. Others try to play catch-up on the weekends or late at night.

A recent Harvard Business School survey found that 94 percent of Americans report working 50 hours or more a week, and nearly 50 percent reported working 65 hours per week, according to Forbes.com.

With all this time at work, that means the rest of life including family time, relationships, and leisure activities are often put on the back burner.

Finding the balance between a career and everything else that matters to you is difficult but necessary to live a fulfilling life. All work and no play makes Jane not only a dull girl, but an unhappy one, as well.

While you can’t get more hours in a day, you can make the most of the hours you have. Start with small changes and focus on finding the things that make you happy outside of your career. And then make time for them!

5 Ways to Create Work-Life Balance and Get More Out of Life:

1) Stop trying to be perfect.

Focusing on the details and going the extra mile may have served you well in school and in getting the job you have now. But perhaps you’re taking the idea of perfectionism too far, especially if you are in the stage of life when other commitments (children, spouses, aging parents, etc.) have stretched you thin.

Think about giving up the idea of being perfect and strive for excellence instead. No one is perfect and it could drive your stress levels sky high if you continue to focus on perfectionism.

2) Exercise.

It might seem counterproductive to add something to your already-so-busy schedule in order to create more balance, but exercise is the exception to the rule. In addition to helping you stay physically healthy, exercise can help you stay emotionally healthy too.

Add a Comment3 Comments


Great article! Perfectionism is something that I have really struggled with until recently, when I realized how damaging it can be to my life. Each day I practice mindfulness and allow myself to make mistakes, or not get everything accomplished. It's a work in progress, but it gets easier each day :)

March 19, 2015 - 5:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

Really important article! Thank you for sharing. I might add that its important not to put too much pressure on one's self to do it all. Some things have to go. Balance doesn't really exist, its a question of priority in the moment.

March 19, 2015 - 1:52pm

Nice article but it needs a reality check. It implies that the problem is with the workers who, overwhelmed as they are with the demands of the 21st century workplace, are now supposed to fix everything that's wrong with it. Just like financial columns advise workers to save for retirement when their frozen wages can't even address their bills and health insurance deductibles.

So, does anyone really believe that the average person wants to slave 60 hours a week or bring work home, esp. with the abysmal salaries that have not kept pace with soaring housing, food and medical costs? Of course not.

While there will always be workaholics, a recent poll shows that if given the choice between earning more money or having more time off, 9 out of 10 American workers would chose more time. The American Sleep Institute reports that the average workday has now regressed back to that of the Industrial Revolution, not just because of technology but because of the corporate culture that forces workers into robotic production. Most workers do not want to work such long hours; however, they have become "coerced workaholics," with one person forced to perform the tasks of 3 workers as companies scale back staff and turn workers into independent contractors to save bucks and benefits. So what workers really need is advice for how to deal with a workplace culture that leaves them very little time to sleep, eat proper balanced meals and spend quality time with their families. Women in particular bear the brunt of the overwhelm since they still remain the cooks, cleaners and caregivers at home after that long long workday, juggling domestic duty and child care while bringing all that work home. They need an article that addresses this reality.

March 19, 2015 - 8:50am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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