Tips for Reaching a Good Work-Life Balance

Do you have a good work-life balance?

Based on a survey conducted in 2021, Ottawa has ranked #1 in Canada and #6 in the world for cities with the best work-life balance. This study surveyed 50 cities across the globe and ranked them on their livability based on available outdoor spaces, air quality, and wellness and fitness levels. Ottawa scored highly in these categories when compared to the other cities surveyed. Other results from the study that indicate an excellent work-life balance in Ottawa include that 38% of Ottawa’s jobs are remote and that residents take an average of 15 days of vacation a year.

While it’s nice to know we’re living in one of the best cities for work-life balance, that doesn’t mean that we’re all successfully achieving our ideal balance. Here are a few tips for helping you find more balance in your life

1 .  Let go of perfectionism.

We all want to be the best at what we do in our careers, but sometimes that drive spirals into perfectionism which can be detrimental to our work-life balance.

Many people develop perfectionism at a young age, but life gets more complicated as we grow older, and perfection becomes more unattainable. As our goals come out of reach and our perfectionism goes unchecked, we can quickly become destructive to ourselves and cause burnout to occur. 

While letting go of our perfectionist tendencies may seem easier said than done, we suggest trading in perfection for excellence. Always put your best foot forward but remember that you should strive for excellence in all areas of your life, not just work.

2 .  Take a break from technology.

With our smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices, it’s become easier and easier for work to seep into our home lives. Stop upholding the expectation of constant availability. 

Don’t pride yourself on your quick responses or easy accessibility; that’s a sure way to set yourself up for failure. You will over-exert yourself and will lose the separation between work and home that everyone needs.

Make quality time, true quality time. Don’t text during your kid’s hockey game, don’t answer work emails at dinner, and don’t start your day by checking your inbox. Creating distance between yourself and your work can be a great way to decrease stress and feel more in control of your life.

3 .  Exercise and be mindful.

When work becomes our top priority, we let other things in our lives slip away and usually, exercise is the first thing to go. Exercise is such an essential part of our lives, not only because it keeps our bodies healthy but because it releases endorphins and relieves stress.

Whether you hit the gym for cardio, head to a yoga class, or simply practice mindfulness at home, try to dedicate a few sessions a week to your body. If you really can’t fit in an entire class or workout during your week, take a few minutes in the morning (maybe during your commute) to practice deep breathing or meditation.

4 .  Do some restructuring in your life.

Being the go-to person at work and at home can really take a toll on you and create additional stress. You have to remember that you can’t be everything to everyone. The key to restructuring things in your life comes down to being able to delegate.

Instead of trying to do it all, focus on what is a priority to you and what you specialize in at work and home. If you’re responsible for preparing dinner every night at home and that’s a huge stressor in your life, try to come up with a new arrangement or compromise with your spouse. If you find yourself doing all the little tasks at work because it’s faster to do it yourself than to teach someone else, try to take the time to train someone and put faith in their abilities. 

Making these small changes can significantly impact your life and make you a better coworker and family member.

5 .  Start small.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you’ve been putting in 110% at work, you can’t expect to go down to 50% with no consequences. You also can’t create unrealistic goals in your personal life, like implementing a strict workout schedule.

When you go in with a “go big or go home” mentality, you’re likely to fail because you’ve put too much pressure on yourself. If you want to be more present in your family life, start with one planned family outing a month rather than once a week. If you want to reduce your workload at work, start by taking the time to delegate small tasks instead of offloading everything to your coworkers.

There will always be stressors in your life, and finding a balance between your career and your home life will always be something that requires conscious effort. Things can’t change overnight, so remember to take things slow and set realistic goals for yourself. Start by implementing a few of the above tips and go from there. 

We encourage you to put yourself first when it comes to achieving a manageable work-life balance. You can’t be the best version of yourself, at home or work, if you’re unhappy. Take the time to check in with yourself and adjust your routine if needed.