Making Work-Life Balance a Reality: 5 Strategies for Stressed Out Professionals

Stressed at workWhether you feel like you’re losing hours of your life to the office or are simply working too hard, work-life balance is seemingly impossible to come by if you’re in a stressful profession.

From lawyers and surgeons to teachers and small business owners, there’s no denying the potential dangers of focusing too much on your job in lieu of your family. Such dangers include…

  • Work-related depression and feelings of resentment toward your job
  • Missing the formative years of your children’s lives and potentially allowing your marriage to suffer
  • Disconnecting from personal relationships, hobbies and fulfilling activities

Although we all need to make a living, we also must take time out for the sake of ourselves and our families. Thankfully, doing so is possible once you get your personal and professional priorities straight. Consider the following strategies as a solid starting point for stressed out professionals looking to get more out of their family lives.

Find Shortcuts Where You Can

“Work smarter, not harder” may seem like cliché advice; however, it rings incredibly true for those looking for a much-needed break from the day-to-day monotony of their nine-to-fives.

Anything you can do to uncover shortcuts to save you time is a plus, and there are tons of modern apps, software and solutions out there to take care of these tasks.

Seemingly menial tasks such as invoicing and emails can take up a ton of time. For example, savvy lawyers can use legal billing software to help take care of bookkeeping in a snap; meanwhile, some SMBs may benefit from hiring a virtual assistant to take care of time-consuming tasks.

Paying for software, apps or additional help may be a necessity if your current role is bogging you down. Don’t think of such expenses as money down the drain, but rather an investment for your personal well-being.

Set Boundaries

Sometimes you need to know when to throw in the towel and take a break. In fact, pushing through plateaus of stress can make you even more stressed out and bitter toward your job.

Setting hard boundaries is a must-do to avoid burnout. For example, consider…

  • Refusing to stay at your workplace beyond a certain hour every day and likewise avoid working on the weekends
  • Stop looking at work-related emails after the sun goes down
  • Don’t bring work home ever: many of us make the mistake of overworking ourselves because we can’t separate the office from home

Make Sure Everyone’s Pulling Their Weight

Sometimes your biggest sources of stresses arise on behalf of others and not ourselves. It may be necessary to communicate with problem clients or co-workers who are constantly bringing you down. If nothing else, consider setting additional boundaries and communicate your stress with others so that they understand that they need to keep up their responsibilities instead of dumping their work on you.

Designate Personal and Family Time Accordingly

Simply put, strive to spend a significant amount of time with your family each day when you are at home. Whether it’s date night with your spouse or playtime with your children, bear in mind that it’s the time spent at home that you’ll cherish versus your days slaving away at the office.

Likewise, try to plan regular trips and vacations that you and your family can look forward to together. Such getaways should represent time away from the office, totally free from work. These trips can also help you make up for any lost time you’ve spent stuck at work.

Start Looking at the Long-Term

If nothing else, a shift in your work mentality may be necessary for your mental health. That is, start looking at your job in the long-term instead of constantly living in the stressful “now.”

The work you do today is ultimately building toward a secure financial future for yourself and your family. Likewise, acknowledge that stressful patches of work aren’t necessarily going to last forever.

Finding work-life balance is certainly a challenge for those of us juggling high-stress jobs. That being said, setting boundaries and understanding how to more wisely manage your time are key to decompressing and managing your professional life.

If you have any questions, please ask below!