9 Tips for Achieving a Work Life Balance, Maybe

Blog | August 31, 2016

Reading time: 3 min

One of the things I love most about working at Billtrust is the amazing work-life balance that employees truly get to enjoy. Our core values are not just written on the wall, they are what we live each and every day. My favorite is: “We were not put on this planet so we can work and make money.” I love the work I do at Billtrust, but sometimes outside responsibilities need my time and attention. I enjoy the fact that I can do meaningful work every day without sacrificing the time my family needs.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading books and speaking with mentors about how to achieve a work-life balance. It’s not easy, and like most working adults, I’ve struggled with it at times. I read a lot of books on this topic, looking for answers and ideas. And the truth is, there are no magic answers to this age-old question. Achieving a comfortable work-life balance is a challenge for both men and women, young and old, and those with children as well as those without.

Lady smiling at desk with laptop and plant

I’m definitely not an expert on this topic and this is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to achieve a work-life balance. I’d just like to share a few of the smart tips that work for me:

  1. Schedule everything in your calendar. Stress levels rise when the quarterly meeting conflicts with a doctor’s appointment. Keep track of everything personal and professional in the same place, and treat priorities in each area with equal importance.
  2. Something has to give. It just does. Just make sure you don’t always give up important parts of your personal life for the sake of work.
  3. Cut yourself some slack. Striving for perfection in all places is the easiest path to a heart attack. Instead realize that some things will be good enough, and that’s ok.
  4. You can’t have it all. When your family needs you, you may find that you temporarily focus less at work, which is ok because when there is a work deadline, your family may get less of your attention. Work-life balance is more of a see-saw. It’s not 50-50 all the time.
  5. Ask for what you need. If you feel that the occasional work from home day or a flexible schedule will help you be a happier, more productive employee, take advantage of any flexibility your job offers.
  6. Find a job that compliments your life. It’s not easy, and you won’t find it right away. But if you make it a career goal, you’ll find a position that fits your strengths at an organization that makes you happy.
  7. Identify which parts of your work and your life bring you the greatest joy and make time for those. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
  8. When something isn’t working… fix the main problem, don’t look for a quick solution. If you fall behind schedule frequently or miss appointments, it’s a sign that there’s something off balance in your schedule. There may be a simple solution, such as leaving for work 30 minutes earlier to reduce traffic, or setting up a carpool to you can work during the commute. Whatever the issue is, look for solutions to keep it from getting out of control.
  9. Get some sleep. Trust me, you need it. You’ll make better decisions when you’re well rested.

Looking for more work-life balance inspiration? Listen to these popular Ted Talks on the topic.

Article By Adina Rubin, Content Writer at Billtrust