Unconventional Ways to Pursue a Healthier Work Life Balance

We all want a healthier work-life balance, and most of us know that the straightforward path to achieving this is taking more time for ourselves. But there are some other, less conventional ways that you can pursue a healthier work-life balance.

Redesign Your Workspace for Comfort

One option is to redesign your workspace for comfort and personal enjoyment. Whether you realize it or not, your workspace significantly affects your feelings of work life balance – as well as your mood during the workday. 

If you feel truly comfortable and immersed in your working environment, you’re going to be more productive, but more importantly, you’re going to be happier. And if your working environment becomes a genuinely happy place, work-life balance becomes less of an issue; work becomes a fulfilling part of your life in a sincere and rewarding way.

These are some strategies that can help you redesign your workspace for comfort:

  • Customize whatever you can. Depending on where and how you work, you may have practically unlimited options for customization. If you work from home, you can redesign your office, purchase whatever furniture works best for you, and even select your devices and equipment. If you work in an office, some of these things may already be provided to you and you may not have much influence in what you’re assigned. Still, you should take the opportunity to customize whatever you can.
  • Include photos and personal possessions. It’s common for people to decorate their workspaces with photos of family members and personal possessions that are meaningful to them. Doing this is beneficial for most employees, but it becomes even more powerful if you swap these items out regularly so they don’t blend into a meaningless background.
  • Provide sensory stimulation. You can also introduce more forms of sensory stimulation, so long as you’re permitted to do so. Soft background music, pleasant aromas, and even colorful lights can all boost your mood.

Be Authentic in Your Workplace

Next, work on being more authentic in your workplace. Many people feel like their life is out of balance because when they go to work, they adopt an entirely different persona, muting their natural humor, hiding their most unique personality traits, and feigning interest in things that seem pointless to them. 

While polite society does require some degree of tact, you might be surprised at how much better you feel in your workplace if you remain true to yourself. Say what you really think, show off your personality, and don’t worry too much about fitting in or sucking up to your bosses.

Do note that being inauthentic does have advantages in many industries and positions. But this article is about work-life balance and personal fulfillment, rather than career advancement.

Find a Job You’re Truly Passionate About

The commonly cited adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life,” is a somewhat controversial one. Some people stand by this sentiment, while others criticize it, noting that not all passion projects are useful and those that are can quickly turn into drudgery when treated as work.

Still, if you can find a job you’re truly passionate about in some capacity, you’ll find much more balance in your professional and personal life.

These are some ways you can do it:

  • Work for an employer with matching values. You may not love what you do, exactly, but if you work for an employer who has the same values as you do individually, your work will feel more fulfilling and rewarding.
  • Do something that makes you feel good. Sometimes, individual tasks can make you feel good; helping someone resolve an issue or making a client’s day with a pleasant surprise can bring you personal enjoyment during even your worst workdays.
  • Optimize your workload for flow. In psychology, flow is a mental state of seamless, immersive focus. It represents a perfect balance between ease and challenge, while simultaneously holding your interest. Not all jobs have the capacity to stimulate flow in all people – but that’s why it’s important to find a job where you can achieve this flow state easily.

Leave Your Job Out of Your Personal Life Entirely

This is arguably the most mainstream piece of advice in the article, but it’s worth mentioning: try to leave your job out of your personal life entirely. Don’t spend all your time with friends and family members complaining about work or talking about your achievements; regardless of whether you’re focusing on positive or negative aspects, this is a way of work encroaching on your personal life. 

Similarly, you should set boundaries to avoid answering emails on your personal time or taking care of other professional business when you’re supposed to be relaxing. If you’re not careful, you could feel like your job is completely taking over your life.

Work-life balance is an abstract and somewhat subjective concept; everyone is going to have different thoughts and opinions about what this balance is and how to achieve it. But as long as you remain open-minded and dedicated to finding the best strategies for your own needs, you’ll eventually find a balance that truly works.

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