This post was most recently updated on August 16th, 2023
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Work-life balance is often seen as maintaining a balance between work and leisure hours. In 2021, I came to understand that achieving a healthy work-life balance goes beyond mere attendance at work; it involves prioritizing tasks based on their significance.
By prioritizing tasks, you can conserve both time and energy, enabling the establishment of an ideal work-life equilibrium. This equilibrium holds particular significance for freelancers, including translators like myself, who prioritize their well-being and consequently experience heightened job satisfaction. For companies, this provides a compelling rationale to revisit their policies and foster a culture of work-life balance among their staff.
However, creating a good work-life balance is not easy for many people. It’s not only about dividing your time between work and life because you will unconsciously think in terms of ‘work’ versus ‘life.’ And people start to see ‘work’ as the times when they are not living their lives.
Rebalancing your work and life is possible by seeking out an enjoyable job. But no job is perfect. Not everyone can get the perfect dream job. There are always going to be tedious elements of any job.
Here are signs your life might be out of balance:
- Your daily routine doesn’t comprise healthy food: You would find yourself skipping meals or having unhealthy foods during or even after work. It’s a clear indication that you failed to prioritize your health over other things. Self-care is about bringing balance back to your life that has grown imbalanced from too many responsibilities.
- Your health is going down: If you find yourself dealing with mental or health issues like upset stomach, anxiety, depression, etc., from time to time, you can take that as a sign that your life might be out of balance.
- You are unhappy: I admit that it’s hard to feel happy 24 hours a day. Well, if everything is good, why aren’t you happy? Take it as a sign that you are not living a balanced life. Keeping life balanced would bring you happiness.
Tips to achieve a realistic work-life balance
Fulfilling work and life balance will help you maintain positive energy and utter happiness. Here are some practical ways to achieve your work-life balance realistically.
Setting up clear priorities for your life means that decisions are easier. You know what and who is important to you and which values you want to focus on with your goals. A new translator may be working fifty hours per week to build their experience, while a full-time translator often has the confidence and perspective to say no in order to create free time to focus on your family or hobbies. It goes the same for content creators, influencers, or bloggers.
Remember to prioritize your health
I understand that your health might not be the first thing in your mind when you woke up and start your day. However, if you need to create a healthy work-life balance, you must focus on your health. Start stocking up healthy snacks, set up reminders to have a meal, have regular exercise, have enough sleep, etc.
Work for a company that values work-life balance
Instead of trying to change the culture of a big company by yourself, do yourself a favor and work for a company that values work-life balance. Fortunately, I’ve worked in two companies where they value work-life balance. And these days, more companies are recognizing the importance of work-life balance, so you can find good options in many different industries.
If you prefer to start your own business by using your skills, working as a freelancer will be a good option. When you graduated with a linguistic degree and enjoy working at home in a quiet environment, there are many services you can offer such as captioning services, website translations, or marketing translation. If you love going out or visiting good places, offering your interpretation service will be a great pick too! There are always options to choose from whether you want to start working for a company or build your own small business.
Enjoy a relaxing evening
As we get so busy every day, we often forget to enjoy the things that actually bring us the biggest amount of joy. One of the best ways to bring more balance into your life is to do the things that give you the most pleasure.
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you get the joy from it. This could be watching Netflix, reading fantasy books, cycling with your friends, learning a new language, becoming a better writer, or meditating. The truth is we can all find time if it’s important to use. Do it every day for an hour and it will become a habit. It will help you reconnect with what you really care about and increase your creativity.
Use your vacation days to relax
Use your vacation to recharge your energy and focus on your mental health. Since I work from home, I make sure to use the weekend to relax my body and mind. If you don’t have hobbies, I suggest you find something you’re passionate about.
If you have managed to create a good work-life balance, that’s awesome! If you’ve read through this post and realized that you’re missing your work-life balance, it’s never too late to get started. Find what helps you feel both productive and fulfilled to create a life you can be proud of.