Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance: A Step-by-Step Guide

Most of us struggle to maintain work-life balance throughout our adult lives. Whether you’re juggling work and career or feel you are not reaching your full potential, achieving work-life balance can increase your overall well-being and happiness.

The benefits of successfully achieving work life balance are enormous and can include:
  • Stress reduction
  • Improved health
  • Strengthened relationships
  • Better work performance
  • Increased happiness
Addressing a work-life imbalance is a multi-stage process with specific tasks to be undertaken at each step. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide to help you achieve work-life balance:

Identify your values What’s important to you? The things that are important to us change over time. For example, before you had children your career and personal interests might have taken centre stage. Now, you might find yourself struggling to cope with managing work and family life. Once you’ve identified your values it becomes easier to set priorities.

Set goals The goals you set should align with your indentified values. They might range from spending more time with family to personal time for oneself or taking that trip you've been dreaming about. When setting your goals make sure they are SMART that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Map your time How do you spend your time right now? You might be surprised at just how little or how much time you spend on certain aspects of your life. By identifying how you currently spend your time, you can start to address the imbalance.

Prioritise With a good understanding of what’s important to you and how you currently spend your time, you can prioritise the various elements in your life. If spending more time with your family has become more important to you than that work promotion, it should be given a higher priority in your life.

Re-allocate Once you've mapped your current values, time allocation and priorities, you can begin to re-allocate time accordingly. This is where you might need to be creative in how you achieve what’s important to you.  It can help if you work with someone to develop a plan.

Make a plan With an understanding of how you currently spend your time you can identify areas where you need to make changes. It might be that you need to set boundaries or eliminate non essential activities that waste precious time. You might discover a need to develop specific skills or put time management strategies in place to help you better manage your time. Developing an action plan will help you keep on track and enable you to monitor your progress.

It can be useful to work with a Career Coach to help you achieve your work-life balance effectively. 

Copyright © CareerWorx

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, BSocSc(Couns), DipCareerGuid,  MCDI is a Career Coach at CareerWorx 


  1. Hi thanks for posting this its really helpful my wife and I have been having trouble maintaining a work life balance since having our children its not easy!

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your comment (looks like my original response was accidentally deleted!). It's not always easy but using some of these strategies can help. Best of luck to you and your wife in gaining the work-life balance that works for you.