Working Full-Time Hours: How To Find a Work-Life Balance
When working full time, it can be challenging to find a balance that allows you to accomplish things outside of work, spend time with loved ones and perform well in the workplace. Though finding a work-life balance is different for everyone, there are some things that you can do to create a life that fits your lifestyle and needs. In this article, we explain what a full-time job is and provide 10 tips for developing a work-life balance.
What is a full-time job?
The classifications for full-time employment can vary depending on the industry and position, but most companies require full-time positions to work between 35 and 50 hours a week. Though this range can be flexible, working 40 hours a week is standard for full-time employment. Full-time employees are usually given access to benefits, such as sick days, paid vacation, health insurance, and a pension.
Work-life balance tips when working full time
Here are a few tips for preserving your work-life balance as a full-time employee:
- Take regular breaks.
- Use and enjoy your vacation days.
- Customize your work environment and routine.
- Find an employer that values its workers.
- Create healthy boundaries.
- Determine your priorities.
- Reassess your goals periodically.
- Set aside time for friends and family.
- Prioritize the tasks that add to your goals.
- Use your time intentionally.
1. Take regular breaks
When working in a fast-paced and demanding environment, it can be helpful to take a regular, scheduled break in the middle of the day to re-center yourself and reconnect with your thoughts. Take roughly 30 minutes and step away from your screens and go outside for a walk or meditate. You’ll likely return to work feeling invigorated and more productive than if you had worked straight through the day.
2. Use and enjoy your vacation days
Taking time off of work is essential to your mental and physical health which, in turn, reflects on your work performance. It’s important to take advantage of the paid vacation days that your employer provides so that you can find perspective and foster a healthy work-life balance.
The advancement of technology has made work easily accessible, even when on vacation, so to fully take advantage of your time off, avoid checking work emails or messages and focus on sightseeing or hiking and spending time with family.
3. Customize your work environment and routine
Everyone works differently and requires different environments for optimal performance, so it can be beneficial to move away from the traditional 9-5 work schedule to find a work routine that works best for you. Whether that means working earlier in the day, changing work environments and routines occasionally, or working remotely, there are plenty of options for creating a scenario that allows you to improve your performance as well as your life outside of full-time employment.
4. Find an employer that values its workers
Of course, many of these suggestions for finding work-life balance will be challenging to implement without an understanding and flexible employer. When interviewing for positions, it’s a good idea to talk about the work culture at the company as well as your specific needs. A company that values work-life balance will allow you to advocate for your needs and create a schedule and environment that works best for you and your family.
5. Create healthy boundaries
Creating boundaries with work has become increasingly more important because of the development of smartphones and applications that make us constantly connected. To make sure that you are making full use of your free time, it’s vital that you create boundaries that prevent you from checking in on work well into the night.
An effective strategy is to simply delete the work messaging and email applications from your phone each night, and then download them again the next day.
6. Determine your priorities
Before you can create a work-life balance, you need to figure out what you want out of your career. For some, earning a higher salary is their primary objective, which inevitably takes more time to commit to working and provides less freedom. For others, creating a lifestyle that focuses on family and free time is the priority. Once you identify your goals, you’ll be able to make intentional decisions and find the right job that helps you accomplish them.
7. Reassess your goals periodically
Even if you’ve already determined your primary goals and motivations, it can be easy to lose sight of them after a while. That’s why it’s important to regularly reevaluate your priorities so that you can ensure that you are still working towards accomplishing your goals and creating a life that you enjoy outside of work.
8. Set aside time for friends and family
Creating healthy relationships is an important aspect of finding a work-life balance. Regardless of your full-time work schedule or professional demands, designating specific days and times to spend with loved ones is a necessity.
9. Prioritize the tasks that add to your goals
It’s easy for work and life to become imbalanced when you begin to focus on things that don’t contribute to your higher-priority objectives. Though committing to activities outside of your goals is sometimes necessary, make sure that you are always prioritizing your more important goals.
10. Use your time intentionally
Learning to be more efficient with your time is one of the most important ways to make sure you are creating a life that is balanced while working full-time. It’s easy to become distracted while working on something, causing it to take much longer than it should. As a result, you could be detracting from your free time to complete the task.
An easy way to combat this cycle is to give your work activities structure by planning them out and then assigning them blocks of time to be completed. This often results in a higher level of productivity and the ability to enjoy the unscheduled time on your calendar.