Lucas Brenner » Articles » How to Find a Work Balance

Some people find it difficult to leave their professional tasks and concentrate on their private life. I've had my own experience with this because I've often worked too much and too long. For example, I am writing this article after a 10-hour day at just before 11 pm.

It's important to balance your work and private life even during your studies, because that's where you lay the foundations for your later professional life and develop habits. From my experience, I have learned five key lessons that I would like to describe in this article.

Not Everything Has to Be Done Immediately

Tomorrow is another day. This means that not everything has to be done today and right away. If you've taken on too much and/or haven't gotten everything done, it's perfectly okay to put things off until tomorrow or the day after.

Of course, you shouldn't put off tasks unnecessarily, but you still need to prioritize. Your personal life should be pretty important in the process – which means that sometimes you have to put off professional tasks that feel urgent.

Not Everything Needs to Get Done at All

Some tasks aren't important or urgent enough that you need to get them done. It's normal to cross tasks off your list if they're not important (anymore) or someone else can do them better.

Delegation is not a sign of weakness, but of strength: you acknowledge that someone else can do the task better than you can and therefore give up responsibility. In this way, you not only grow yourself, but in the best-case scenario, the other person can grow as well.

The 80/20 rule says that you can achieve 80% of the results with 20% of the input. In some areas, it is important to deliver 100% to be successful. The challenge is to identify the projects where you can still succeed with less input.

It Is Important to Say No

You can't take on all projects and complete every task. Sometimes you have to say no. You have to know your own workload limits and not exceed them, because that always takes revenge.

If a project doesn't cause you joy, isn't necessary, and/or doesn't fit into your schedule, you have to say no. This will not only save yourself a lot of stress, but also your counterpart, who will not get the results you want and will notice that you are not fully committed otherwise.

You Have to Have Fun

Fun is important both at work and in your personal life. If you're like me, you (usually) enjoy your work and often work too long because you're absorbed in your tasks.

Don't lose sight of your main goal: to live a happy life. This is only possible with a social life and private relationships with friends and family.

In your private life, plan meetings, dates, and events that you look forward to and that distract you from your work. Not only will this make you more balanced, but you won't be tempted to take your work with you when you get off work.

Talking To Your Peers

It is important to communicate expectations and problems openly. Especially in partnerships and close friendly relationships, it is important to talk to each other and communicate what is okay and what is not.

Expressing wishes and responding to those of the other person should be a matter of course in any relationship – but unfortunately it is not. Therefore, try to find compromises and set limits that are acceptable to all parties. These can be fixed working hours (“No one works after 7 pm.”), certain behaviors (“No talking on the phone or about work while cooking or eating”) or if-then sequences (“If the boss calls after work, I let him leave a message on the voice mail”).

In addition, you can create a roadmap for the future with your partner and, for example, plan vacations together where you don't work and maybe even forgo the Internet altogether.

Today, in the age of digitalization, a balance between work and private life is more important than ever. People who are balanced and manage their different areas of life well are happier and don't burn out as quickly – all of which complements better social relationships and happiness.

What could be better than a life full of contentment, happiness and people you love? Definitely no overtime and certainly not another long night in the office…