How to Improve Work-Life Balance

What is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is the ability to maintain a healthy and productive balance between work responsibilities and life outside of work.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Did you know? Aggregate data from web traffic analysis indicates that work-life balance is the third most clicked-upon skill in SIGMA’s Leadership Competency Framework.

Seven Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance

Would you like to improve your work-life balance? Below are seven on-the-job activities you can use to help you get started. We strongly recommend that you do not try all of these at once; start by picking one activity and pace yourself from there. Depending on your schedule it might only be feasible to do one activity per week.

  1. Evaluate your current work/life balance. How well can you disengage from work at the end of the day? How much energy do you have to pursue non-work activities? How present are you for family and friends? Pick one area where you see room for improvement and set yourself a small goal to work on over the next month.
  2. Set healthy work/life boundaries. For example, decide the times of day when you will check emails or allow yourself to think about issues at work. Avoid bringing work-related tasks or concerns into personal time and vice versa.
  3. If you are a leader, set a good example for your team. Make a point of leaving work on time and share how you spend your evenings and weekends so that your direct reports see that you have a life outside of work. Keep off email when on vacation.
  4. Take regular breaks. Incorporate breaks throughout the workday to recharge.
  5. Practice time management techniques. Prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, and focus on essential activities.
  6. Learn to say no. Understand your limits and learn to say no to excessive work demands or nonessential commitments that may infringe on your personal life.
  7. Prioritize well-being and self-care. Engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of yourself is crucial for maintaining balance and avoiding burnout.

Note that some activities will also need to be repeated in order for a healthy work-life balance to become a habit.

Download the Work-Life Balance Competency Guide

These tips are a part of SIGMA’s Work-Life Balance Competency Development Guide. Download the free PDF below for a complete list of healthy work-life balance tips and tricks for developing this critical leadership skill.

SIGMA Can Help

Since 1967, SIGMA consultants have helped thousands of organizations across North America develop their work-life balance skills, people potential, and increase organizational effectiveness. Explore our assessments, coaching, and consulting services below, and contact us if you would like to speak about creating a custom plan for your organization. Develop your team’s work-life balance with SIGMA today.

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Leadership Skills Profile –
Revised™ (LSP-R)

Take our flagship leadership assessment and see how you score on work-life balance as a leadership competency.

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Talent Development

Use SIGMA’s scientifically validated, industry-tested tools to give your talent development a strong start.

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Coaching with a
SIGMA Consultant

Participate in one-on-one coaching with SIGMA’s expert consultants to improve your work-life balance skills.

Looking for More?

If you would like to speak with a consultant about how to improve work-life balance at your organization, contact us below. We would be happy to share what we’ve learned from client experience and talk about the specific needs of your team.

Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential.

About the Author

Helen Schroeder

Marketing Coordinator

Helen completed a dual degree with Ivey Business School’s HBA program and Western University’s Honours Specialization in Psychology. As a Marketing Coordinator and Consultant she creates and manages content for SIGMA’s webpages, blogs, and coaching resources. Helen also assists in new product development, go-to-market strategy, and client consultation.