The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Work-Life Balance While work-life balance is something that everyone strives for, it's not always easy to achieve.

By Christopher Massimine

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're an ambitious person like me, it's easy to get burnt out and lose your work-life balance. It can happen when you try too hard to be perfect or simply don't take care of yourself. However, it's also easy to fix if you follow these steps.

1. Stop trying to be perfect

Stop trying to be perfect. It's unattainable, and it can be harmful. When we strive for perfection, we often give up when we fall short of our goals or feel like a failure. Instead of trying to get everything done perfectly, strive for excellence instead — that is, do your best work with the knowledge that you're going to make mistakes along the way and that sometimes things won't go as smoothly as hoped. Make sure you enjoy yourself along your journey; having fun at work is just as important as doing good work.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

2. Work with your body

When it comes to working with your body, you should keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, don't try to do anything too hard for yourself. If a task is beyond what you're capable of doing well or safely, ask for help. Take breaks when needed and work in conditions that are comfortable and safe. When applicable and possible, working from home can be much more conducive than trying to fit everything into an eight-hour day at an office where you're surrounded by people who might make it difficult to concentrate on getting things done correctly.

3. Always put "you" first

You must put yourself first. This can be a lot harder than it sounds. After all, if you're anything like me, you've been told your whole life that putting others first is the right way to be and that selfishness is destructive. I'm here to tell you that there are times when being selfish is necessary and beneficial — it just takes some time to get used to. There are many ways we can put ourselves first:

  • Exercise. We all know how great exercise makes us feel, but did you know it can boost our moods? Studies have shown that people who work out regularly have higher levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in their brains than those who don't work out at all or as regularly. It also releases endorphins — the chemical responsible for making us feel good — into our bloodstreams and enables us to think more clearly about situations that may otherwise overwhelm us due to stress or anxiety caused by events outside our control (like traffic jams).
  • Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy foods ensures that we're not only getting enough vitamins and minerals needed for energy throughout the day, but they also help provide structure and consistency.

Related: Work-Life Balance Is Essential for Entrepreneurs

4. Give yourself a break

Sometimes it's easy to forget that you need a break from work as much as your colleagues and family do. You might be able to stretch yourself thinner than most people, but that doesn't mean you can go on forever without requiring some time off. Make sure you take some time for yourself every now and then to recharge your batteries. Otherwise, they'll eventually run down. It's also vital that you give yourself the freedom to relax and have fun with other people whenever possible; this will help form healthy relationships with those around you (at work or outside of it) and make life more enjoyable overall.

5. Don't be afraid to say no

No one likes to be told no, and it's natural to feel guilty about turning somebody down. But if you are working too much, there will be some people you cannot say yes to.

If saying no is difficult for you, try practicing with someone you trust and respect before attempting it in the real world. You may also want to use phrases like "I wish I could help but…" or "I really appreciate your offer but unfortunately…."

You should never feel bad about saying no when there is a legitimate reason behind it (e.g., time, energy) or when it would violate your values or morals (e.g., not being willing to work on Sundays).

6. Learn from your mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life. Learning from them and moving on is important, rather than dwelling on the past.

If you make a mistake, don't feel bad about it. You're only human, after all. Put the mistake behind you and focus on doing something better in the future. If people are willing to help you out when things go awry, by all means, accept their generosity and don't be afraid to ask for it — this is what friends are for.

7. Leave work at work

Don't bring work home with you. This is a big one. If you are stuck on something, it's perfectly fine to take the time home to figure it out. But make sure that when you leave work, it's left behind. Don't have your computer on when you get home so that checking emails isn't tempting, and disconnect your phone's work email when leaving the office. Don't turn it on until you're back in the office.

It's easy to get burnt out and lose your work-life balance, but it's also easy to fix if you know how.

Burnout can happen to anyone who has more than they can chew on their plates, works long hours at their job (or multiple jobs) and is consistently disrespected or not shown appreciation. The best way to prevent burnout is by learning to calm down and take care of yourself before things get out of hand.

While work-life balance is something that everyone strives for, it's not always easy to achieve. The best thing to do is take a step back, look at where you're going wrong and then fix it. Remember that life isn't all about work — take time out to relax, enjoy yourself and make sure your body feels good before getting back into the swing of things tomorrow morning.

Related: 10 Leaders Who Set Good Work-Life Balance Examples

Christopher Massimine

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor


Chris Massimine is the CEO of Imagine Tomorrow, a firm that shepherds and sources capital for creative works. Massimine is also a business development consultant, an international theatermaker and executive producer of the upcoming film "The Inventor."

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