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A 5-Step Plan to put in place in 2023 to get your work-life balance Sorted in 2024

With the new year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to set yourself up for better work-life balance in 2023. The past few years have been challenging, with the pandemic forcing many people to work from home without clear boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

However, with some intentional effort over the next couple months, you can ringin 2024 feeling refreshed, focused and excited about both your career and personal pursuits. Here are some tips to help you find greater balance:

1. Set Clear Work Hours

Just because you have the flexibility to work remotely doesn’t mean you should be “on” 24/7. Set clear hours for yourself when you will be available for meetings, calls and focused work. Communicate these hours to your manager and team to set expectations. When your workday ends, shut down your computer and don’t open your email again until the next morning.

2. Block Off Time for Non-Work Activities

Look at your calendar for the remainder of 2023 and block off time for the non-work activities that are important to you – exercise, meal preparation, hobbies, doctors appointments, time with friends and family etc. Setting this time aside in advance will help ensure you dedicate time for your personal life. During these blocked off times, set your messaging apps and email to “away” or “do not disturb” so you aren’t tempted to blur the lines.

3. Evaluate Your Meetings

Take a look at your weekly meetings and determine if any can be consolidated, shortened, delegated or eliminated altogether. Decline meetings when you can’t clearly understand the purpose or agenda. Suggest shorter check-ins rather than defaulting to hour-long meetings. Protect your calendar to focus on substantive work.

4. Set Expectations with Your Manager

Have an open conversation with your manager about what a reasonable workload and set of expectations looks like. Discuss any challenges you’ve faced maintaining balance lately and strategies that could help, like greater role clarity, dividing up responsibilities or alternating intensive work periods with lighter ones. A supportive manager will want to help set you up for success.

5. Build in Time for Reflection and Planning

Block off time before the end of 2023 to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t when it came to your work-life balance. Identify any adjustments, changes or additional support that could help you do even better in 2024. Come up with a plan to implement these changes and share it with your manager. Heading into the new year with intention will set you up for success.

Finding greater work-life balance requires some effort and discipline, but is well worth it for improved health, happiness and performance. Start putting these tips into practice over the next couple months so you can really optimize and enjoy both your work and personal time in 2024. With some focus and commitment, you’ll be amazed at the difference better balance can make.

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