Work Life Balance Tips to Better Your Life
Everyone struggles with creating a satisfying work-life balance at some point in their life. Whether you are just starting out and trying to find your footing, or are already established, carving out time is a challenge to say the least.
While some industries are naturally more demanding than others, long hours have become more commonplace as companies tighten their belts and cut excess positions. Unfortunately, the extra tasks often fall on those still standing, adding extra pressure to an already stressful workload. However, with good communication and some self-awareness, it is possible to achieve a better work-life balance without compromising quality.
Making the Time
It may seem like there’s never enough time to do the things you love or want to do, but more often than not you just haven’t made time for them. Prioritizing is essential to achieving a better work-life balance, so evaluate what’s important to you.
Want to spend more time with your kids? Set aside a part of the day that’s just for them. Need more exercise? Wake up extra early and take a walk or do some yoga in the park.
Sure you need to go to work every day and accomplish specific things, but there are ways to get there more efficiently. Do you really need to check your email every couple minutes? Or how about watching TV on your lunch break?
Drop the daily activities that don’t contribute value or enhance your life in some way. Instead, focus on your goals and invest your time in building your skills or doing what you truly love.
In the same vein, certainly there are daily tasks or errands that can be outsourced to others, which will save a ton of time. There are delivery services for all kinds of things besides Chinese food and pizza.
Amazon Fresh, and other businesses like it, will deliver groceries to you and there are even ice companies that will deliver if you run out during a party. With the advent of the sharing economy, companies like Postmates and TaskRabbit thrive on the outsourcing of errands and household chores.
Figuring out a Compromise
If you are also a caregiver to small children or your elderly parents, it might be time to discuss telecommuting with your boss. It can’t hurt to ask for a day or two where you can work from home.
Communicate your situation and why it would be beneficial for you as well as your employer. Perhaps you’ve been distracted at work lately because you worry about the family members who need you. Having the opportunity to keep an eye on things at home will likely ease your mind and actually encourage productivity.
Taking Care of Yourself
While it’s fine to care for others, don’t forget about yourself. Make sure you get adequate rest, eat well, and drink enough water. Take small breaks to allow your mind to recharge, especially if you’re in front of a computer all day.
Relax in the evening with a cup of tea or set aside some time to meditate. It’s likely you’ll find that being sound of body and mind will allow you to tackle the larger issues in life as they come.
Part of taking care of yourself, is learning to say no. It may be tempting to take on additional responsibilities at work, especially if there is more pay, but think of what you may be sacrificing in the process.
Know your personal boundaries and where you draw the line. If saying yes to another networking event will cause you to miss your daughter’s dance recital, it’s definitely OK to say no.
There are only 24 hours in the day; fill yours with things that contribute to your happiness and leave you fulfilled, not stressed out. Remember, you can’t please everyone.
Step Back From Technology
In our constantly connected world, where information and communication is always at our fingertips, it’s easy to be constantly bombarded with all kinds of messages. We respond like one of Pavlov’s dogs to the sound of email in our inbox or a text message arriving.
Clients may expect you to be available at all hours of the night just because that’s when they are awake. However, it’s important to set limits on technological consumption for your own sanity. It goes back to prioritizing.
If you want to come home and have dinner with your family uninterrupted, let your boss, co-workers and clients know you’ll be unavailable during that time. Leave the work at work and ensure others respect those boundaries by not responding to phone calls, emails or other messages.
We all want to live better lives that are both balanced and fulfilling. Take the time to re-evaluate your work-life balance every few months to ensure it’s still working for you. Circumstances may change over the course of a few months or even a year, especially in your personal life. Allow yourself the time and space to breathe and you won’t burn out.