September 6th, 2016
Achieving an appropriate work-life balance has become increasingly difficult in our modern era.
Companies are hiring less people and spreading more work to the employees they already have. There are also unwritten expectations in many companies for employees to answer emails, take calls and schedule meetings in off-work hours, weekends and even vacations.
However, having time to focus on yourself is important for your personal, and your family’s, well-being.
Here are some tips we’ve taken ourselves to restore some balance between your work-self and life-self.
Think of all the work, career and productivity-related tasks you “pencil in” on a weekly basis. Some of these may be one-on-ones with your supervisor or direct reports; networking events in your field; working lunches with your coworkers; and others.
Why can’t time for yourself also be penciled in?
Instead of only blocking off evenings and lunches for work and career-related events, you should also block off the same time slots every week to only be spending time with family or on your own.
Take yourself to that Pilates class every Thursday, for instance, or make every Tuesday night family game night.
By actually blocking off those times, you’ll be less likely to allow work to seep into time that really should be just for you, your spouse and/or your children.
This one can be difficult for many (we’re certainly guilty!) especially in an era of always-on smartphones and digital communications.
But if you’re serious about restoring work-life balance, you’ll actively turn off your work phone or restrict yourself from checking email on vacations, holidays and as many weekends as you can.
If needed, you can install third-party apps on your home computer that will restrict your Internet access to certain sites, such as your work email, during time periods that you set.
If you find that your work responsibilities seem impossible to fit into a full workday, then it’s time to sit back and prioritize the things that are truly worth your time and devotion.
Maybe you are innately skilled at report writing, so make that the task you spend most of your focus on during the workday.
Anything that you don’t feel you can truly make the most positive contribution toward can simply wait until tomorrow – or be delegated to someone else who is exceptional at it.
Our final tip on work-life balance is to make sure you love what you’re doing in your job. If you do, then a lot of the stresses that are natural with any job become just a little less difficult to swallow; and the good times will make work not seem like work at all.
We’re blessed with an office of dedicated, passionate people who love their jobs (& are also pretty great dancers!) so that makes the stress of last-minute file changes or closing deadlines more bearable!
Another aspect of your emotional well-being is where you spend most of your non-working time: your home.
When you’re not working, make sure the place you call home is as pleasant of an environment as possible. We all need to recharge, and living in a space that doesn’t suit your lifestyle or that you don’t love makes it more difficult than it needs to be.