Most of us feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. We are constantly juggling the demands of work and home to try to keep up. Add in the pervasive nature of technology, and many employees feel that they are “on duty” 24/7. How then to strike the right balance to achieve and maintain work-life balance?
There is no one size fits all approach, but hopefully, these tips will lead to productive discussions for managers and employees:
Track your time.
Time is a very valuable commodity, so you don’t want to waste it. Instead, focus on what really matters. Take one week and analyze where and how your time is spent. You might discover that you could streamline some of your work processes to save time. Consider your other activities; you may need to prioritize or limit extra-curricular activities for you and other family members.
Respecting whatever boundaries, you put in place is essential in achieving balance. It may be hard at first, but stick with it until you develop a routine and drive a culture and lifestyle of predictability. There is always another email to reply to or a problem to work out, but only by personally respecting your boundaries will others to do the same.
Turn it off.
Nearly every piece of technology has an off button, so use it! To get started, do it in phases. Don’t bring your cellphone to the dinner table. Don’t bring your tablet to the beach. When you unplug and step back, you will start to gain perspective and think about problems with greater clarity rather than just responding in the moment.
Make time for fun.
Just as you schedule doctor visits, you should also plan time for social and leisure activities. Be selective and choose things which will help you to relax and recharge. It is important to take some uninterrupted time each day to do something you enjoy. Scheduling time for exercise is a true win-win. It will give you the energy to get more done, help you to deal with stress and prevent you from getting sick.
To have a long, healthy, productive, and happy life and career you need to understand the value of pace. There are times when you have to throttle up and there are times when you can throttle down. Self-awareness is crucial. Doing so will help you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.