Striking a Work-Life Balance
Ever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks your job and personal life throw at you? Trying to juggle the daily demands of a career and a social life can be a constant struggle and one which many people are just not able for.
When trying to balance your career with a life outside of the workplace, the first thing which needs to be realised is that you are in control. If you want to be successful in your work and in your personal life, you need to take the lead and make it happen; one small, very doable step at a time. Because small steps can lead to big changes.
Of course most of us feel like a successful career conflicts with a great life outside of work, but this doesn't have to be the case. The following easy steps will help you achieve both.
Do something social during the week
Weekdays can be one big blur if you've nothing but work to fill them. Don't confine your life to the hours between Friday evening and Monday morning. Take a class during the week, or challenge yourself to visit the gym a couple of evenings; basically do anything which helps spread out the week but doesn't affect your ability to work.
Of course it can be difficult due to tiredness from your working week, but try not to wallow in your fatigue and you'll find yourself looking forward to other days apart from Friday.
It is imperative you learn the value of saying no if you want to reach a work-life balance. Whether it is staying for a drink on a work night, or extra over-time, you need to know how to simply decline.
Weigh the benefits and the costs when considering a proposition and if it affects your work or private life too adversely, then just say no.
Set Calendar Reminders
Organisation is key to a good work-life balance and an easy way to know what you're doing is a digital calendar. This will notify you when one obligation is running into the next.
Input all your out-of-work activities, as well as your work appointments and you'll find your life's conflicts slowly disappear.
Enjoy home time
Do you ever find yourself checking work emails when you're supposed to be having family time? If your answer is yes, then STOP. If your mind is constantly on your career, you may be missing some of the best years of your family life.
Schedule times when you can just turn off your phone and avoid emails, because family time should be savoured.
Compromising sleeping habits for either work or your social life will see both suffer. Doing an all-nighter at a computer will not see you produce your best work. It will also cause you to be like a zombie during your off-time.
As will staying out all night to catch up on your social-life. Don't ignore the power of sleep because it is essential to a strong life balance.
Don't spend every evening in the office
There will be times when you need to stay in the office until an unreasonable hour. And bosses do pay attention to how much time you commit.
But this doesn't mean you have to stay until after the sun goes down every night. If it is quiet in your workplace try to leave at a reasonable time, as a few hours of personal time at the end of the day will improve your mood and your attitude to work.
Schedule work hours at home
If you have to work from home, make sure your work hours are set. It is very easy to find yourself spending every minute of the day attending to a certain project or specific paper-work.
Time-limits have to be set. Perhaps give yourself a set number of hours to watch TV, spend time with your family or to read for pleasure.
If you don't follow these tips you may find one aspect of your life ruining the other, when in fact it is quite possible to juggle both. Just remember that you shouldn't be living to work, but rather working to live. A successful career and a great personal and social life are not mutually exclusive!