WORK LIFE BALANCE!!!
A man had a choice, after all. He devoted his life to his work or to his wife, children and home. It could not be combined; not in this day and and age. “In this insane world where god was second to income and goodness to wealth.” By Richard Matheson , Collected Stories Vol – 1.
Something many of us believe would make us happier is achieving a work/life balance. In today’s busy world, prioritizing between your work and your personal life can be a huge challenge .The imbalance of the two can cause stress, lack of satisfaction and even reduced productivity.
When someone has more “work” than “life” he may be viewed as an exceptional employee, but outside of work he runs the risk of being pegged as a workaholic, and his personal life may suffer.
On the other hand, when someone allows his personal life to overflow into his work life, it’s often viewed as laziness or a lack of focus and will likely have negative ramifications on his career.
So how can you achieve a better work/life balance? Consider the following.
Prioritize, Prioritize, And Prioritize
Figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself, “If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?” That answer is your top priority. What would you focus on Second? Third? Fourth? Fifth? You’ve now identified your top five priorities. When you identify the most important items on your to-do list, it’s easier to know where to start and when you can finish for the day or week. Prioritization helps you focus on what is really important and decreases unnecessary stress that comes with an urgent focus on less timely or unimportant tasks.
Be proactive – not reactive
When you’re reactive, you lose touch with what’s really important, and thus, you fail to operate at peak capacity, causing stress. When you take the time and effort to plan ahead and anticipate what your colleagues or managers may request, you’ll be better prepared to juggle multiple tasks and schedule your time. With your schedule planned, you can attack those tasks proactively, rather than waiting for external inputs to land on your desk, increasing your stress levels and leaving you overwhelmed. Hopefully, this will prevent you from bringing a lot of work home on a regular basis.
Use your vacation
At the very least, take two weeks off from work per year. You don’t need to go far and you don’t need to spend lots of money, but you do need to recharge your batteries in order to be the most productive, creative, and happy person possible. Turn off your cell phone and computer, and enjoy.
Learn to Say “No” with a smile
There’s no point volunteering for every project if the quality of your work is going to suffer. Saying no firmly but politely shows you’ve got a clear understanding of your priorities When you stop doing things out of guilt, you’ll find more time to focus on the activities that truly bring you joy.
Take care of yourself
Don’t put off taking care of yourself. You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to exercise. Even a brisk walk in the morning or at lunchtime can be invigorating and help clear your mind. Research shows regular exercise helps keep you clear-headed, which improves control of work-life balance, reduces stress and increases self-efficacy.
Remember to keep your energy levels up with a proper lunch break (don’t just snack on crisps), go home at a decent hour and never check work emails in bed. If you let your health take a back seat to your job, the quality of your work will go downhill and you’ll end up even more stressed.
Trust in your peers
If you believe in your colleagues – in their intellect, in their work ethic, in their skill set – then share the load. Even if you believe you have to do everything yourself, it’s unlikely you’re expected to carry the entire burden at the expense of all of your personal time.
If you work with a team, be sure to collaborate on projects, and don’t own tasks for the sake of ownership. You may be a perfectionist or love control, but winning organizations are made up of teammates, not individuals. Your work-life balance will improve significantly with a little bit of help from your friends.
Achieving balance in both your work and personal lives allows you to perform optimally in both areas.
When you follow the tips in this article, you’ll have the strategies and tactics necessary to achieve the balance you desire.
The 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study found that 75 percent of employees ranked workplace flexibility as their top desired benefit. Whether or not your employer is actively seeking ways to enhance your flexibility, use these steps to protect your personal time and to make an effort to tip the balance in your work-life hour.