Create Work/Life Balance
Work/life balance is not just a catchy (and often overused) phrase. Without balance, there can be serious consequences to one’s health and relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Turning things back around once these consequences take place can sometimes be a challenge. It can be difficult to get into balance, but this is achievable if you follow a few easy steps. Continue reading to discover some ideas on getting yourself into a state of better work/life balance.
Create Work/Life Balance
Everyone can benefit from an ideal balance of work and life. Regardless of the industry and occupation, achieving and maintaining balance is not easy. However, there are several easy and effective means of doing so. These tricks are useful for everyone, from the CEO to the stay-at-home parent, and for anyone in between.
The first step in achieving balance is to perform an audit on your time usage. How do you spend your time at work and at home? It is important to include time spent commuting and sleeping. When analyzing your work time, pay close attention to the time you spend emailing and sitting in meetings. These two activities tend to be the biggest time consumers of your productivity. Ask yourself if there are other time consuming activities you engage in, such as time spent online or in front of the television.
Once you know how you are spending your time, create a schedule. Schedule time to be dedicated to your work activities and also schedule time to be dedicated to your family and friends. Time with family and friends tend to become of secondary importance when there is an imbalance. When you are at work, be 100% mentally dedicated to your work, but when you are at home, also be 100% mentally dedicated to your family and friends. Everything you do at work and at home matters and you know this, so it is important to be completely present wherever you are. Scheduling your time greatly helps with this. Be sure to leave work issues at work and leave home issues at home. When you do, things will more readily fall into place and you allow balance to find you once in a while (once you master this ability).
When creating a work schedule, include breaks throughout the day and have a set time for each day to come to an end. Mindlessly ticking off tasks on a to-do list is a drain on productivity and does not allow the brain time to relax or properly refocus attention elsewhere. In that same respect, not knowing when to end the day can also drain productivity. There are very few activities that cannot wait until the next day.
Prioritizing your workload is essential. Critical tasks should be completed when you first arrive in the office. Mornings should be dedicated to big projects. By taking care of them early in the day, you not only have a feeling of accomplishment, but it saves the afternoon for tasks that can be completed the next day, if needed.
Exercise should also be included in the schedule. Whether it is a walk during lunch or an early morning run, movement is essential to work/life balance. Thirty-minutes of exercise, several times per week, will help to reverse some of the negative effects of work/life imbalance, such as sleep disturbances. It is also proven to boost brain function, which will increase your productivity both at work and home.
Creating and following a schedule is just the beginning of achieving work/life balance. Balance becomes easier to maintain over time. Eventually, when there is a “blip” in your balance, you will not only readily take notice of it, but it will take very little time for you to bounce back from it.
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