If you are anything like me you are constantly trying to find ways to achieve work-life balance. I am in upper management in my department and have 4 (sometimes 5, love you husband) kids and two dogs. I’m trying to grow the business my husband and I have started in hopes of traveling someday. On top of all of that I am trying to get certified in my field and am “cramming studying in where I can. Needless to say, I am very type A and very, very busy.
In an article called “Work-life Balance” published in the International Journal of Current Research, work-life balance is defined here as an individual’s ability to meet their work and family commitments, as well as other non-work responsibilities and activities
If you are cray cray like me, here are 10 things you can do to try and achieve work-life balance.
1. Set priorities:
In order to set priorities, you have to identify the things at work that make you uncomfortable. For example, you have a major deadline coming up and your boss asks you to start another project at the same time. If you start the new project will you be able to handle both, or will you do poorly on both because you can’t spend enough time on either project? If you won’t be able to perform well on either project it is better if you tell your boss “no” and explain why.
2. Track your time:
In order to figure out how much time you have, it is a good idea to track your time for a week or two in a journal. This will give you an idea of what you spend your time on. From there you can decide if you have extra time or if you need to change something about your schedule. For example, you may think, “I don’t have time to exercise.” You look back at your journal and realize you spent 6 hours this week on Facebook. If you cut that time in half you then have 3 hours to exercise.
3. Focus on one thing at a time:
I am going to go out on a limb, and perhaps some of you will disagree with me, but it really is impossible to multitask. Try to focus on one thing and getting it done. You can keep a list to the side of things you think about when completing the task, but you must finish the task at hand before starting another one. This is a principle of mindful living. Live in the moment. Focus on the moment.
4. Schedule things you look forward to everyday:
Whether you take 15 minutes or 12 hours it is important to schedule things you look forward to doing. No matter what is going on in your schedule or what curveball life throws at you it is important that you take this time for yourself to recharge your batteries.
Exercising even for a few minutes at a time gets your heart beating and releases the happy chemicals in your brain. I have heard that sitting for 9 hours a day is worse for your heart than smoking. Try to get up at least once an hour and move around. Get your blood flowing throughout your body and stretch a little. If you have an Apple Watch it will remind you every hour to stand up, or download an app that will remind you. (While you are at it, download one that will remind you to drink your water as well!)
It is impossible to run on empty. You must get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. You will wake up feeling refreshed and able to take on the day. Your mind naturally solves problems while you are sleeping so you may wake up with an answer to a problem that you never thought of before. Your thoughts for the rest of the day will be sharper and your memory will be much clearer.
7. Ask for help:
Hands down number one hardest thing for me to do. If you can’t get everything done, ask for help. Your kids can help do the dishes or vacuum even if the results aren’t perfect. You can either learn to deal with a little mess or hire someone to take on the tasks of cleaning if you can afford it. Let your boss or spouse know if you just can’t do it all and ask if they can help take things off your plate. You just have to accept that it might not be done the same way you would have done it and be okay with the results.
8. Set Boundaries:
If you get weekends off, tell your supervisor that you won’t be reached because you will be with your family (or at least certain hours you won’t be available.) The opposite is also true. Tell your friends and family when you aren’t available.
9. Fight the guilt and learn to say no:
A lot of times we feel guilty when we can’t help people with what they ask, but I guarantee it is worse for the person asking if you say yes and then can’t perform. It is important to not let guilt make you say yes to things you can’t really commit to because it will cut into other areas of your life.
10. Know your employer’s policies:
Check your employment manual to see if your company offers things like flex time, comp time, or telecommuting. This may free up chunks of time for you to run errands or maybe work for 4 straight hours on a project without distraction. If you have a long commute maybe you can change your hours so that you avoid traffic, but still get work done.
We have just talked about 10 ways to achieve work-life balance. There are many things you can do to achieve work-life balance and I just touched on a few, but I wanted to mention one more:
By Betsy Drellack www.decorousdiva.com