For some employees and employers work-life balance is a myth, for some, it is a craving for the future and for some, it is a reality. We live in a connected world and more often than not, work follows us home. Fortunately, many people find comfort in their work whether it is from their work environment, colleagues or the work itself. But, the fact remains that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. You want Work life balance, let’s understand why and how to create it.
Understanding the “Balance” in Work-Life Balance
Balance is a verb most often omitted from our daily lives and yet it is a skill to be mastered to get our lives in order. Work-life balance does not mean everything just falls to its place like a puzzle, it takes time, effort and a bit of planning to reach your goal. This does not implicate that your work and life will be in absolute equilibrium as the weights shifts and priorities change but the balance stays – and that’s OK.
Importance of work-life balance
Inspiration is the basis of all great work, both creative and otherwise. So it is necessary to find a healthy equilibrium between personal and professional life. Stepping away and getting your “Me” time helps you clear your head, gain perspective and bring out positive changes to all areas of your life. The struggle towards Work life balance leaves you with workplace stress and anxiety. While companies are recognizing the value and extra productive of happy employees, it is up to yourself to reap the work-life benefits. Here are 10 habits to create it:
1. Commit to boundaries.
Setting boundaries in your professional life is an important task as it will help you to wind down and relax while you are back home and off the clock. This will also help you with long-term benefits like avoiding burnout and discouraging others to set unreasonable expectations.
Employees who do not set boundaries will have customers or colleagues calling you at 11 pm and this can affect you with repeated occurrence. The best way to work around this is to Notify your colleagues and customers of the schedule changes in a professional manner and stress on the fact that your limited availability will improve your ability to meet their needs more effectively when you are “on the clock”.
2. Maintain a departure time, Every day!
Consistency is the key to success and just like any habit, maintaining a departure time will give you the discipline to finish all your work in time. Time frame is a powerful thing and to maintaining it you will work smarter and harder all day to make that happen.
If you don’t have a strict deadline to leave the office at a prescribed time, consider making appointments or after work meeting with your friends immediately after office hours. Holding priorities come as a sharp relief when you are racing against a clock and you will definitely minimize those coffee breaks, chats and the idle time if it means shutting down on time. A set departure time will help you gain all the difference in achieving work-life balance.
3. Schedule significant activities on your Calendar.
Don’t let the calendar fool you in thinking that you are extremely productive. If your calendar is packed from morning to evening, the opposite is probably happening. Work and life balance come into play when you plan your professional as well as personal activities. Keep yourself healthy and well nourished with the exclusive coupons from CureFit, Click here.
You get a specific window after work and before you go to bed, so making and planning the most of your after work hours is very important. Blocking the calendar for a major event or a personal commitment is as important as any meeting. It can be tough in stressful business environments to follow up on these and can end up deviating but by purposefully scheduling you could make the most of it.
4. Minimize and turn off technology and social media.
Smartphones are an integral part of lives and are always connected to the internet which brings us to the “always on” culture. We are always active online, mostly wasting hours on end on social media and answering emails to the clients. You need to understand that you have power over your device. So helping yourself is easy by turning the notification off, keeping phones on silent and eliminating social media breaks.
This diversion from technology will help you be more active, alert and focused in your tasks, thus, tremendously helping you during the productive hours at the office.
5. Energy is everything.
During the day we work, nights we sleep—this is the natural human cycle of a day. Energy is a vital part of how we function and it is necessary to recognize the times you usually feel more focused & productive and times when you just want to crawl into your bed than spend time on a computer.
Manage your energy cycles and push through the low- energy phases and schedule your tasks according to your energy. Do low energy consuming tasks such as administrative tasks when you in a lull, and more energy intensive tasks when you are energized. To maintain your energy take supplements such as multi-vitamins which will give you that extra boost.
6. Protect your time, plan ahead.
We know that you are busy and the office is demanding, but downtime is crucial for everyone to keep them motivated and at speed. Protect your time by allocating time for yourself to recharge and yo take vacations. Even if you are planning a quick getaway from the city, it is important to plan ahead so that it does not interfere with your commitments.
Allocating tasks and delegating responsibilities helps you to shuffle your calendar and also helps make a statement that you value your time and commitments to others. Empowering yourself with a plan and protect your time and take time to finally relax. Setting aside time every Friday afternoon to assess what you need to accomplish the following week, prioritizing time-sensitive tasks as you go. Also making room for tea will give you the required refreshment every day. Get the best offers on everything tea from Teafloor, click here.
7. Create slots for recurring tasks.
Every once in a while we come across tasks that are repetitive and need to be taken care of regularly. The best way to take care of them is to schedule them at the same time every week or month. Each of your tasks that are repeating can be optimized to a certain time for e.g. Sales professionals can set aside the first hour of every day for prospecting and cold calling. If you are a chef, you can pre-prepare your dishes for the day and more.
By deciding a task to be done at a certain point of time each day or week, you will reflexively get into the mode at the appointed time ensuring you will be getting the task done at the appointed time frame. If you are really smart, you can automate the process, but, more on that on another post.
8. Leave your personal work and errands after work
We have heard the saying “when at work be at work”, and it has some meaning to it. We see a lot of colleagues who bring their homely tasks to office. As much as it may be appetizing to do personal work during office hours, you may be working against yourself. Keeping the workday items focused on work will make sure you complete your tasks and checkout at the prescribed time.
Segmenting your day based on professional as well as personal activities gives you the freedom to pursue both at the best of your capacity. So following this will help you leave on time, avoid evening and weekend works and keep you focused on work.
9. Join Social groups
Social engagement is an important aspect of life and if you find it hard to socialize because you are always working, consider joining a social – only group. These groups can be creative pursuits or even team sports which would help you free up your mind and develop teamwork. You can also interact with people and expand your social circle.
This would increase your social acceptance and also give you a wider view of society. Focus on these opportunities to make new friends and not to talk shop. Being social also helps you mitigate stress and gives you a boost in your professional and personal life.
10. If it takes 2 minutes, do it now!
Keeping things for later is one of the main reasons we miss our deadlines and work late in the office. Procrastinating to take an action would severely affect your plans and in due time pile up more errands for you to take care of.
Even we make a note to set up meetings or plan to look up something and we end up delaying it. A great way to tackle this issue is to set a rule that” if it takes 2 minutes to do a task, just do it!” Don’t prolong it, don’t plan, just do it. By following this you will feel more productive and motivated to get work completed quickly.