It is harder to achieve work-life balance than ever before, thanks to the technology that makes you accessible around the clock. Experts are in agreement that the compounding stress resulting from a workday that doesn’t end can hurt your health, your relationships and your overall sense of wellbeing. Here are some tips to help you achieve more of a balance.
Prioritize your time
If you have many tasks ahead of you, prioritizing them from the most urgent and important to the least urgent is very helpful. It is difficult to learn to say ‘no’ at times but it can be a powerful little word. Learn to say it firmly without causing offense and it will be a key to gaining more work-life balance.
When you start prioritizing your time, you will start to see which activities to spend more time on because they offer you the most value and which you can afford to discard. For example, if your priority is to do project management training (PMP) through Edwel programs, you may have to cut back on that internet surfing that sends you into a time-wasting spiral.
Have set work hours and stick to them
Technology can be extremely helpful but it also makes it difficult to have uninterrupted time to recharge. Protect your quality time by unplugging. Study after study reveal that sleep deprivation affects your health and exposure to electronics late at night can cause you to lie awake.
There will always be another email to answer or another fire you need to put out. You need to be able to know when to draw the line. If you’re constantly reacting to work pressures without setting any boundaries, you are never truly relaxed or fully in control of your life.
Not everything has to be about completing tasks. One of your most crucial needs is for exercise and yet this is often one area that’s neglected.
Exercise is extremely effective at reducing stress. Studies have found that it boosts your energy, releases endorphins and increases your concentration. Exercise every day and you will improve your productivity and reduce your chances of burning out.
Find time for yourself
Constantly putting off downtime and prioritizing everyone else’s needs above your own wears you down and eventually, you will find it almost impossible to meet all the demands. Whether it’s a run before work or curling up with a book for half an hour, you need to have time to do something just for you.
It helps to start your day with a little time for some deep breathing exercises or a quick meditation session in the morning. You will be more productive at work and have more time to switch off and relax before going to bed instead of burning the midnight oil and then battling to get to sleep.
Rethink how you complete errands and chores
Think about whether there are any errands or chores you could outsource to anyone else. Today, you can even outsource errands like shopping for groceries or walking your dog to someone else. If the last thing you want to do in your free time is clean, outsource it to a cleaning service.
Communicate your needs
Don’t think that your clients or your family automatically know how you’re feeling or what you need. If you feel your work schedule needs adjusting, you need to voice this.
If your family needs to step up and take on some of your tasks, they’re unlikely to do so unless you initiate this. Don’t be a martyr. Doing all the work and then moaning about it just makes you exasperating to be around.