It’s very difficult to strike that perfect balance between work and home life. Especially today, when coming into work early and leaving late, seems to be the norm. As time goes on, we find ourselves getting busier and busier – more meetings to attend, team building events, flying halfway around the world to give a presentation. Your personal life also kicks in, because your daughter is having her first recital for this year’s holiday play and your son wants you to watch his soccer game.
The list could go on forever, all of which can severely hamper the importance of work-life balance. Fortunately, we found six ways to have a good work-life balance. Following these six tips should help you create more of a work-life balance:
1. Create Boundaries
This is one of the best things you can do to protect your work-life balance. For example, if you’re going away on a short weekend trip, leave the laptop and work phone at home. If it makes you feel better, you can even put an out-of-office on your email, so everyone knows you’re away.
There are also small things that you can do in your everyday life to create boundaries. For example, speak with your boss so they know when they can and cannot reach you. Don’t take work calls while eating dinner with the family, or if you’re at the park with the kids. Another good habit to get into is leaving your laptop in the living room, or your office, instead of bringing it to bed with you. There are tons of other examples but we’re sure you get the picture.
2. Make Time for Yourself
When we get busy, that self-care is often the first thing that gets skipped over. But self-care is so important, especially if you have a busy life. Take some time away from your computer and phone, and just disconnect from the world and have some uninterrupted “me time.”
You can take a nice hot bubble bath, have some wine or tea, go to the gym, go for a manicure and/or pedicure, or do some shopping to get those pants you’ve been looking at for weeks. Never forget that you matter and take some time to do some self-care regularly.
3. Prioritize Your Time
Time management plays a central role in the importance of work-life balance. A good way to prioritize your time is to make a list with all of your tasks. Next up, prioritize the tasks into four categories: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, neither urgent nor important.
Once you have that list sorted out, you can begin with urgent and important and get through your tasks that way. At least the more urgent and important tasks will get done if you run out of time. This should ease some of your stress. Take small steps to achieve big goals (in this case the goal is to get through everything (or as much as you can) on your list.
4. Have Set Work Hours
What is your actual shift? The best thing you can do is stick to the times you’re supposed to be in the office and cut out anything extra (unless you really need to come in early for a meeting or stay late for some other reason). This way, you have time with your family in the morning.
When it comes time to go home for the day, and you actually leave on time, you’ll be home to enjoy some family time, and hopefully some me time. The more often you stay longer at the office, the more it will come to be expected of you, and the less time you will have for your family or you.
5. Learn to Say No
We all know how hard it can be to tell our boss no. But if you consistently say yes to all of your boss’s demands, they will always go to you when they need help with work. While helping out when you have room in your schedule is one thing, you can’t bite off more than you can chew. If you do this, you’ll be so buried in work it will be hard to see the light. If you’re trying to establish more of a work-life balance, you’ll soon have to learn to say no. And remember – saying no is okay!
6. Take Your Vacation Days
Sometimes, workers are so busy, they opt not to take their vacation days. However, these days are so imperative to maintaining a good work-life balance. These days are yours for a reason. Employers want you to take a break, rest and recharge your batteries. Your employers place emphasis on maintaining corporate wellness, and so should you.
It’s no fun to just work all the time. Use this time to go on a vacation with your family. Or just stay around town and do things you wouldn’t normally do, like go to a fair, the movies, the zoo, whatever it is you and your family have been wanting to do for a while.