How to Achieve Your Work-life Balance

Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.

The term work–life balance is used to describe the balance that a working individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life. Areas of life other than work–life can include personal interests, family and social or leisure activities.

Here are a few tips we can all make use of reducing our stress and win back our work life balance:

Limit time-wasting activities and people

First, identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day.

Sponsor Monthly Activities

Sponsor employee and family events and activities monthly to encourage team building, friendships among employees, and the inclusion of families in work events. At the same time, schedule some of the events for adults only. Provide babysitting at the event or elsewhere, if it will encourage employee attendance.

Bowling, picnics, outdoor movies and bonfires, game centers, ice skating, sports events like a baseball or football game, a hayride, and interaction with a company favorite charity’s event are all appropriate for families.

Complete an Activity Log

Almost every time management guru recommends that people create an activity log from time to time to see, in real life, how people use their time.

The idea of an activity log is to track on 15 or 30-minute intervals during an entire day how we spend our time and seeing whether our practices align with our priorities. It can seem tedious and like a time waster, but it is an important investment in seeing how we are doing and preparing us for a needed change in how we program our time.

Understand the problem

Before you can make things better, you have to understand the problem.

Try keeping a diary for a week, and set out how much time you spend on each activity, both at work and outside. That will give you an idea of your current work-life balance. You may also find it helpful to separate chores, including driving children to activities, and ‘fun’.

Communicate effectively

Be honest with colleagues or your boss when you feel you’re in a bind. Chances are, you’re not alone. But don’t just complain suggest practical alternatives. Looking at a situation from someone else’s viewpoint can also reduce your stress.

In a tense situation, either rethink your strategy or stand your ground, calmly and rationally. Make allowances for other opinions, and compromise. Retreat before you lose control, and allow time for all involved to cool off. You’ll be better equipped to handle the problem constructively later.


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