8 Ways To Increase Your Work/Life Balance
Work-life balance is a concept that describes the ideal of splitting one’s time and energy between work and the outside work aspects of their life. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, church, personal growth, the activities you really enjoy, and children/older parents, in addition to the demands of the workplace. Here are eight ways that will have an immediate impact on improving your work/life balance:
1. Make Sure Your Master List Includes Your Personal Life
Better work/life balance starts by including your personal life on your “Master List”. You are thinking about it so why don’t you write it on your list? I didn’t get a personal life until I put my personal life on my list. I then look for ways to integrate my personal to-dos into my work day when I need a break. Some examples would be; call the doctor, make an appointment for my car, check my checking balance, etc. Since most people are visual, when you see checkmarks next to personal to-dos, you are more likely to feel you have actual work/life balance.
2. Put Your Personal Life on Your Calendar
Since there is a direct correlation between the quality of your personal life and your productivity at work, you’re making a stronger commitment to your personal life when you put it on your calendar. Though it may feel strange to formally schedule activities like “family dinner” or “workout at the gym,” doing so will make it far more likely that these activities actually happen.
3. Coordinate Your Schedule with Your Family and Vice Versa
Every Sunday, (I recommend at dinner) get out a calendar and go over the planned activities for the coming week so that you are prioritizing the greatest needs of your family. Discuss travel plans, meetings, events, etc. If you have children, discuss carpooling, transportation responsibilities, tests, etc., and who’s responsible for what. This advances planning and communication should eliminate miscommunication and make your family life smoother.
4. Make Time to Unplug from Work
Your mind and body need rest from work on a regular basis in order to recharge. Set aside time each day and week to block out thoughts of work and focus exclusively on the people and activities that matter most to you.
5. Make Time for Yourself
When you are not at work, you have to learn to put yourself first. When you get home from work take some time to decompress by yourself. Go for a walk, go to the gym, or maybe read something that interests you. Schedule time to do the things you enjoy like golf, tennis, exploring new places, etc.
6. Cut Down on Commuting Time
If working within close proximity isn’t possible, see if you can do some of your work at home first thing in the mornings and afternoons and commute to and from work when traffic is lessened.
7. Put the Phone Down
When you are with partner or family, put your phone in a different room for an hour. Try to create quantity time. You can’t truly give someone or your family your time and attention if your phone is within eyesight. Maybe give your phone to a loved one to lessen the temptation (that’s what I did.) Stop checking email all evening! Turn off notifications on your phone to better focus on family time.
8. Stop Talking about Work All the Time
When you get home the first question you might get asked is, “How was your day?” Resist the temptation to go into great detail about how bad (or good) it was. Turn it around on the other person as soon as possible. I believe people would much rather talk about something they can relate to, and it provides you with a much-needed break from talking about work.