Do you have a good work-life balance?
There was a time when I went into network marketing to earn extra bucks. I had full-time job back then so I had to do this side gig after office hours. I would go home late and then wake up early the next morning to report back to work.
My kids are used to seeing me around. After all, I always go straight home after a busy day in the office and that’s always been my routine so after incorporating another possible source of income, they didn’t get to see me as often as they did. Sometimes, they’re already asleep when I get home and when they wake up, I’m already gone.
Work-life balance is something most of us are yearning for but with the amount of work we have to do and the time it takes to commute to and from the office, the hours left for us to spend for our personal lives are often diminished.
So is achieving work-life balance possible? Yes it is but you have to set some self-imposed rules that you need to adhere to.
Here are some of them:
1. Keep track of time
Observe how long it takes you to do a specific task and take note of it. Make sure to track only the important ones and to leave out any task that doesn’t contribute to your productivity. By doing this, you will get an idea of how you can manage time wisely.
2. Come to work early
Though there isn’t a specific time of the day when a person is likely to be more productive, studies have shown that a vast majority of people are able to accomplish more in the morning so being an hour earlier can work to your advantage. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone because there are those who are naturally morning persons and there are also those who are creatures of the night.
3. Set your priorities
Categorize your tasks according to what’s urgent and what’s important. Urgent tasks are those that require immediate attention and must be given top priority while important tasks are those that needs to be done but can wait.
These are the principles discussed in Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People where he explained how the 4-quadrant of Time Management Matrix works.
4. Learn to say no
Even if most of the activities you do at work are scheduled, there will be times when unexpected things may happen which may have other people asking for your help and this is perfectly understandable but if you have scheduled some private time with the family, you need to learn to say “No”. We had a previous topic about this subject that you can read here.
Imagine how your girlfriend will react if she has prepared dinner for your anniversary only to be greeted by a text message from you telling her that your date is cancelled because you had to render overtime because you can’t say “No” to a colleague or manager. Of course there are exceptions but if there is a choice, saying “No” is not a bad thing.
5. Avoid multi-tasking
Though the ability to multi-task is something most people admire, studies have shown that the ability to do multiple things simultaneously lessens a person’s efficiency. If you are trying to manage your time, taking on each task one at a time is the best way to go because multi-tasking makes you prone to mistakes and may actually slow you down instead of helping you do more things.
6. Minimize non-work-related activities
You can finish work faster if you reduce the “extra-curricular” activities like office gossip, internet surfing, and unnecessary phone calls. Your goal is to spend more time for life outside work without sacrificing the quality of your work so instead of spending time cubicle-hopping or tweeting through your mobile phone, why not try to finish early? Besides, you are on company time and you are being paid for work rendered which you are failing to deliver by engaging in non-work-related activities.
7. Set boundaries
Turn off your phone and avoid checking your emails during family time. If you’re going to do these, you should have just stayed in the office than coming to your child’s school play or to your family bonding time. As much as possible, leave work-related stuff in the office especially if you have scheduled a private time for yourself or your family.
8. Go on a vacation
Take your family to the beach or go on a cruise. Whatever it may be, make sure to leave your laptops or Blackberry home. Get yourself some time away from work. Relax and enjoy your time off with family and friends.
9. Engage in sports and fitness
Schedule a weekly basketball pick up game with your friends or have a regular gym schedule to keep your body fit. Enroll in a yoga class or train in MMA. You can also schedule your nightly run after work. Just do what works best for you in terms of physical fitness.
Life is too short to spend majority of your time at work. You should also allot time for yourself and your loved ones. Besides, not having a work-life balance is not healthy and can can damage to our relationships.
Are you achieving work-life balance with your current schedule? I would love to hear from you. Give me your thoughts by leaving a comment below.