If you have a demanding job, finding a good work-life balance can seem impossible. The reality is that you have to set boundaries in your work life to get more personal time. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this without affecting your job performance. Use the best work-life balance strategies to live a happy, productive life.
One of the best ways to achieve a good work-life balance is to make your job more flexible. If your employer already has a telecommute policy in place, take advantage of it. Working from home cuts down on commute time, which gives you extra personal time. In addition, working from home is often more relaxing, which cuts down on stress. If your employer does not have an existing telecommute policy, it does not hurt anything to ask about the possibility of working from home a day or two every week. Before you approach your boss about this, have some answers ready in regard to how you plan to keep up your productivity while telecommuting and your strategies for staying connected from home. The more convincing your pitch is, the more likely your boss is to approve.
Another balance strategy is setting boundaries in your work life. For example, stick to your regular scheduled hours as much as possible. Another balance strategy is not taking work home with you. Creating a boundary between your work and home allows you to maximize your personal time. Keeping your personal time technology-free is another way to create boundaries. If you do not constantly have your cell phone next to you and your laptop in front of you, you can focus on other things and get to work when your next shift starts. However, it is extremely important to set boundaries that are not going to affect your job. If you do not have set work hours, talk to your boss about consolidating your work days. For example, if you constantly find yourself bringing work home, ask about switching to a four day work week with long shifts so you have an extra personal day. The bottom line is that the more work carries over into your personal life, the less work-life balance you have.
Prioritizing your schedule also helps achieve a great work-life balance. Start by eliminating your least favorite activity so you have more time to enjoy the activities you really like. Also, get better at organizing your schedule so that you run necessary errands quicker. Multitask during your lunch break by balancing your checkbook, doing online shopping and whatever else can be done remotely. Do your grocery shopping before work when there are shorter lines so it takes less time. If you have the money in your budget, hire a cleaning service so you have one less thing that takes away from your personal time on the weekend. Prioritizing your schedule does mean you have to make sacrifices, but it gives you better quality personal time.
Achieving a better work-life balance requires making adjustments to your work schedule and prioritizing your personal time. If you strategize well, it is possible to balance both aspects of your life without hurting your work performance or giving up your favorite activities.
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net)
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