22 Oct How Can We Control Work-Life Balance?
Achieving work-life balance is one of the most common goals among workers of all kinds, from students to people far advanced in their careers.
Whether you are self-employed or an employee, achieving a balance between personal time and work-related efforts can sometimes seem like a goal that is never quite fulfilled. There are several great ways to help yourself achieve a better work-life balance, but at the same time it is also important not to feel upset or guilty when you do not, since it is often out of our control.
Depending on your job and position, you may have a lot of control over decisions related to work-life balance. However, most people do not have this luxury. We may be expected to give extra time and perform many duties away from work or perhaps by staying late or arriving early. Unfortunately, to neglect or walk away from a job which interferes with our personal lives would leave ourselves and our families vulnerable. This can have negative effects our personal relationships as well as our long-term goals.
It is important to do all that we can for ourselves to try to achieve work-life balance. Striving for this balance is important to ensuring that we have rich personal lives that leave us fulfilled. Here are a few ways you can help yourself have some time to yourself.
Be Aware of Time
It is easy to underestimate how much time you spend on various activities, including work that you do outside of your job. This is especially true for prep work, e-mails, phone calls, etc. If you have do something on the side for extra money, be sure that you are really tracking the time you spend in relation to the reward.
Think about the time you do get to spend with your family and friends or on your hobbies. Do you really get the quality time you need for your relationships? Do you spend as much time on your hobbies or skills as you think you do? Knowing how much time you spend on the activities that matter most will help you set up realistic plans and better organize your activities.
Know When (and when not) to Multitask
Multitasking important activities isn’t recommended by most experts. For most of us, even when we think we’re doing a great job at it, researchers find that we aren’t doing quite as well as we think. Still, there may be some little tasks you do as part of your work or as part of your hobby that can be done during multitasking without interfering.
But when it comes to checking your phone and spending time on the computer for work-related activities when you are supposed to be spending time with family or friends, think about what you are really doing.
Office jobs are most commonly cited when discussing work-life balance, but jobs for which you don’t use technology can still be affected in this way. You can still be planning tasks or thinking about a benchmark or activity in your head when you’re trying to relax or engage in your hobby. Mental energy focused on work can be just as disruptive to balance as actual activities.
Take Advantage of Vacation Time
If you receive vacation time, take advantage of it. Some people feel pressured not to use all of their vacation days, especially if they will lose income. This time away from work, however, is important to your mental and social health. Studies show that skipping vacations has a negative effect on both your work performance and your well-being. Even if you stay at home, be sure to give yourself a break and do something to restore some balance to your life. Consider arranging to spend time with someone, give yourself a treat, or just relax.
Ask For Help
Chances are that many people you know face the same work-balance issues that you do. Talking with them can not only relieve some of your – and their – stress, but can also net you some great ideas for managing time and making your working hours more efficient. In addition, the more people who make work-balance a priority, the more employers will notice, and the more likely it is that there will be action to help adjust imbalances
Wherever your ambition leads you, always do your best to maintain perspective and take a step back and make sure that your path to success is as healthy as possible. It is important to never forget your goals, but don’t forget to cut yourself some slack as well. And if your job is making it hard to do what you need to do to reach your true ambitions, having a definite plan can make your path much clearer.
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