Here are some great tips for maintaining work life balance. Are you one of those who believe in work over everything? Have you ever considered the cost? There is no denying that working long hours to earn a promotion or to simply manage existing workload is considered par for the course these days. Sometimes, it is also necessary to put in extreme hours at work just to keep your head above water. However, everything comes at a cost, and when you are racking up those extra hours at work, you are also neglecting your home life.
Poor Work-Life Balance – Consequences
Extreme Fatigue – If you feel low energy levels at every waking moment, it is going to affect your productivity at work and it can have some dangerous consequences. You might end up making some costly mistakes and that might affect your professional reputation.
Health – Stress affects your immune system which means it can worsen any existing medical condition. High stress levels also enhance the risk of you succumbing to substance abuse.
Missing Family Milestones – When you are spending a lot of time at work, you won’t have time to be a part of important family milestones or events. Your family members can understand if you miss a few important events but if you keep missing everything, it will start to affect your relationships with your family members. Also, you need to nurture friendships and when you do not spend enough time with your friends, your friendships are also going to suffer.
Enhanced Expectations – When you are spending those extra hours at work, the management might think of giving you additional responsibility which might lead to additional stress, challenges and other issues.
Work-Life Balance – How to Make Things Better
When you have a professional career, you will always find it challenging to maintain a balance between your personal life and career. However, it is possible to develop a balanced approach when you realize the importance of taking care of yourself and of setting limits. Read this blog about work life balance initiatives that work.
Importance of Setting Limits
Everyone gets 24 hours in a day. You cannot have extra time and without setting limits, you might not have time for nurturing relationships or for engaging in activities you personally enjoy. Here are a few ideas to set limits:
Time Management – Learn to delegate or cut down on activities you are unable to handle or do not enjoy. It is also recommended to share these concerns along with some solutions with your seniors. Take a stock of your household tasks and chalk out a strategy to perform them efficiently. For instance, try to do laundry everyday instead of saving everything for your day off. Take care of the essentials and let the rest take care of itself.
Lists – Make a weekly calendar and use it to remind yourself of family events. Also, start the habit of keeping an everyday to-do list at work as well as at home. Plan everything as it will help you in remaining focused. Without a plan in place, you will easily get sucked into the priorities and plans of others.
No – If you are in the habit of saying yes to everything, it is a big problem. There is nothing wrong in saying NO when a co-worker asks for your help on an extra project or a teacher wants you to help with organizing a class party. Do not accept tasks due to some false sense of obligation or out of guilt, and you will soon have enough time for activities that you enjoy and are meaningful.
Do Not Bring Work to Home – These days, technology has made it possible for everyone to connect with everyone, anytime and anywhere. However, you need to learn to create boundaries between work and home. Create specific boundaries between your personal time and work time.
Email Management – Everything gets done on emails these days and it has become a big problem for everyone. Develop a habit to check your emails a maximum of 3 times a day. Try to break the habit of checking your email first thing in the morning. When you do that, you start focusing on other people’s issues instead of working on your own needs.
Have Options – Talk to your employer about job sharing, shorter workweek, flexible hours, scheduling flexibility or telecommuting. Try to have more control over your work hours and you will gradually bring your stress levels down.
Short Commitments Without Interruptions – For most people, 90 minutes is the maximum time they can concentrate on a particular tasks. The mind loses the ability to retain information after 90 minutes. If you are regularly interrupted during a particular task, you will need to spend a lot more time to again focus on the task. Therefore, learn the art of minimizing interruptions when you are working on a particular task.
Take Care of Yourself
In order to create a balance between your work and personal life, and to cope with the resultant stress, you need to practice a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips:
Healthy Diet – Try to follow the Mediterranean diet as it focuses on lean protein as well as fresh fruits and veggies. Such a healthy diet will not only enhance your stamina and personal well-being but will also increase your ability to retain knowledge.
Sleep – If you are not sleeping enough, it will increase your stress levels. Try to not use any electronic devices such as tablets or smart phones before going to bed. These devices emit blue light and that decreases the level of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is the hormone associated with sleep.
Have Some Me Time – It is important to have some time for yourself. Try to spend some time each day on an activity you personally enjoy. It could be reading, playing a musical instrument or yoga or any other thing. Also, try to find activities you can do collectively with your friends, family members or your partner such as cooking classes, dancing or hiking.
Volunteer – Never over burden yourself but there is some research which shows that volunteering helps you achieve a greater sense of work-life balance. Volunteering on a selective basis should help you enhance your social and emotional well-being while decreasing your stress levels and chances of burnout.
Have a Support System – Build a support system at work as well as at home. For instance, develop relationships with co-workers who can help cover for you when you need it and vice-versa. Similarly, nurture relationships with trusted friends who can help you with household responsibilities or child care when you need to travel or put in those extra hours at work.