Achieving work-life balance is a herculean task these days. Very few are fortunate enough to strike the perfect synchronization between work and their personal lives. This is because a good majority of professionals have stressful lives at the workplace. The daily pursuits to meet deadlines have ensured that stress creeps in to destroy relationships, health and personal satisfaction. Don’t let this happen to you.
Take control over your life before it consumes you.
Where do you find yourself? Are you leading a satisfied life, both personally and on the work front? Do you get to spend quality time with family and friends? This article will take you through 14 tips to achieve work-life balance in this busy world!
1. Thoroughly analyze your life
Take a pause and think about how you are leading your life. Are you able to do things you want to do? Or are you just going with the flow?
Starting tomorrow morning, chronicle your life for the next 7 days. Prepare a list of things you do on a daily basis. Create 3 columns as shown below and organize your daily activities in them. I have already filled in some random data for you to get an idea of what’s expected from this task.
Things I love doing
Things I don’t love doing
Things that are a waste of time
|Driving from home to office and back
||Attending inconsequential meetings
||Gossiping away when I could have gotten some extra work done
|Working with my manager – he’s really good!
||Sitting long hours when I could have easily completed my work and left earlier
||Reading a lot of movie reviews
The reason why I asked you to perform this task for a week is to give you an idea of how well you are leading your life. The data you enter in this table will provide you with enough input to take remedial actions for the perfect work-life balance.
2. Get rid of time-wasting activities
Have you listed a lot of points in the 3rd row in the table above? It’s time you reduce these activities. You probably spend a lot of time on Facebook – it can get addictive at times. Make sure you reduce time spent to a bare minimum, probably like 15 minutes or so.
This will free up more time to concentrate on genuine tasks at home and the office.
3. Launch a revolution in your life!
Yes, you read right! At times, we don’t realize that we are performing the same task over and over again on a daily basis. It’s time to take a bold step and add variety to our lives. Keep reading to know how to go about this…
4. Take one step at a time
You can’t change your life dramatically within a day or a week. It’s a gradual process. The first thing to do will be to launch a weekly calendar with different activities for each day. You could add a favorite TV program or a weekly trip to the store, club, mall or movie hall. Keep every day different and special so that your family enjoys them as well.
5. Find time for exercising
Find time to exercise and stay fit. This will keep you in the right physical state to perform tasks. Exercising will help you get rid of stress and keep you positive and confident to take on all challenges.
You could either exercise on a daily basis or on alternate days. Do what suits you best.
6. Focus on one task at a time
Don’t multi-task, whether it’s at the office or home. Never commit to more than you can accomplish! At office, you will come across situations where you have deadlines that are difficult to meet. In these situations, you will probably have to juggle a couple of tasks at one time. Reach out to your manager and seek more flexible deadlines.
As long as you perform regularly at the office, your manager will be willing to give in to your request.
7. Have a blast on weekends!
Weekends are when you get to unwind. Treat your family to an awesome time at a place of their choice. This will ensure you are able to relax after a grueling week at work. It also provides you with something to look forward to when you are at work during the weekdays.
8. Set aside a weekday for a fun activity after work
Why should you only have fun on weekends? Depending on your schedule, set aside a weekday after work to have some fun. Hang out with colleagues or take your family out for a quiet dinner.
9. Each day at work should be planned from the start
Plan your schedule for the day immediately after walking in to the office. Make sure you complete tasks on time so that you are able to leave the office without staying until all hours. A lot of people sit in the office till about 9 at night because they did not plan their tasks on time.
Gain a reputation for yourself as someone who always completes assigned tasks on time!
10. Treat yourself to a vacation
A vacation provides you with the opportunity to get away from it all! Enjoy some private time with your family at a holiday spot. You have definitely earned it.
Make sure you don’t read office emails while on vacation. Keep yourself distracted and focus more on enjoying your holiday. There is no point going on a vacation if you keep checking office emails and calls.
11. Complete activities you don’t like at the beginning of the week
This is regarding non-work tasks. You probably hate doing grocery shopping. Or maybe you hate mowing the lawn. Make sure you get activities such as these done at the beginning of the week. You can then look forward to more pleasant things during the week.
12. Be more efficient
Challenge yourself and try to complete tasks in shorter time periods. For example, cut the time you take to read and send e-mails from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. Find out other tasks that can be optimized in a similar manner.
13. Don’t lose sleep
Do you sleep well during the night? Retire to bed early so that you are well prepared to take on the new day. Lack of sleep will leave you tired and looking like you hate your job.
14. Introspection after a month
It’s important to examine how close you are to achieving the perfect work-life balance. You could do this after a month of adopting changes in your life. Make further changes to your lifestyle if you still haven’t found the right work-life balance. Tweak activities in your schedule accordingly.
Did you find these tips useful? Do you have any input of your own to achieve work-life balance? Do let us know in the comments below. We would like to hear from you.
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