How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance
People often want to achieve work-life balance, but can’t find a way to succeed. There are many steps you can take to create the equilibrium you crave between the personal and the professional. Start with the following ideas, and see what other changes you are inspired to make!
Use your calendar, scheduling and collaborating apps, paperless filing system, and any other tools you have in your toolbox to be as organized as you possibly can. Keeping all of your appointments, tasks, and teams in order will allow you to spend more time getting things done, and less time trying to chase them down or worry about them. This will help you be able to spend more time out of the office.
Block Out Time For The Important Things
Whether it is a family vacation, doctor’s appointment, drinks with friends, or your child’s chorus concert, make sure you clear time on your calendar for the important events you need to be a complete person in all areas of your life. There is a theory that we all have four burners (like a stovetop) in our life: work, family, friends, and health. If you have too much fire under one burner, the rest of them will suffer because there isn’t enough gas for all of them. The idea is to have all four burners on a nice, sustainable simmer, and you can only do that if you take time to address activities for each area of your life.
Don’t Answer Work Emails or Calls After Hours
This seems pretty simple, but we are all guilty of breaking this rule. With laptops, smartphones, tablets, you name it, at our disposal, it can be impossible to break away from communications and unplug. But in order to truly separate from work, you need to commit to letting emails, calls, and texts from the office go unanswered after you check out for the night or weekend. If half of your brain is always at work, the whole thing can’t be relaxing or be present with friends or family. Unplug for your health. The messages will still be there when you get into the office tomorrow.
Take Time Off
Who wouldn’t want to take time off? Well, many people feel that they can’t, even if they have paid vacation days available. Don’t be afraid that you’ll be replaced or will miss out on something major if you take vacation. Vacation is a good thing for everyone. In fact, “94% of vacations have a good ROI in terms of your energy and outlook upon returning to work.” So don’t just take the vacation for yourself, take it for your team. You aren’t any good to work with if you are burned out and curmudgeonly.
Do Some Activities Just For You
Whether it is a massage to relieve stress, a weekly session with your personal trainer, or an afternoon off to go for a hike with your dog, don’t forget about yourself! Your health and wellness are crucial to your ability to perform well at work and with your family and friends. If you want to successfully balance all areas of your life, you need to care for yourself first.
Sometimes balance may be elusive and you may need to fire one burner a bit more than the others. It happens. It isn’t going to always be perfect, but it can be relatively even and fulfilling overall. However, you will have to work to make it happen. Set limits and boundaries and stick with them! It is the only way you’ll be able to master work-life balance.
Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter