According to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of working professionals claim to work 50 hours a week and over half reported working 65 hours or more a week! As shocking as those numbers sound, the stress of a never-ending workday and fear of job loss can lead to an uneven work life balance.
While overtime may not always be avoided, making the most of the hours you do work will allow you to focus on what makes you happy outside of work. The CGS Team has done some research to provide you with some tips to help you create a great balance between your career and your personal life.
When You Are At Work, Be At Work
The best way to find balance between your work and personal life is to make the most of each. When you are at work, do your best to focus on what needs to get done. Worrying about your late bill or your mom’s birthday while on the job can affect your performance. Maximizing your work day and getting as much done as possible will allow you to leave work feeling accomplished.
Avoiding your daily tasks and projects until the end of the day will leave you feeling stressed and rushed. Even worse, if you can’t finish, you may be forced to take your work home with you or be worrying about it all night. By giving 100% to your job while at work, you can help yourself avoid the feeling of incompetence.
Unplug and Unwind
If you have finished everything that was required of you during the work day, then it’s time to unplug and unwind! Shut down your computer, power off your work phone, and focus on you. While this may be difficult for those who own their own business or have a second job, it still applies. Taking a vacation can also be a fun and impactful way to unplug, unwind and check out from the daily routine. Read 6 Signs You Need a Vacation to see if your vacation time is overdue.
If you can’t bear to part with your work phone, then try shutting it off for an hour while you enjoy a good book or magazine. Checking out mentally, even for a short amount of time, can give you a second wind to get more stuff done, as well as make you feel like you did get a break during your day.
Understand Your Priorities
As we get older, priorities come from just about every aspect of life. Work, school, kids, housing, and more can force you to take responsibility and get things done. Understanding and prioritizing the tasks that can’t be avoided can help you stay focused. Planning your week ahead can save you a lot of time and energy, and promote a positive work life balance.
When you are at work, create a to-do list of everything that needs to get done. Order them by importance and deadline. Focus on the tasks that are most important and have the shortest deadline. The same applies for other areas of your life. When you are at home, having a to-do list can keep you on track. Check out the article 5 Productive Ways to Take on Your To-Do List for tips on how to get things done quickly and efficiently!
Understanding your priorities should not be limited to only things that need to get done. Nurturing your relationships, taking some time to do something you love, and enjoying life should also be priorities. When people are swamped at work, they temporarily forget about the people and things they love.
Try scheduling a quick lunch date with your best friend. Stop by your parents’ house after work. Enjoy a movie, book, or whatever you love on a Sunday evening. Knowing what makes you happy and acting on those things should be just as big of a priority as tackling your to-do list!
We all know there are only 24 hours in a day. With 8 of those reserved for sleeping (hopefully), and another 8-10 reserved for work, that only leaves 8 hours or less to focus on yourself. It wouldn’t be an effective use of your time to waste those 8 hours doing things that mean nothing to you.
Try tracking what you do with your time for a week. Be as specific as possible when documenting how you spend your time. At the end of the week, evaluate how much time is spent doing things that are unimportant and don’t align with your priorities. Once you see that you have more time than you think, you can schedule in things that help you get ahead or help you feel happy!
Exercise and Zone Out
The thought of the gym after a long work day may not sound too exciting, but there are so many other ways to get exercise. If you enjoy the outdoors, spend 30 minutes walking a park trail. If you need a group to help you stay in shape, research some free exercise classes at your local gym. Exercising is a proven stress reliever and can get your mind off of the things that are making you feel unaccomplished. What’s more, if you exercise consistently, you may lose a few pounds in the process. Shedding weight and stress? No brainer!
Another way to find balance is to meditate. Spend 15 minutes each morning thinking about what you are grateful for, or what you want to accomplish for the day. Give yourself a calm before the busyness of the day takes over. Take deep breaths in through your nose and long exhales out through your mouth. You will start your day with mental clarity and be ready for any challenges that come your way!
It’s extremely easy to get swept up in work and just as easy to get swept up in your personal life. The key to maintaining happiness is finding a balance with both. Enjoy the work you do and enjoy the life you live. Focus on work at work and focus on home at home. Understand your personal and professional priorities and act accordingly. Take time to exercise and mentally zone out. Don’t be afraid to take it easy on yourself every now and then!
We would love to hear how you balance your home and work life. Do you multi-task during each? Do you make the most of your free time? Share your thoughts and opinions with the community by leaving a comment below!