work-life balance fosters strong relationships
Work-life balance can be a struggle for many. Where do you find the time to drop the clothes off at the dry cleaner or complete a last minute task for your boss? As we are all trying to achieve more and climb our way to the top, we often ask ourselves, “is this even worth it?” We get so caught up in trying to do everything at once we often forget what our ultimate goals are. If you are stuck in a rut and need an escape, we have gathered helpful tips to bring some balance back to your life.
There’s no way to pencil in the unexpected into your calendar. Having a balance between home and work will keep stress at bay when the unexpected happens.
Distractions are the biggest culprit preventing productivity while working. We often catch ourselves veering off from our task by doing things such as answering a text message in the middle of a conference or even checking the Facebook notification that vibrated your phone. We are all guilty of this. We have too many things going on in our heads that we often struggle to focus just on one thing. To overcome the panic of not reading unanswered messages while working, try turning on the do not disturb button or better yet, keep the phone in your desk drawer, purse, or glove compartment. This way you aren’t tempted to keep looking at it. Make a goal to check it only once in the morning and again at lunch. This will help you get more work done and free up time spent after-hours finishing projects.
The Power of Saying No
You are capable of many things, but you often take on too much at once. You’re a parent, student, son or daughter, employee, co-worker, friend, and next door neighbor. As you juggle the many hats within your life, you may start to feel the burden of playing so many important roles. The truth is, you need to learn to say no to gain work-life balance. Saying no can empower you to take more control of your life, and you will start to see the balance come back. Try saying no to added projects that aren’t high priorities, customers who don’t value your hard work or interruptions that distract you from your goals. Saying no doesn’t have to be thought of negatively. Instead, think of it as taking control and balancing your life.
You can’t please everyone. Matter of fact, you won’t please everyone. Stop thinking about what everyone thinks you should be doing and do what best suits you. If your goal is to make it to your kid’s soccer practice by 5, strive to complete your work on time to make it. Stand your ground and think about what you will get out of it. There comes a day when everyone has to take a step back and reprioritize their life. When things get out of whack between work and home, a few adjustments may be all it takes to get your life balanced again.
When you are part of a team that is driven to do their best, you become empowered to do the same. Being around people who are committed to their work and value your opinion will inspire you to continue to try your hardest. The relationships we build with our co-workers is important. If you can let go of certain tasks that are better suited for another team member, do so. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed if you are not the best person for the job. A valuable relationship is one that allows you to grow and continue to learn. When you are part of a strong team, you can rely on others to help you, just like you help them.
It’s important to maintain solid relationships outside of work as well. Make time for friends and family who you enjoy spending time with. Relationships that aren’t built at work allow you to get away from your tasks and focus on things you enjoy, like golf, hiking, or painting. Friends and family are a great support system, so working to build or maintain strong relationships outside of work hours is essential.
Set Expectations & Boundaries
No one likes the feeling of getting walked over. Stop agreeing to commitments you know you won’t have time for. If you set expectations in your work life, family life, and personal life you will stop the guilt you put on yourself for trying to do it all. Creating a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule will allow you to be in control. Sticking to the schedule shows when you are and aren’t available and clearly shows where the majority of your time is being spent. You can monitor your time and determine if you are spending it the way you would like. If you are not, make adjustments to your schedule.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Too much technology can take over our lives without us even knowing it. Make a rule not to use the phone at the table or no technology an hour before bed. This window of freedom will allow you to focus on what is imperative. Drivers can set similar boundaries while out on the road. Maybe you make it a point to call home once a day at the same time. For office employees, tell your managers your window of tech-free time. According to Forbes, “This doesn’t make you inflexible or unresponsive; it just allows you to be more in control of how you work.”
Setting boundaries and sticking to them will help gain control of your hectic life. For example, you get tons of emails every day. Set a guideline to check your emails first thing when you get to work, once during the afternoon, once before leaving, and nothing after dinner. Unless you are waiting for an urgent answer, the response can probably wait. If you let others know your boundaries, it will help you transition into your new routine. If Sundays are your day off, make it a point not to do any extra work related tasks that can wait until you go back to work.
You can start to regain work-life balance by setting expectations and boundaries for your work and home life. It is important to make time for the things that are valuable to you such as, family time and hobbies while you’re off the clock. Turning off the cell phone and saying no to added distractions will lead you to a more productive and happier day.