In today’s “always on” culture, it’s more difficult than ever to juggle the demands of work and the rest of your life, which includes family, friends and “me” time. For me, it’s a constant struggle to find the time to fit everything in without some things suffering. Here are some tips I strive to live by for a better work/life balance:
1. Keep a schedule. During the work week, I have a basic schedule that I try to stick to. Blocks of time are allotted to work, exercise, family and friends, and down time. I try my hardest to manage my time well and to not let work seep into time set aside for other things.
2. Stay organized. Using my time efficiently, especially at work, is essential to being able to stick to my schedule. I’ve been relying on Evernote a lot lately to keep my personal life and work life organized. It’s a free app that works across several platforms including my desktop, iPhone and iPad which allows me to synch lists, notes and more.
3. Power down. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of an iPad and iPhone addict and I’m rarely far from either device. However, it’s important to disconnect for a little while each day. In the evenings, especially during family time, I make sure I’m not disturbed by text messages, emails or social media.
4. Don’t multi-task the important stuff. Women are famed for being good multi-taskers, but sometimes multi-tasking can be counter-productive. Doing two things at once makes it difficult to do both to the best of your ability. When you’re working, focus on the task at hand and you’ll be much more efficient. When you’re spending time with family or friends, give them your full focus and it will be much more rewarding. During “me” time, checking your email obsessively keeps you from being relaxed and stress-free.
5. Have a support network. Women are especially guilty of feeling as if we need to do it all, yet doing it all pretty much guarantees that something will suffer — typically our personal lives. Don’t be afraid to delegate time-sucking responsibilities. Buy your groceries online, hire a cleaning service, delegate responsibilities at work…whatever it takes to lighten your load a bit.
6. Take a vacation. All those vacation days you have racked up? Use them. Recharging your battery is essential for work/life balance. Whether it’s a relaxing staycation or an extravagant holiday, unplug from work and enjoy.
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