The balance between work & life responsibilities has fallen out of proportion for the American workforce. Take back your personal time with these tips!
54% of American employees feel overextended in their jobs according to a survey conducted by The Families and Work Institute. This is a sign of the continued thinning of the once defined line between the work lives and personal lives. Increased workloads, mandatory overtime, and ‘round the clock availability through technology have made it difficult to juggle more than just your work priorities. Don’t lose hope though. You can still reclaim that balance between your work and your personal life. Here are some tips
Optimize Your Work – A great way to reestablish your life balance is to schedule your time and increase your productivity. By focusing on priority work, the top 20 percent of important tasks, you can address and complete the most important deadlines first. Additionally, creating goals and scheduling your day can help you streamline your workload to better optimize your time. All you have to do is make a conscious effort to multitask and prioritize. With time, you will feel less of a weight upon your shoulders.
Define the Line – In the Families and Work survey, 68% of employees who took one to three days off of work, without work related interruptions, returned to the office with diminished feelings of stress. Lower stress levels allow you to objectively assess projects and perform critical tasks with a level head. Plus, you need time for you, your family, & your friends. Don’t cut yourself short!
Your best bet is to make that clear in the workplace. When you have vacation time, take advantage of all of your available days. If coworkers attempt to coax you into assisting them with a project you cannot add to your juggling act, then be honest about it. Explain your own workload and amicably decline. Stretching yourself too thin will only add to your stress levels and make you unhappy in the long run. Ultimately, make sure that you don’t sacrifice yourself as you try to help your coworkers.
Talk with Your Boss – Starting a dialogue with your boss about alternative scheduling options can also be extremely productive. More and more employers are implementing flexible schedules, telecommutes, and four-ten work weeks to retain the best talent. By simply discussing your outside needs, presenting your options, and highlighting the pros of these scheduling opportunities, you have started the ball rolling in a positive direction.
In the end, reestablishing your work/life balance is an ongoing process. It requires patience, dedication, and the ability to leave your work at the office door. Keep working on defining your outside needs, prioritizing at work, and pursuing new ways to schedule your responsibilities. By doing these things & partnering with your boss, you can come to the solution you need. So, good luck and make sure to live a little!
By James Walsh