Does it seem like all you do is work? Does it feel like your life is out of your control? Does it seem as though you spend more time embroiled in projects for your employer than you spend with your own children? If so, you’re not alone according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, welcome to the modern world. Most of us have a work/life balance that’s out of whack, off-kilter and skewed so that we lack control over the one thing that we actually own – our time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips will help you improve your work/life balance and regain a measure of control over your life.
1. Leave Work Where It Belongs
All too often, it seems like we bring our work home with us. This might be literal – you’re bringing home that file that just HAS to be done by tomorrow. It might be figurative – you’re carrying home the arguments, stress and interoffice politics that plague your workday. Do yourself and your family a favor. Leave work where it belongs – at the workplace. Separate your work life from your home life and you’ll immediately feel better balanced.
2. Track Time
If you feel like your work and home life are spiraling out of control, chances are that you’re spending too much time on things that ultimately don’t matter. Track the amount of time you spend on everything, whether you’re taking your kid to the soccer field or making a mad dash to complete that project at work. Based on your findings, cut out anything that’s unnecessary or superfluous. Eliminate time-wasting activities and you’ll free up time for more important things.
3. Take More Time Off
Taking more time off might seem like a pipe dream, but it can (and should) be a reality. There are plenty of benefits to getting away from the workplace for extended periods. You’ll find that it helps to combat burnout and improves both your creativity and your productivity when you return. The more time off you take, the better you’ll feel and the better you’ll perform on the job.
4. Communication Overhaul
How much time to you spend corresponding via email each day? How long do you spend on the phone? How much time is wasted talking to coworkers about a project? Most of our communications are meaningless. Cut out any extraneous communications during the day (that includes those hours you waste on Facebook and Twitter), and you’ll feel more in control of your life.
5. Organization Is Essential
If you’re disorganized, you can expect to waste time. That wasted time comes directly out of your personal life, not your work life. Get organized (both on the job and at home). The more organized you are, the more free time and flexibility you’ll enjoy both at work and at home.
If you follow these five simple tips, you’ll be able to make drastic improvements in your work/life balance and regain control over your own destiny.