How to Strike a Balance Between Work and Life
Even if you run an informal kind of business, chances are you still need to start by 9am and close by 4PM at the very least. Out of the 24hrs a day, we spend 7hrs at our workplace, 7hrs sleeping, and a few hours with family. Some people still carry office work to finish off at home, although this is not best practice it is not a bad thing to do from time to time. Most people’s work-life has affected a lot of other things in their life, such as family, friends, religious activity, and the list is endless. There’s the need to balance your work life so that it doesn’t spill over to other areas of your life, especially family.
How can we achieve this? Is it even attainable? Let’s see!
Plan your time: It is good to know a few things before you plan your time. First, you have to determine your most important tasks and two, you must know what time of the day you are most productive. Pick up your most important tasks and do them at that time. Don’t waste your time on trivial tasks first; then when it is time to take a break or close, you still have to stay behind to finish the important tasks, so plan your time and your work schedule. Someone once said—the few minutes you would take out planning your time, will save you hours of extra work.
Use technology to work smarter: It takes long hours and patience to type documents, but apps like Google text to speech, enable you to say what you want, and it will do the typing, all you need to do in the end is edit. Cool, right? Imagine how many words you can say per minute and compare it to how many you can type per minute. Video technology and emails these days has helped cut down the necessity of face-to-face meetings. They have helped to reduce the amount of time you might need to spend travelling to meet someone, which may take time away from your family.
Working Remotely: You can make inquiries if your company can allow you to work from home. Working from home helps to balance work life, it might not be the highest paying jobs, but it is an opportunity for those seeking to balance their work life and their family, especially nursing mothers.
Communication: If you aren’t coming to work tomorrow, or you might be a few hours late, because of an urgent matter, let your manager and colleagues know. Don’t leave the issue hanging for too long. You might be thinking your boss won’t let you go if you make a request, but you will never know if you don’t try.
Learn to Say “No”: Even in the popular TV series, “say yes to the dress,” not everybody whom a dress is chosen for, says yes to it. You must always learn to respectfully say no to extra work that might be inconvenient for you or occupy your time. Don’t always bite more than you can chew unless you’re ready to choke. When you stop doing everything that is brought your way, you’ll find more time to spend on yourself, your family and other essential things.
Protect Your Private Time: Always have personal time that nothing should interfere with, not your boss and not even your work. If you don’t allow and enjoy your personal time, you’ll become too stressed out to appreciate any part of your life fully.
Know your strong points: It is always good to learn new things but focus on things that you are good at. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Focus on your strong points and avoid others, at least until you know you can do them. If you’re not good at computer and graphic design, but better at typing and writing, then take up only the typing jobs for now. Instead of wasting time on graphic designs, when you have enough time, you can decide to learn graphics.
Have a to-do list: You must have a list of tasks to do. Set a time limit for each task and have the minimum task you will do per day.
Run personal errands: You should take some time during the day for activities that are not related to your work, e.g., try to run personal errands if you doubt you will have the time to do them before or after work hours. This will allow you to achieve other goals outside of your job.
Make use of holidays: There is hardly any company that doesn’t offer their staff vacation days. Always make the best use of this time, spending it with your family and doing the things you want to do or go to the places you have always wanted to go.
Many relationships and marriages are suffering because most people can’t draw a line between their work and their home life. It is always good to do your work to the best of your abilities, but it is better to keep your relationship and your family healthy. Know when to draw the line and set healthy boundaries. Work-life balance is not an easy thing to master, if there is ever such a thing. Try as much as possible not to take on more than you can handle in order to make it work.