Management Matters

Work-Life Balance: 8 Techniques for Improving It

Date Posted: 02/11/2015

Let’s face it, working long hours is not really a choice for many people.  If the job you have pays really well or if you feel you can’t move to something better with less work pressure, you will have no choice but to work long hours.  You will find you simply can’t just pack up and leave.  When realization dawns that rewarding career opportunities and great incomes are of little use if personal life has been the traded off, there is no back-tracking.  As Hillary Rodham Clinton says “Don’t Confuse Having a Career with Having a Life”.  It is therefore imperative that both employers and employees strike a rational and healthy work life balance.

Here’s a list of techniques for improving work life balance, not only for yourself but also for people who work under you.

Manage Your Time
Do set a time that you want to leave the office by and don’t stay longer than the time you have set.  This deadline will help you to avoid procrastinating and being distracted.  To manage the amount of time you spend on the right tasks you need to establish your priorities and then focus only on those tasks that achieve important goals, not just tasks that are “urgent”.

Make a Plan and Set Goals
By having a plan at work you know where you are going and then can decide how best to get there.  By deciding what is important and what you plan to achieve and writing it down, your thinking is clear and you will be more likely to achieve it.

Re-Examine Your Task List
No matter how good you are at multitasking, you will find yourself overwhelmed with less important tasks.  Prioritize the things that are most important.  If there are things you absolutely must handle, do make sure you take care of them first.  The things that are not that important might be delegated to someone else or tackled later.

Say “No” to Extra Workload
The more efficient you are the more your boss will ask you to do.  This is great and will probably earn you more money and enhance your career.  But if the extra workload takes you away from your family life you should decline or suggest the sharing of the extra workload with several other colleagues so you are not the only one handling the extra workload.  This way you will not compromise your personal life nor will you annoy your boss.  Always think about it before you say “yes” to an additional chore and only accept it if you really think you can and not because you feel obligated.

Stay Healthy
It is most important to eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.  This will enhance both your work and personal life.  Exercise is one of the greatest stress relievers you can find and it also gives a big metal boost.  You don’t need to go to a gym.  Going for a quick walk or jog and doing some sit-ups or yoga at home or in the office is a wonderful way to relieving the tension of a stressful day.

YOU come first
With the demands of a management job and the responsibilities of one’s family, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves.  Being at your peak is most important because without it you don’t have a work life or a personal life.  Take time off from both work and family to enjoy things that YOU like to do.  Taking time off or even a full day for “me” time can do a lot to enhance every aspect of work life balance.

Reduce Wasted Time at Work
Don’t waste time with colleagues who like to gossip or complaint at work.  If you find yourself surfing on some of your favourable websites or distracting yourself with something interesting to read, stop!  These things simply waste your time.  Block your most distracting websites and social media sites.  Making personal calls or checking whatsapp or bank balance or checking every time your mobile phone “pings” is a waste of time.  You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit your time on these activities.

Plan Your Next Day or Week
Before leaving work in the evening, making a quick list of the key things you need to do the next day will help you start up tomorrow without wasting any time.  Also, plan some personal events or activities you can do with your wife, family or friends during the week.  This will give you something to look forward to and with a little extra effort to manage your time well you won’t have to cancel any activities.

A huge amount has been written about better work life balance as it is one of the greatest challenges in life.  If you’re feeling overworked and finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not alone.  Depending on your personal situation, whether you are married; have small children or if you are single and have other priorities, you need to come up with a list of what is important to you both at work and at home and decide for yourself how best to make sure that your work life does not encroach on your personal life too much.  With work/life balance you are more productive over longer periods of time.  If you have a more balanced perspective you spot opportunities that you may otherwise miss had you been overworked and overtired.  We hope these additional techniques for improving your work life balance will help in a small way.

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