How to achieve a work-life balance
Have you been trying the “always on” grind in your career, only to find out that you’re still not achieving what you want to? If so, you probably need to refine your approach to the work life balance.
You’re not alone. Millions of people struggle to balance the competing interests in their lives. Do you secretly believe that tipping the scale towards the “work” side is the only way to get ahead? Here is some very freeing news: the best leaders and highest achievers focus on what they want, including balance in their lives.
Be open and respectful of your needs and the boundaries of others
You can only make the most of your time if you know where and how to focus your energy. Identify what really matters to you and which benchmarks really signify achievement toward your goals. Communicate so that everyone around you understands these needs and work with your team to make sure these needs get met. If you make this a reciprocal process, you will respect the boundaries of others and help them meet their needs, too.
There are so many ways to make this happen. Is exercise a must in your work day? Let your team know and find a flexible way to schedule it. Do you need one day completely off each week — a no-email, no-phone-calls-or-texts, no-work-at-all day? Tell your team and make it happen. And remember: everyone around you has needs, and they may need help making them happen, too.
Take stock of your lifestyle and personal habits
Most American adults suffer from sleep deprivation, lack of exercise and poor nutrition. If you feel a lack of balance in your life, these negative habits may be earning a large share of the blame. Do yourself the favor of slowly making positive changes in your diet and lifestyle to allow yourself to really thrive both at work and at home.
Resist the time suck
There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? Maybe they are if you can learn to identify and eliminate the many time sucks that are already in your life. You may think a minute or two on social media or surfing the internet is an insignificant amount of time to waste, but these minutes add up. For one week keep a “time-suck journal,” writing down each way you waste time and how much you lost to the time suck. This allows you to create a practical plan for dropping these time-wasters.
Hit your stride
Those who enjoy dynamic careers that are not plagued by burnout have learned that pace is the trick. Self-awareness is the tool that can help you feel when it’s time to take things up a notch, and then again when it’s time to downshift a bit. If you pace yourself in your day-to-day life, you will also be present as you interact with others and enjoy life more.
Forget multi-tasking and engage
The most productive people don’t have less to do. They simply focus themselves well within an organized plan. Don’t try to do many things at once. Choose to do only tasks that merit your full attention, and then execute them with the focus they deserve. This goes for your personal time just as much as your work time.