Work-life balance is a hard thing for many employees to achieve—particularly in today’s world of 24/7 connectivity. So, how can you maintain a successful career while still having a fulfilling personal life?
Schedule regular vacations and time off. A recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 5,600 workers revealed that 30 percent of workers plan to take work with them on their vacation—which means they aren’t really getting away from work at all! Additionally, 16 percent of workers reported giving up vacation days last year because they didn’t have time to use them.
Everyone needs a break from his or her job once in a while to re-charge and relax. By scheduling time off in advance, you can work toward completing all of your work before you leave. Alternatively, you can see if a co-worker can cover your tasks for the days you’ll be out of the office.
Learn to say “no”. Don’t overload your plate by volunteering for projects that you can’t really take on. This doesn’t only apply to the office, either—you don’t have to spend all of your free time outside of work volunteering at a local nonprofit or helping out family and friends. Make sure to leave some time for things you truly enjoy, such as exercising, participating in a hobby, or spending a night out with your significant other.
Manage your time effectively. Minimize distractions by scheduling a set amount of time for each task you need to accomplish that day. Sticking to a strict deadline provides more motivation to finish the task and keeps you on track.
Telecommute or ask for a flexible schedule. Look into telecommuting options at your company or talk with your boss about the option of working from home. You can also present a case for a more flexible schedule, such as coming in an hour later or leaving an hour earlier. Many employers are willing to accommodate employees, as long as they are still producing the same results.
Don’t neglect your personal life or your health. Minimize stress and health problems by eating well and getting the recommended hours of sleep each night. Regularly make plans with friends and family to relieve stress from work and maintain relationships with folks outside of the office.
Focus on results. Spending all of your time at the office might make you look like a productive employee, but how much are you really accomplishing? Instead of focusing on the amount of hours you work each week, measure the quality and outcomes. You might be surprised to see that you actually finish your assigned tasks in 35 hours, even though you spend 50+ at your office.
How do you maintain a work-life balance? Any additional tips to share?