Tips for Better Work-Life Balance
Beat burnout by making more time for the activities and people that matter most to you. If you're finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone. Many people are putting in extra hours, or using their smartphones to be on-call when they're not physically at work. Focus your time and attention on things you can control.
Here are a few ways to bring a little more balance to your daily routine:
It may seem hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it might ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy levels and ability to concentrate. Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert. Samantha Harris, a lawyer who works for a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, goes to her gym 2 or 3 mornings a week before her family wakes up. "It's been a real boost in terms of the way I feel for the rest of the day" she says. "I feel like my head is clearer and I've had a little time to myself."
Build downtime into your schedule.
When you plan your week, make a point of scheduling in time with your family and friends, and doing activities that help you recharge. If a night out with your other-half or a softball game with friends is on your calendar, you'll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don't have to cancel. Michael Neithardt, a commercial producer, wakes up 3 hours before work so that he can run at the gym. "A lot of my friends tend to wake up, shower, and go straight to work. And they often complain about having no time to do anything" he says. "I find that if I can get those 3 hours in the morning, I have a more productive and peaceful workday."
Rethink your errands.
Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don't have to go to the post office? Even if you're on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you'll save will make it a worthwhile investment.
Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.
Don't assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you. Even during a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. Take a bath, read a good book, go for a walk/run, or listen to music.
Make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.