We live in an age where we work more than we play. And achieving a work-life balance is even harder when we're constantly connected and, thus, reachable. Follow these tips to get some downtime, without neglecting your job.
1. Tune Out
If you're always checking work emails in your spare time, make it a point to turn off your phone when you're not at work. Whether it's a family gathering, a much-needed catch-up with friends or some couple time with your man, enjoy the moment and don't think about work at all while you're doing this.
2. Let It Go
When it comes to work, most of us want what we do to be perfect. But being a perfectionist comes with a whole new set of problems too. Let go of the need for things to be perfect, just get things done instead. Making sure every little detail is perfect requires special attention to everything, which takes up a lot of time. Do your tasks as fast as you can, then move on to the next one. You'll have time to get other work done and more time for yourself too.
3. Baby Steps
Don't aim big, start with small targets and build on them as time goes by. If you decide to devote more time to leisure activities, start with a small number. For example, if you work late every weeknight, make it a point to be out of the office by, say, 7pm one night a week, then build from that. It's much easier to accomplish and it will motivate you to spend more time away from work as you slowly get into that routine. If you start by telling yourself you'll leave work on time every evening, it's probably going to be hard to achieve right away so you might give up.
4. No Sacrifices, Please
Stop acting like a martyr and thinking that you're the only person in your office who can get things done. Learn to delegate tasks or projects and you'll end up with more time on your hands. So stop being a control freak and let others do some jobs for you, to lighten your work load.
5. Set The Rules
Everyone's idea of a work-life balance is different so don't follow what others are doing; instead, make a schedule of your own. Only you know the demands of your job and the family and social commitments you have, so make that decision yourself. Find what works best for you, whether it's the number of hours you want to spend away from work, or what you want to do in your free time.
6. Take The Time
Keep track of the amount of time you spend on things throughout the day. Do this for a week or two then see what you can cut down on or completely stop doing. For example, if you spend 15 minutes in the pantry every morning catching up on gossip with colleagues, cut that out of your daily activities (or limit it to alternate days if you really want to be in the gossip loop) and you'll find that you have more time for work, which will result in you leaving work earlier.
7. Respect Yourself
If you've arranged some private time for yourself, or with others, respect it and don't let anything get in the way. If you have a shopping date with your sister on Saturday and your boss asks you to go into the office, tell her that you can't do it. Unless it's an emergency, you should give your private time the same respect you give to making sure work meetings take place when they should.
ALSO READ: 5 ways to get some 'me time'