It’s hard to miss the growing work-life balance trend. It’s almost an obsession that we’ve gradually developed– and it isn’t a surprise. Technology has effectively blurred the line between one’s personal life and work life.
While technology has made work and life easier, the resulting side effect, according to Stats Canada, is that technology has actually made workers less happy. When it’s easy to access work documents and colleagues online with a simple browser, it allows us to willingly invite our full-time day jobs into our personal life.
This isn’t new, but add to this the ability to work from home, wifi hotspots that allow us to check emails, and trends in creative and laid back work environments, it just becomes easier and easier to keep working.
If you’re looking to take charge and shift things around a bit, we’ve got 4 quick tips on how to go about getting your work-life balance in check.
1. Gain More Free Time by Managing Your Time Effectively
You can find a hundred tips on time management, and depending on your workstyle, one set of tips may work better than another set of tips. The best advice that has been proven to work at gaining free time, though, hands down, is to keep your time highly structured.
Using the Pomodoro technique is a useful strategy to try here. It keeps your productivity levels at a high through the entire day. If you haven’t heard of it, this method is meant to work in significant chunks of time – usually 25 minute sprints.
For every 25 minute blocks of time, you take a short 5 minute break to unwind completely. After four pomodoros, you take a longer break. Thus, instead of overworking yourself, you’re always re-focusing yourself. By structuring your tasks and time more wisely, you can get more done and gain more free time.
2. Stress Less by Doing what you Love
They say that most people get frustrated and experience a lot of stress at their job because they don’t like what they do. If you know anything about today’s generation, then you know that the dream for today’s modern self-made individual is making a career out of what you love to do.
If you can manage that, your work isn’t really work at all. In fact, this is probably the ideal way of balancing your life and your work. So if you’re life is being affected negatively by your work, then perhaps it’s time to either find a new job or make some serious adjustments professionally.
3. Balance Work and Family with Boundaries
If you’re spending time at work, you’re not spending it with family. And even if you’re working from home, how much time are you spending in front of the computer instead of with your kids?
Most will tell you that the balance comes from setting work-life boundaries with conscious effort and strategic tactics. This includes your space, your time, your energy, your routine and your perspective. You need to set up a constructive environment that accounts for what you need to do.
So if you need to work out of your home, ask yourself how you can set boundaries in each of the above areas? Will your spouse help when you have calls at peak times in your work day? Where will you set up office? How do you create a routine that includes your kids being around?
4. Get Away from the Desk
It’s true that 9 to 5 jobs don’t always make for the most active lifestyle. These days it’s all too easy to stay chained to the desk, sitting in your chair in front of the computer. A time-honoured resolution is to take regularly scheduled breaks. It’ll help to refocus your energy and get your muscles going.
And when you lose yourself in super-focused mode or are on a tight deadline and can’t schedule the time for a walk around the block, one trick to try is to drink water regularly. If your mind can’t convince you to step away from the desk, your bladder will!
What tips do you have? No matter what job you work at, burnout and stress is inevitable. Developing a few tricks here and there can go a long way to finding that sweet spot between your work and your lifestyle.