No one is quite sure how work and life seemed to bleed into one another in our culture. It may have been the advent of the BlackBerry, the predecessor to today’s smartphone. Suddenly, employers were able to contact their team members at all hours of the day and night. And for a while, we bought it. It was just the way things were done. Today, we’re rebelling against that notion once again. We want to reclaim our time, and we deserve it. So, how can you regain your work-life balance? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Set Clear Boundaries
Without boundaries, the temptation to take advantage of your time becomes apparent. You need to ensure that from day one you are establishing healthy boundaries around your work hours and availability.
Start by making a list of the things you are willing to do and not do. If you are in a position where your boundaries are being crossed, ask to have a meeting to discuss your experience. Don’t be accusatory, but let them know where you stand.
Make Lists of Goals
For every project you work on, make a list of the goals that need to be accomplished. Then break that down to tasks. Every time you complete a task, cross it off the list. This gives you a sense of ownership and accountability over the project.
If you are asked about any part of the process, you can show where you are with it and when you expect to be finished.
Part of setting boundaries is learning to say no. We are often taught that saying no is not an option, but sometimes it has to be. If you are unable to complete a task on time due to other tasks, communicate this.
If you are unable to work past your normal hours, be sure to say so. It’s imperative you’re able to say no without repercussions. But this can only happen if employees are willing to say no to begin with.
Leave Work at Work
When you do leave work, don’t work again. Your time away from the office during non-business hours is your time. You need to create that separation. Leave your work at work. It can wait until you get back the next morning.
One way to do this is to spend the last few minutes of your workday evaluating what you accomplished and making a list to start the next morning. This will ease your mind while you’re at home.
Create Media Blackout Times
Now that we can check business emails or log into computer systems remotely, we are more and more tempted to do so just to see what’s going on. But studies show this is very unhealthy for us mentally.
This is also a good habit to get into at work. You don’t have to check your work email every time it dings. Set aside three times during the day to review and reply to emails. Between those time, focus on the work you need to complete.
There is one other primary component to reclaiming your work/life balance. You need to make your health and well-being a priority. If you don’t, no one else will respect those boundaries. This means you need to eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.
There are more things you can do to practice self-care. Make time for fun in your life by spending time with friends and family. Also, build in time for relaxation, whatever that is for you. You should also tap into your support system when you need to.
Do you want to improve your work/life balance?
Talk with the team at FJC Personnel to see how we can help.