Here are five ways to help you bring your work and life into balance. The key is changing your attitudes about what you can, and should, accomplish at work.
- Stop trying to please everyone.
Don’t fall victim to the allure of trying to please everyone. You’ll be ineffective in work-life balance and managing your time effectively. People who try to please everyone become stuck in a place where they agree to everything without giving consideration to what is most important or what is the best use of their time. When you try to please everyone, the one person who doesn’t get pleased is you!
- Be true to yourself.
Many executives believe respect comes from how much they do and how well they do it. However, an equally important element of respect is integrity, and integrity requires being true to yourself. When you are overworked, isn’t your truth to try and rebalance your schedule? When you have too many things going on and too many projects, isn’t it your job to delegate more? There is a truth that always exists within your work, which is the need to do what is right for you, not what is right for the company. Yes, you must often do what others want you to do, but not to such a degree that you get lost in the shuffle.
- Set boundaries.
Boundaries are essential to restoring a work-life balance. Perhaps you’ve established a personal rule that you will never work through lunch, not work past a certain time, not get to the office before a certain time or not work on weekends. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but that’s what they are—exceptions, not everyday occurrences. Setting boundaries will help you have a work-life balance that provides you enjoyment, peace, and fulfillment in all aspects of your life. If you keep your boundaries strong, they will protect you no matter how difficult, troubling, or challenging your work becomes.
- Learn to under promise.
Allow yourself to do less than you think you can do. If you think it will take an hour to do something, give yourself an hour and a half. You’ll be less inclined to beat yourself up when you lower your expectations. Most people say they under promise but do exactly the opposite. This puts extra pressure on them. Actually, most executives create such high expectations that they rarely accomplish what needs to get done.
- Stop feeling guilty.
It’s okay to have a life away from the office. It’s not a crime to turn off your cell phone or not respond to e-mail when you’re on vacation. That’s why they call it a vacation! Fiercely protect your days off and relish all of the time entitled to you. You’ll not only restore balance and sanity to your life, but you’ll also live longer. Studies have shown that people who take vacations have fewer health risks than those who do not.
Implement these five suggestions, and you’ll soon see a decrease in your stress level and an increase in the quality of your work.
Source: Garfinkle, J. (2009, January 7). Five ways to restore balance in your life. Fulfillment@Work.