The work-life balance is dead or so does a pessimistic Bloomberg article say. Executives are working longer hours than the standard work week and millennials are having to struggle with a bigger number of responsibilities than ever before. In fact, 62 percent of millennials are managers, which leaves very little time for leisure activities.
While people are becoming more and more focused on their career, the work-life balance is still an essential for feeling happy and fulfilled.
Whether you’re a writer, a scientist or a CEO, you have to consciously work towards establishing and maintaining the work-life balance. The good news is that the goal is accomplishable, even for the busiest of professionals.
Right from the start, you’ll simply have no time for downtime. This is why Forbes suggests scheduling it.
Changing habits can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re already set in your routine and you don’t like modifications. Thus, consider scheduling a few “me hours” every now and then until you get in the habit of enjoying those.
Exercise is very important for staying healthy and feeling happy. You can easily find 30 minutes for exercise three times per week if you play around a bit with your schedule. The same applies to having a date night with your significant other and getting reacquainted with a favorite hobby.
If that’s not sufficient to introduce change, you may want to think through your priorities. Analyze every single thing that you keep yourself occupied with during a regular day. By taking a conscious look at your professional and other responsibilities, you may find out that some of them aren’t as crucial as enjoying your personal life every now and then.
What’s most important in your life right now? Is it your career? Is it your family? Do you have a dream project that you want to bring to reality?
Understanding what’s the most important aspect of your life will help you get rid of clutter and meaningless activities. You’ll be much more focused on the things that you want to accomplish and you’ll also find some time for leisure activities.
Very often, we keep ourselves busy for the sake of being busy. We’re used to activity and boredom scares us. This is one of the reasons why so many people don’t have a good work-life balance. Once the fear of boredom is overcome, however, most individuals will find out that downtime is actually something good and that it’s conductive of productivity.
Stop Wasting Time at Work and Leave the Office on Time
Statistics suggest that many people are dedicating more than 40 hours per week to work. Excessive business isn’t always the cause of this phenomenon. Getting distracted during the workday reduces productivity, which leads to spending more time in the office.
Work on improving your time management skills. Get rid of distractions like your phone, social media and websites that aren’t related to work. The sooner you stop paying attention to those, the faster you’ll find yourself capable of completing work.
Once you increase your productivity, you should also get in the habit of leaving the office on time.
Make the conscious effort to get home from work at the exact same time every given day. You’re being paid to do a certain job. The rest of your time should be dedicated to your family or to personal projects.
You can learn a lot about yourself by starting a journal. No, this isn’t some new age nonsense that millennials believe in. journaling is a powerful tool for figuring out what’s going on in your life and how you can lead a more meaningful existence.
Write about every single thing you do during the day, the things that you’d like to do but you don’t have time for and the things that you’re doing but don’t feel like.
Taking a look at your journal can help you reveal patterns of wasted time or too much time dedicated to meaningless activities. You’ll become much more aware of your actions and the effect they have on your productivity and your life.
Learn to Say “No”
Very often, people find themselves incredibly busy because they don’t know how to say no and keep the number of tasks they’re responsible for down to a reasonable number.
Saying no is difficult because you may feel like you’re rejecting people. This isn’t really the case. You’re valuing your time and you’re still doing a good job. If people can’t manage on their own, they’ll have to do a bit of a productivity boost themselves.
There are ways to reject additional work without sounding confrontational. Stick to your guns and remember that you can’t please everyone, especially at the expense of your own leisure time. There’s no need to go to last-minute meetings or to spend sleepless nights completing a project that isn’t yours. Such behavior will only lead to a vicious cycle in the future.
Improving the work-life balance necessitates conscious effort on your behalf. You have to change your thinking before you change the things that you do. A mentality that’s focused on doing a good job and still enjoying your personal time requires a bit of effort. Let this change happen. It will take some time and it will make you feel uncomfortable in the very beginning. Still, the results will justify the work you’ve done on making it happen.