Most people use the expression work/life balance to present the notion of getting everything you want. Although this may seem impossible, it actually all boils down to determining what are your values and needs in both of those domains of your life.
If the balance is off in any way that can lead to feeling as though you are not living your life to the fullest. There are some great ways to achieve that balance, and at the same time to fulfill your personal goals. A recent research explores the four most important and efficient ways of achieving that balance.
1. Choosing where to invest your time
The first step is learning to say NO. However hard it may be. It is important to evaluate each task and situation in order to see how beneficial it is to you personally. For example is the extra money you may earn on a project worth the additional hours away from your family.
Another great time management technique for achieving the work/life balance is synchronizing your work and life calendar. Having them both in one place helps you see the overall time distribution, so that you can adjust it according to your needs and the needs of your family.
Finally learn how to compartmentalize your time. If you have one big task, determine the time you need to set aside for it and put everything else on hold. Or if you are dealing with several smaller ones, try to do them in the time frame most fitting for your schedule. Always paying attention that your work time doesn’t overflow to your personal time.
2. Maintaining an open line of communication
Being open and honest about your needs to both your colleagues and your family is vital for keeping the relevant balance but also a piece of mind. Explaining your plans and short term goals as well as the time distribution necessary for achieving them.
If the people closes to you are aware of your upcoming tasks and obligation they will be able to support you in achieving your goals. In addition, the changes in your itinerary will become more clear to them and you will be able to avoid unnecessary interruptions during your work hours. Thus helping you use your work time more efficiently.
3. Setting the boundaries
Setting the boundaries is the easy part, sticking to them is a whole different story. First of all both in work and life unplanned things always tend to come up, when you least expect them, the famous Murphy’s law. When it comes to work/life balance the most important thing is not the cross the boundaries that you have set.
For example changing the set date of completion of a project you are working on literally causes a domino effect for all your other obligations, and you start moving them all around. This in the long run cases you to lose the balance that you have so carefully made and to start taking the time from your other set obligations and goals in order to achieve the previous.
This situation causes a feeling of perpetual lack of time, which in turn elevates the stress levels making it even harder to reach the set goals. So in order to avoid this type of situations it is of vital importance to take the time boundaries that you have set for yourself seriously.
4. Plugging out
We have become dependent on the technology, from tablets and smartphones to smart watches. There will always be people who are going to send you that important e-mail at am and you will feel obliged to get out of bed and read it. Well don’t. Turning of the work notifications as soon as your free time starts is a great way to achieve the work/life balance.
It is important to have some me time, without work interruptions. How you spend that time is up to you be it with your family or at the gym, or just reading a book at the park. The one thing most successful people will tell you is no work emergency that is so important that you would have to sacrifice your free time for.
Based on these four steps anyone can plan their time and at least try to reach that elusive work/life balance that we all strive for. The exact time distribution may differ from person to person, but the end goal is the same.