Today’s busy world seems to demand that we spend more and more time married to our work. Some of us actually have family and friends, but we aren’t spending as much time with them as we’d like. There are steps you can take that will bring back that balance you’re looking for. It will take some planning and discipline, but you really can do it all.
Schedule Yourself in for an Appointment
Chances are you know how to organize and follow a day planner. Why not use that skill to work in some “me” time?
Create a phone alert so you don’t miss it, and take this time seriously. Carefully lan what you will do with this time, so you can make the most of it. As long as it is not work related, it will count. Call someone and talk, play a video game, work on a hobby, even stretch and exercise in the office if necessary. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t put it off and schedule something “more important” in its place.
Put Exercise on Your List
Probably the best way to remove your mind from the rigors of your job is to get your body moving. Exercise is the best way to de-stress and clear your mind, not to mention its health benefits. Some people take their lunch break to go jogging or to a gym. If you don’t have enough time during the breaks at work, you may consider starting a program before or after work. Many people have merged getting to work with exercise by riding a bike or jogging to get there.
Limit Time Spent Working at Home
Many people appreciate the technology that has made working from home a reality. However, if you’re coming home from work just to pick up where you left off, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Limit your time you spend working at home so you can enjoy spending time with your family and doing the things that bring you happiness.
Allow time for Your Hobbies
You might like to read, play an instrument or collect cars. Indulging into these passions outside of your work routines helps round out your life, and makes you happier. Plan ahead to determine how you’re going to pay for your next collector vehicle, or deciding to insure your cars through State Farm or another insurance company. All these details help give you an outside focus and knowledge about something beyond your career goals. Taking care of those nitty gritty details will ensure that you have set yourself up for the fun part of your hobbies.
Here’s the thing. You don’t actually need to be connected all the time. It’s not healthy and it probably is the main reason you're having a hard time balancing your personal life and your work life. Next time you run to the store or the gym, leave the phone behind. When you’re in the car traveling, listen to the radio or an audio book; don’t use it as an excuse for phone time.
Along those same lines, when it’s time to go to sleep, don’t plug your phone in next to the bed. Plug it in across the room, or even better, in a different room entirely. This way you won’t be tempted to check it each time it beeps or lights up. Keep it out of sight and out of mind for those few short hours while you get your rest.
Finally, be proactive about shutting your computer/laptop down. You can stop tossing and turning, and worrying about work by shutting your computer down several hours before you turn in for the night. Give yourself a chance to unwind free of that constant connection.
Schedule a social outlet
When work has you particularly exhausted the idea of going out for the evening may not be your first thought, and that's okay. However, maintaining a life completely separate from the office is crucial for your overall well-being. You need that complete change of pace and interaction. Make your social plans in advance so that you don’t leave yourself a convenient way out of them.
It will take some planning and scheduling, but you can carve out a life balance that will not only make you feel better, but in the long run improve your work performance as well. Needed distractions and social interactions will help keep you refreshed and grounded. In the end, all aspects of your life will benefit as your attempt to have the best of both worlds.
Want to read more about work life balance? Read more on Project Eve: