Is work invading your personal life, or is your home life interfering with your work? With more people working more hours and adding more stress to their already stressed out lives, how does one balance work and home life? Study after study across various industries tell a story of folks who are dissatisfied with the balance of their work and home life. This imbalance is due to economic conditions, more time commuting to and from the workplace, the lack of clear boundaries between work and home life, longer working hours and increased pressure at the job. A study conducted by the Discovery Group found that two out of five employees are not satisfied with the balance between their personal lives and work. So how do you determine if work is invading your personal life? How do you tell if you have too much stress from trying to balance work and home life? Here are some helpful tips to help you get a better balance in your life:
• You gotta slow down. Don’t let things pass you by, life is too short. You need to slow down and enjoy the things and people in your life. Work is important, but relationships are equally important. Don’t make plans for every evening of the week, leave some evenings where you just spend time with family or friends. Enjoy yourself and engage the important people around you in your life. Allow yourself to be distanced from the stress and problems at work.
• Manage you time more efficiently. This one thing alone was a revelation to me. I spent months learning time management techniques and implementing them into my life and work. You know what I found? That most of my stress was due to the fact that I was disorganized and that I procrastinated with everything. I learned to set more realistic goals and timelines, and made myself stick to them religiously. Work took less time and the work produced was of a better quality.
• Simplify your life. I was the guy who could get anything done and would always take on new or additional work. I wanted to show everyone that I was a human dynamo. I felt like I could do anything, take on any amount of work. That had to change. I had to find a way to simplify my life and work. With work, I simply managed my time better and only accepted what I knew I could accomplish. It was a bit tougher with my personal life. I knew there were relationships, one in particular, that were wasting huge amounts my time. I had to rethink those relationships and determine if they were healthy or unhealthy. It wasn’t easy, but I got rid of the bad relationships, the bad habits that were taking so much of my time. Simplify means getting rid of the things that aren’t helping you toward your goals. If a habit or behavior is taking time from your work or personal life, cut it loose. Get help if you need it.
When I first started out in the advertising industry, I landed a great job at the biggest ad agency in the area while I was still a Junior in college. I was so excited to be with that company and I literally worked 15 to 18 hours a day, sometimes even catching a bit of sleep here and there. But I was also pulling a full course load at college, and my work at both school and at the ad agency began to suffer. Something had to give. I spoke with my boss and she was more than understanding. Her advice was sound: spend less time at the ad agency and more time with my studies. Through an older and wiser mentor, I was able to achieve balance between work and home life.