Finding the right balance between work and life can be difficult. According to psychologist Robert Brooks, PhD, the co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life, most people put in extra hours at work thinking that their layoffs and cutbacks may affect them, not considering the effect it can have on their personal life. In fact, according to Brooks, the best way to bring more balance and enjoyment to your life is to focus on the things that are more under your control.
Here are five simple ways to bring in more balance in the daily struggle:
Schedule family time
Try to fit in some time with family and friends, or include any other activity that will recharge you, whenever you are planning for the week. “An activity to look forward to, like a dinner or a baseball game, will motivate you to manage the time better and ensure that you don’t miss out on the fun. It helps in being proactive and scheduling," says Laura Stack, a productivity expert in Denver and author of SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best.
Plan a time out with the family like a park or a movie, maybe during the weekend. This scheduling ensures that the time is not wasted and you get the much-wanted quality time with the ones who are dear to you. Getting up an hour or so early also gives you adequate time to spend with the family, rather than the usual get up, shower, and go to work. “This will surely improve the productivity in the work place," says Michael Neithardt, an actor and television commercial producer in New York City.
Avoid activities that adds no value
“Wasting time on something that saps your energy should surely be avoided," says Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut. Many activities like spending time with a colleague who gossips a lot is something that does not add any value and can be avoided altogether. Focus on those activities that enhance your career or personal life and avoid those do not.
Many of our activities, like spending time on social networks, checking bank statements, or making personal calls, make you less efficient, which takes away your time at the workplace. Avoiding these may help you to finish off the tasks a bit earlier and give some extra time for the activities that you look forward to.
Outsource your activities, if needed
Just rearranging your chores and outsourcing a few of them may help you to save some precious time that you can spend wisely. Whether it be ordering groceries online, or helping mow the lawn, you save precious time, which will make it worth the effort. Stack suggests that one of the best ways to save time (and enjoy it) is to trade tasks with friends. By offering to do some of the work that you enjoy, it gives you the additional benefit of enjoyment too.
Making time for regular exercise can be difficult while having a tight schedule. But, in the long term, finding time for regular activities will be helpful in boosting energy and concentration power. Many studies have shown that exercise makes a person more alert. It also boosts the way you feel for the rest of the day and gives you the much-wanted me time that you've been looking for.
Trying to make a work-life balance is not about jamming more things in less time. It can even be as simple as leaving the office earlier one day a week. It is all about being realistic and gradually adding small activities that are more important to you. You can probably start by spending an hour every week doing a hobby, or spending a week with the family once a year.
Even during a hectic day, you can still fit in some relaxation to help you recharge. It can be reading a novel of your choice, listening to your favorite music or going for a walk.