Now, more than ever, it is a challenge to balance your personal and professional life, especially if you are a leader or business owner. The days of coming home at 5:00 and leaving work at the office are long gone. In fact, more and more people only have a commute of walking down the hall since they work from a home office, and it makes juggling everything even trickier. Technology helps us out so much, but it also makes it harder to find that balance.
Here are some tips to help through this struggle:
Define what balance means to you (and your family).
It’s hard to imagine never checking your email or making a quick call during “non-office hours.” But are you spending every evening and Saturday working, even if you are at home? Are you working every Friday night and never socializing? Figure out what kind of balance works for you and your family, if you have one. Maybe it’s okay to catch up a bit on Sunday afternoon, but if your kid has a baseball game, find another time to do it.
Let someone else do something.
Unless it’s just you at your job, you can have someone else do something. Even if you are starting a business, you probably have an assistant or partner who can take something on. That’s part of the charm of being a leader. You can prioritize and delegate some less important things to your employees. They are there for a reason – you don’t have to do it all yourself. It may be best if you save the big, most important things for yourself, but they can handle other smaller jobs, and you’ll have more time to get to what you need to do.
Make time for yourself.
Whether you have a family, a significant other, or you live alone, you still need time for just you. Maybe it’s an hour here and there to exercise, or work on that novel you have tucked away, or just take a nap. You need time for yourself, and that doesn’t include checking your work email. Make sure this becomes a high priority in the quest for balance.
Forget about multi-tasking and focus instead.
Sure, there is an art to multi-tasking as well as a time and place for it, but often it slows people down. You try to do too much and instead, get nothing finished. If it does get finished, it’s not always the best work. Instead of multi-tasking, pick a project and finish it. Once it’s finished, you can check it off and move on to the next thing. You may find you are much more efficient.
It’s okay to leave your phone in the car.
People are so used to having work at their fingertips that being without their smartphone can send them into a panic. But it’s okay; it may be even kind of freeing. Of course, if you’re expecting an important call, don’t leave without it, but if you are taking your kids out to lunch and a movie, it’s all right to be phone-free for a couple of hours.
Finding balance in your life will make you more efficient and relaxed in both your personal and your professional life. It may seem hard, as we’ve got everything at our fingertips all of the time, but you can do it. And once you find that balance, you’ll be very happy you did.
About the Author: Heather Legg is a blogger who writes about small businesses, family fun, and the importance of a positive outlook in a balanced life.