Here are some ideas to help you find the balance that’s best for
Keep a log. Track everything you do for one week. Include
work-related and non-work-related activities. Decide what’s necessary and what
satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy and don’t
have time for. If you don’t have the authority to make certain decisions, talk
to your supervisor.
Take advantage of your options. Find out if your employer offers flex hours,
a compressed workweek, job-sharing or telecommuting for your role. The
flexibility may alleviate some of your stress and free up some time.
Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an
extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to manage the class play,
remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no. When you quit doing the things
you only do out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll make more room
in your life for the activities that are meaningful to you and bring you joy.
Leave work at work. With today’s global business mentality and the
technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there’s no
boundary between work and home – unless you create it. Make a conscious
decision to separate work time from personal time. When with your family, for
instance, turn off your cell phone and put away your laptop computer.
Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently. Doing one or
two loads of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off, and
running errands in batches are good places to begin. A weekly family calendar
of important dates and a daily list of to-dos will help you avoid deadline
panic. If your employer offers a course in time management, sign up for it.
Rethink your cleaning standards. An unmade bed or sink of dirty
dishes won’t impact the quality of your life. Do what needs to be done and let
the rest go. If you can afford it, pay someone else to clean your house.
Communicate clearly. Limit time-consuming misunderstandings by
communicating clearly and listening carefully. Take notes if necessary.
Fight the guilt. Remember, having a family and a job is OK – for both
men and women.
Nurture yourself. Set aside time each day for an activity that you
enjoy, such as walking, working out or listening to music. Unwind after a
hectic workday by reading, practicing yoga, or taking a bath or shower.
Set aside one night each week for recreation. Take the phone off the
hook, power down the computer and turn off the TV. Discover activities you can
do with your partner, family or friends, such as playing golf,tennis, football,
et all. Making time for activities you enjoy will rejuvenate you.
Protect your day off. Try to schedule some of your routine chores on
workdays so that your days off are more relaxing.
Get enough sleep. There’s nothing as stressful and potentially
dangerous as working when you’re sleep-deprived. Not only is your productivity
affected, but also you can make costly mistakes. You may then have to work even
more hours to make up for these mistakes.