Sutton Full Potential Founder
It isn’t uncommon to hear working professionals complain about their struggle to meet both personal and professional life demands. We live in a world where companies expect high levels of performance from each employee, often leading to long working hours, persistent stress, lack of recreation and mental and physical health problems.
It might seem almost impossible to achieve the obscure work-life balance, particularly for those who aim to be perfectionists and give everything a hundred percent. But the fact is that there are ways in which you can manage your families and careers and feel content with both. And this has numerous advantages too!
Make boundaries at your workplace
Actually, establishing boundaries at your workplace is just part of the deal. The main idea is to actually stick to these boundaries. While digital advancements have allowed employers to provide more flexibility in jobs, they have also translated into employees being accessible throughout the day.
Here’s what you need to do if you feel bogged down by constant work calls, texts and emails (even at home): have a discussion with your boss regarding the expectations from your role and establish boundaries for things such as availability to receive calls after work hours. Also specify whether or not and to what extent you’re willing to do overtime work.
Unplug every once in a while
The sad truth is that we are now living in an ‘overly’ connected world which hardly ever sleeps. When you intentionally cut chords with the world every once in a while, you are in a better position to relax and recover from the weekly work stress. This gives you time to go over your thoughts and may lead to lots of creative thinking. To facilitate ‘unplugging’, try and meditate for 10 to 15 minutes each morning. You may also consider switching off all your digital devices such as smartphones and laptops for an hour or two each day.
Try this for a week: do a quick assessment of the day’s activities i.e. how you spent your time and which part of the day was highly productive and which part was absolutely wasted. If you find that there are people or activities which fail to add much to your day, it is time to eliminate them!
Get used to ‘letting go’
It is important to remember that you cannot be a perfect worker, mother/father and friend. In other words, learn to say “no” if and when needed. You will benefit a great deal by cutting things out, especially those that stress you and have no real meaning in your life. It will help you create a space for the more valuable things in your life. For instance, if a weekend conference can be attended by a subordinate or team member, let them do so. You can use that time to go picnicking with your children or enjoy a movie with your partner. These are activities that will perhaps give you greater satisfaction and a chance to reconnect with your loved ones.
Here are some of the wonderful benefits that you may enjoy by achieving work-life balance:
An improvement in your mental, emotional and physical health
Greater motivation to work and less absenteeism
More ‘me’ time
Better personal and professional relationships