Late nights spent finishing reports, early mornings devoted to battling through growing email inboxes, and long days full of meetings are common facets of the modern worker.
In America alone, it’s thought that over half of the entire population regularly feels burned out and overworked. As a consequence, deadlines are missed, projects reside permanently in half-finished states, and the overall quality of work suffers.
Something isn’t ringing true, though. If people are working harder and longer, how can their output suffer?
The answer is blindingly simple: they’re working too hard. Maintaining a good work-life balance is crucial if you’re to do a good job upon entering the office. Spending time with the people you love and indulging in activities that rejuvenate your body and mind are vital elements of the productive modern day worker.
In this post, we’re going to look at some simple, tried-and-tested methods for improving your work-life balance. If you get it right, the sky is your limit. Great leaders know the importance of the work-life balance, but its benefits should be felt on every branch of the corporate tree.
1. Put your foot down and say “no.”
You simply can’t do everything. Sure, you’re flying high and the boss is lavishing you with praise, but she’s also giving you more work than you can handle as a result.
If you look at your daily to-do list and wonder how on earth you’re going to get to the bottom of it, something’s wrong. You’ve most likely fallen into the trap of saying “yes” to everything that lands on your desk.
It’s time to put your foot down. Speak to your boss and explain that you simply have too much going on. If they’re a good boss, they’ll welcome the honesty and will probably express their regret at putting too much on your shoulders. After all – how were they supposed to know you were over-worked if you’ve willingly accepted every challenge thrown your way?
2. Treat email like snail mail.
Picture the scene: your postman enters your office with a bunch of letters and asks that you open them, immediately. He disappears once you’ve done so, only to return five minutes later with another batch, again, expecting you to give them your immediate attention.
Would you bow to his requests? Of course, you wouldn’t, and you should treat email in the same way.
Email is a productivity killer and a primary reason many workers are left working late into the night on the stuff they should have been doing when checking their inboxes. Email shouldn’t rule you, so make sure it’s a task you only undertake two to three times per day. If anyone needs you urgently, they’ll contact you via other means.
3. Make downtime a task.
Being task-driven at work is a very good thing indeed, but your to-do list might be missing one very important item: downtime.
Scheduling downtime into your working day may sound rather daft, but in doing so, you’ll force yourself to take time out from the daily grind. If relaxing becomes a task that you must complete regularly, you’ll get into the habit of doing so.
It’s incredibly easy to get addicted to work, and, like any addiction, this one will creep up and catch you unawares. Before you know it, you’ll be spending more time at your desk than with the people and hobbies that matter to you.
The three tips above won’t cost you a penny and are simple to implement. Start today and get your life back.
Madara is a freelance business writer with a passion for sharing her insights with the community. Being a media and business enthusiast she keeps her hand on the pulse of the latest news in the field. She also enjoys spending too much time browsing through flights available at the closest airports.