If you’re a business or health care leader who feels as if work is creeping into your home life, then stop and take a deep breath. Achieving a healthy work-life balance might be easier than you think.
Here are six tips for balancing your life at work and home:
Make a list of which activities are most important to you: Is it spending time with family members and friends? Exercising? Meditating? Reading? Consider activities that you may, or may not, spend enough time doing. This list will become your working document for reshaping your work-life balance.
Conduct a “time audit” of your day to see where you spend the bulk of your hours: If you’re like most working people – especially those with children – you may wonder where your time goes. Working parents devote most of their waking time each day to their jobs, household tasks and caregiving, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 American Time Use Survey. They average just 2.6 hours of leisure and sports time a day. Americans over age 15 spend more than 60 percent of their down time watching TV or playing computer games, 13 percent socializing and 6 percent exercising.
Stop wasting your time on things that don’t matter: Is social media all that important to you? Are you saying “yes” to every work or volunteer commitment? Are there people in your life who are “energy zappers”? Somewhere in your life, there are probably activities and people who are taking time away from what really matters to you (refer back to your “work-life list’). It’s time to drop them.
Ignore any unnecessary tasks – or outsource them: As part of your time audit, consider which menial tasks at work and at home are taking up too much of your time. You may not be able to afford a housekeeper, but can you live with more dirt? Or devote just 15 minutes a day to one task – such as vacuuming the living room or cleaning a bathroom – to stay ahead of the grime.At work, consider what wastes your time – and your company’s. Which menial tasks can you drop or outsource in the interest of “big picture” activities that meet company goals?
Schedule leisure time into your day: If you find you’re not spending enough time on the activities that matter to you, then try building them into your calendar. Block off this time in your calendar so you force yourself to abide by your new philosophy of time management, and let co-workers know you have an appointment you can’t miss.
Get more exercise: You may not have included this in your list of “to-do” activities, but many studies show that this is an area from which you might benefit the most. Exercise may actually gain you some time by making you more productive at work and at home.
With all of these adjustments to your daily schedule, you may be able to carve out more time – and rise above the daily grind instead of succumbing to it.