Work-Life Out of Balance?

Work-Life_out_of_BalanceWhen the line between work and life is blurred, especially when you are aiming for promotion or plain trying to keep you job, stress may settle in and even hurt your relationships at home.

The consequences of working way in excess are missing out on precious time with family and friends as well as fatigue which leads to counter-productive work and the danger of making expensive mistakes among others. Yet working longer hours or bringing work home does not necessarily mean more productive work or higher income.

So, how can you regain that balance?

Managing Time

First, you will need to determine realistic deadlines for specific tasks even before starting to work on them. By doing so, you objectively determine whether a task could be done within a certain time frame. If it can't be done within the requested deadline, it is best to request for a slight extension rather than standing your friends up for work and be stressed up worrying that you will miss the deadline.

On the other hand, if you give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete a task yet you are not able to do so, it is time to evaluate your productivity level or suss out the real reason why you have to do overtime every day. There are many possible reasons including distractions or disruptions from clients or colleagues.

Also, try as much as you can to include some regular relaxation time in your schedule each week, be it tea time with your friends or picnics with your family. These activities will help you recharge for the week at work and may act as a form of motivation. Many people I know keep Sundays strictly for family.

Separate Work from Home

As much as possible, do not bring work home unless, of course, if you are a freelancer or self-employed. Even so, confine work to the study room and not the kitchen or the bedroom. Or, even better, go to a 24-hour MacDonald's to finish up the work rather than stonewalling your family when at home. By having a clear demarcation of where's for work and where's not, you keep your home a haven away from stress and automatically relax there.

Streamline Communication

With so many communication devices and an ever-growing pool of information out there, no wonder so many people are socialising with others virtually while neglecting those they are physically with. Others play games on their iPhone when they are out with their friends. So, turn your Blackberry off or put your phone on silent when you are out with your family and friends.

Put in Some Thought

Why are you working so hard for? What are you sacrificing when you allow work to seep into your personal life? Figure out how much time you need to relax before you consider yourself well rested, and achieve that. Money is not everything – everyone knows this but do they understand this? A quick pros and cons evaluation of doing OT usually helps me put things into perspective. Try it!

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