I’m a fan of the monthly e-news I receive from my alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. One of this month’s featured pieces struck me. An article, “Adopt These 12 Habits for a Better Work-Life Balance” by Sujan Patel, clarifies two often-overlooked details in the quest for work/life balance.
First, the search for balance is a personal journey, and that balance will come by way of our definition. Second, finding balance is a process and that it won’t come without effort on our part.
To help us start and stay on that quest for balance, he outlines 12 habits to adopt. Here’s a summary of his suggestions:
- Understand what “balance” means.
“Balance” doesn’t mean “equal.” There will be days when work or your personal life takes more weight, and that’s OK.
- Let go of fear.
Let go of the fear that if you’re not working, your company will fail. When you’ve done a day’s work, let it go, rest, and try again tomorrow.
- Schedule important personal activities.
Don’t let activities like exercise, date nights and more fall by the wayside. Block out your calendar for important personal events.
- Set boundaries.
If customers or colleagues think it’s OK to call you at 11 pm, they will. Set firm boundaries. If they’re used to having unfiltered access to you, notify them of the change. Let them know the change will help you meet their needs when you are “on the clock.”
- Think about where you live.
Do so with your ideal work/life balance in mind.
- Turn off technology.
We live in an “always-on” culture. Yet, you have power over your devices. Be intentional about turning them off (not on silent) and taking technology breaks.
- Manage your energy, not your time.
We all have natural energy cycles. Identify times when you feel more focused and productive, as well as times where you’re not. Schedule your tasks according to your high-energy cycles.
- Schedule vacation time.
This speaks for itself. Yet, if you’re so involved in your business you feel you can’t be gone, even for a day, it’s time to learn to delegate.
- Join social groups.
If you find it hard to socialize because you’re always working, consider joining a group where the focus is on meeting new friends, not talking shop.
- Delegate household tasks.
If you have the means, consider hiring out or delegating household tasks.
- Use calendar blocks for laser focus.
You have a calendar, use it. Schedule specific blocks of uninterrupted time for your most important tasks. Uninterrupted means no phone, email, or text distractions.
Do these ideas resonate with you the way they did for me?
Please let me know what works best for you in your quest for balance, and how I might be able to help you find that place that promotes the balance you seek.