Work/Life Balance Goals

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How are your 2018 New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re a type-A workaholic, you probably smashed your work-related goals back in February. For others, life might have gotten in the way of your resolutions and they may have faded into the background–and that’s okay, life happens. The new year can usher in a fresh start to meeting your goals in both your personal and professional life. It’s all about balance, though it can be easier said than done. If you have started losing track of your New Year’s resolutions, here’s how to get those work/life balance resolutions back on track.

Take Time to Get Organized

Organization probably doesn’t make it into your checklist, rather it’s something of a necessary evil as your desktop and email clutter beyond the point of what you can handle. In the beginning of a new week, schedule just five to ten minutes per day before or after your workday to straighten things out, file things away, and get yourself ready for the next task at hand. Writing this step down on a checklist makes you more likely to complete it, and it can help you maintain a more efficient workday. Imagine how great it’ll feel to go into a new day with email folders and a clear desktop that will help keep track of obligations! This can also limit those nights spent burning the midnight oil on last-minute work instead of spending time with loved ones.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Have you ever spent time with your family without really being present? Sifting through emails and stressing about deadlines instead of appreciating the company of those right in front of you? It’s common to do that from time to time, always being near a smartphone. To truly disconnect from technology out of work hours, begin practicing mindfulness. Not a pro at meditation yet? Start by focusing on your breath, and begin noticing what each of your senses are feeling. Beginning the day with meditation, whether it’s a workday or a weekend, can help reduce stress over time. Apps that track and guide meditation can help motivate you to continue this practice.

Shift Your Thinking About “Yes” and “No”

How often do you find yourself saying that you can complete a project, no matter the deadline? Saying that you’ll take care of something, when your planner is already bursting at the seams? Compare that to how you approach questions asked of you at home, by your children or spouse. For many, saying “no” to family is somehow easier–no to your six-year-old insisting to wear her Halloween costume to school in March, no to a last-minute dinner with friends–do these responses really improve your quality of life? Reevaluating what you say “yes” to at work and “no” to at home is a great way to shift your perspective and determine what really matters. Work assignments can always be delegated or reprioritized, and really, what’s the harm in letting little Sally wear fairy wings to school?

Work and Life Balance in the Digital Age

Work Life Balance

Today’s technological devices (mobile devices, video conferencing, etc.) can help us to work flexibly from various locations and around the clock, but it can also lead towards a depreciation of work/life boundaries and the feeling of always being “on the grid.”

Decades ago some authors, scientists, and business people predicted that we would advance in our technological abilities.  Many of them also predicted that, as a result of new technological developments, we would see a reduction in the amount of work hours for the average person.  While we’ve seen technologies increase in leaps and bounds since the 1980s, the 50-60 hour work week remains a reality for most of us.

 Because we’re able to work from everywhere, we’re expected to work from everywhere.
-Arianna Huffington

 

What happened?  Why were they wrong?  What can be done about it?  In short, too many people created a “new norm” as they used the technologies at hand.  You receive a work email on your phone and feel the need to respond.  “It doesn’t take much time and it’s important,” you probably say to yourself.   Companies and bosses see that you’re “always on” and quick to respond, so they start to expect quicker response times and more hours out of their employees.  Before you know it, if you’re an employee who isn’t checking emails past 7 PM – or over your weekend – you’re perceived as a slacker.

Source: Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-technology-can-help-work-life-balance-1414382688

 

Other people feel that various technological advancements HELP them to achieve a better work/life balance.  Today it’s possible to use your mobile devices almost anywhere, allowing you to more efficiently toggle between your professional and personal responsibilities, while in the olden days you were almost always chained to a desk in an office.  Now you can be at your children’s sporting event or concert, but still be able to check-in with your office remotely.

Many have specifically highlighted how video-conferencing has helped them achieve a better balance in life.  Video conferencing is an extremely effective tool that does enable people to work from home (or wherever) while also being able to see their colleagues or clients in personal and collaborative ways, and despite the actual distance between them.

Work and life balance

So what’s the best way to achieve a work/life balance in today’s digital world?  First, you need to recognize that both employees and employers have a responsibility to set some parameters.  No one should always feel pressured to literally be on the grid 24/7!  Typically, it is the individual who must make the first step towards setting these kind of boundaries.  Create a time to sit down with your superiors and communicate your availability.

Second, when you are out of the office and don’t want to be “on the grid,” find a colleague who can handle the requests for you.  Delegating responsibility, when possible or necessary, is vital.  This is especially true for CEOs, managers, and supervisors.

Third, acknowledge and change company culture.  Too often companies respond to technologies by filling up the 9-5 days with meetings (known as “meeting bloat”) and expecting the actual work will get done “sometime” after all the meetings.  Other companies do the opposite.  They fill the regular work hours and days with so many tasks and deliverables that communications naturally have to occur via endless emails and texts, often after hours.  Help to create an in-office workplace culture that allows time for meetings and communications, as well as time for actual tasks and assignments.  Fight the idea that “it can be done later.”

Work Life Balance

Looking for more information or suggestions on how to improve your life/work balance?  Here are some more resources to check out:

  • Article from LifeHack
  • Read this article from the Wall Street Journal.
  • Give us call today!  Barrister Suites are experts in virtual offices and we can help you find the technologies you need to increase profits and efficiency while also helping you – and your employees – to keep that important life/work balance.