Technology has enabled us to work from anywhere, but is it at the cost of balance in your life? Whether you work from home on a permanent basis or work between a home and an on site office it is very important to maintain balance in your life. Work is no longer 9-5 and many people never really unplug.
To maintain work/life balance in your life you must know what that looks like. It may be different for each individual. Some of the things to consider when deciding the best way to balance your life are:
- Workload – If you find yourself constantly checking your email and working during personal time then consider your workload. Are there reasons you are not able to take a break from work? Ask yourself why your workload is spilling over into personal time. Are you checking things all the time, but not really handling them? If you find yourself constantly checking things on the run then you might not really be handling business.
- People management- Who is helping you? Is your team handling what they should? If tasks are being passed on to you that should be completed by team members or you are having to check on others then you may need to improve your people management skills in order to balance your life. Managing others is not easy. Let the team member know what is becoming a problem right away and find out the reason for the trouble.
- Timeout – Give yourself time away from technology. It may be an entire day or blocks of time. It is important to give yourself the freedom to turn work off and turn on time for yourself.
If you find yourself spending personal time attached to your mobile devices checking work emails, reports or communications then you need to take steps to develop balance in your life.
How can you keep balance in your life?
- Planning downtime- Schedule time when you turn work off. This could be the weekends or certain blocks of time throughout the day. By developing a schedule to disconnect from work you are allowing yourself to enjoy your personal time.
- Outsourcing tasks- Technology can help you find help. If you are having trouble finding balance in your life then consider hiring help. There are many sites like oDesk.com that make it easy for you to hire freelance workers. You can hire someone on a temporary or permanent basis to relive you from some of your work related tasks.
- Managing projects- How you manage your work projects has a direct correlation to your home life. If you are finding it difficult to leave your work at the office then consider how you are managing your time and projects. You may need to make changes to allow work to be finished at work.
If things get out of control, what can you do to get back in balance?
- Stop – Are you taking on to much? Over-committing is the fastest way to loose balance in your life. Many people are quick to accept new work projects. We want to please and be available to our jobs. Don't loose site of the goal of balance in your life.
- Drop – Sometimes we have projects that are “extra”. If you have projects on your plate that are not necessary or can be delegated then do it. Prioritize and drop what you can.
- Roll – Start developing habits that will allow you to maintain balance in your life. Learn what works for you and focus on a plan that allows you the best for both your work and personal life.
Developing work/life balance can be hard. Old habits are hard to break even if they don't work. Start today by taking small steps to leave work at work and allow yourself to fully focus on what is important to you during your personal time.