According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States is ranks above average in “housing, income, wealth” and numerous other personal liberties. However, America’s lowest score in this comprehensive life quality study is work-life balance. In aspiring and working towards “having it all" in both professional and personal spheres, the most difficult task is maintaining this coveted balance, especially in our technologically advanced age.
The greatest and worst innovation of our time is instant connectivity. We have devices that allow us to communicate with our family members and respond to work emails nearly at the same time, not restricted to a specific location. Despite these advances, one of the many cons to such unprecedented connectivity is that it enables workers to continue working beyond their desks and their designated hours. The lines between professional and personal blur for some, which can ultimately cause exhaustion, fatigue, apathy, and more.
Here are three tips for how to better balance your life at home and at work:
1. Unplug From Devices
It's extremely important to turn off your work devices outside of the office. This means rarely responding to texts and emails, postponing any project progress to the next week, and engaging in activities that don't involve any technology. It's crucial to unplug because of the instant connectivity mentioned earlier. By shutting off your devices, you give yourself some breathing room and the ability to be more than a worker/employee--you get to be more human.
2. Commit To A Schedule
Whether you maintain a master calendar or time yourself for each activity, committing to a schedule helps you fall into a routine that's beneficial to yourself, your work, and your loved ones. Make sure to leave work at the same time every day. Keep weekends as personal time for yourself and with friends/family. Don't forget to take breaks during your workday. These suggestions and others will help you organize your time properly while reminding yourself that there is a certain time and place for everything you do.
3. Spend Time With Non-work Friends
You may cultivate fantastic friendships and business partnerships in your professional life, but it's crucial to spend time with friends and family who aren't involved with your work at all. Spending too much time with your co-workers will likely result in discussions about work, thus prolonging your work mindset past the end of day and possibly adding more stress. Advice: Take the time to go on dates, involve yourself in your children's activities, meet up with friends at a bar, etc. A great portion of our lives is having different kinds of relationships with all sorts of people. So each important person in your life deserves to be taken seriously.