Training & Development

Secret to achieving work-life balance

Do you have days where you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water and everyone around you is happily swimming along with the current? At a time when companies around the world are expecting employees to do more with less, achieving “work-life balance” can seem impossible.

Studer Community Institute invests in staff and every 90 days we go offsite for two days for a Leader Development Institute to receive training. At our recent LDI on June 1-2, we had a session on time-management and productivity. It got me thinking about my “to-do lists” and also my “stop doing list.”

June is a great time to take a breath, reassess priorities and look at all the things that compete for time. I find that if I am intentional and make deliberate choices, rather than reacting to requests, I can minimize the amount of stress induced by being pulled in different directions.

What constitutes being balanced is different at different times and for different people. What counts is being focused on things that are important, and this takes practice and discipline.

Forbes staff writer, Jacquelyn Smith suggests 8 ways to achieve better work life balance:

  1. Learn Your Employer’s Policies – negotiate a flexible working arrangement that increases your productivity
  2. Communicate – let colleagues know if you won’t be available
  3. Use technology to your advantage – ban technology at certain times
  4. Telecommute – to free up valuable hours
  5. Learn to say “no” – stop doing things out of guilt
  6. Fight the guilt – you are not superhuman.
  7. Rethink your idea of “clean.” – A little messiness is not a sign of failure
  8. Protect your private time – time specifically allotted to you prevents burnout

I would add a few of my own:

— Family first
— Have some fun every day
— Get outside and find a bigger horizon on a regular basis
— Plan evenings and weekends as you would your work week to maximize opportunities

With a little discipline, it’s possible to improve yourself, your success and your balance.