In recent years, with a number of cutbacks and layoffs, many employees have felt overworked, struggling to balance the demands of their careers and personal lives. Afraid they, too, could be out of a job, they are putting in more hours at work and leaving their health, families and personal enjoyment to suffer.
If you find yourself sharing this frustration – you are not alone!
The good news is that with just a few small changes, you’ll find yourself not only more effective at work but also happier when you’re not working.
Here’s what we recommend to better juggle all that work and life have to throw your way:
Schedule it. Whether it’s work or play – plan your time and protect it. If you won’t be available certain nights and/or weekends due to family commitments or you need an hour each evening to complete work engagements, communicate these times to both managers and loved ones so they know when they can reach you and when you will respond. With little ones at home, Jess & Jamie G. couldn’t agree more.
Can you Telecommute? In many industries, working from home is both realistic and possible. With no commute, limited office chit-chat, and fewer meetings, you can get more done at work and use the extra time to meet household or personal responsibilities.
Get out and get moving! Everyone on our team agrees that getting out of the office and doing something active is the best way to help them unwind. Jamie D’s article in Business Week discusses how he uses fencing to reduce stress. Maggie is a certified Pilates instructor and loves how Pilates exercises both her body and mind. Carol creates balance, literally, with Yoga. For Laura, it’s spinning and walks on the beach! Ana, our Controller, agrees that walking on the beach is a great exercise with the bonus of calming waters and relaxing ocean waves!
Be creative! Even if you work in the creative industry – by pursuing a creative outlet that you don’t utilize every day at work, you create separation from your work life and allow yourself to do something you’re truly passionate about. Stephanie in Accounting loves to draw and play music after work. It’s the perfect distraction from all the numbers she deals with during the day.
Switch off. Without technology, we could never keep our work or personal life running smoothly. But it shouldn’t rule your life either. It’s important to make technology-free time to spend with those who are important to you. Set aside rules – and stick to them.
Treat yourself! Doing something special for yourself on occasion isn’t a luxury, but a must. We all work very hard and deserve to be rewarded. Margaret plans a number of short weekend trips to literally get away from her work and personal commitments. It allows her to return to her routine rested and more focused. Kevin prefers an evening of cigars and fine liquor with friends. The perfect escape from a normal evening at home.
Still not sure how to keep everything in check? Try CNN’s Work-Life Balance Calculator to help you strike a balance in your work and personal life.
What do you do to beat burnout?
Jess Bedford for Artisan Creative