The modern day business climate demands that some people work jobs that require them to be on an ‘always available’ timetable. These people could be on-call, or must simply be ready to work if the boss rings to say they’re needed. So how do these workers achieve a work-life balance that benefits them, their family, and the company?
Even those who are in a stable work situation may have difficulty in finding the right balance between work and home life. It’s important to strike a good balance between the two to ensure you stay healthy and continue to work well. How to go about achieving this balance may take some planning, but it can be done!
If you cannot work on Saturdays because your children have sports games, or on Sundays due to religious reasons, you need to make this known to your employer. If you need to have certain days off and can only work some hours during the week, it’s important to communicate this to your employer at the start of your employment.
It is also essential that you stand your ground if asked to work on days you have previously told your unemployer you would be unavailable. It may not make them happy at first, but they should respect that you are committed to other plans.
Technology and social media are around us all the time. Often, it feels like you cannot get away from Facebook and Twitter. But allow yourself to have a productive work day by banning any technology you do not need, and using social media only when you are not at work. Use this free time away from technology to work to the best of your ability. You’ll find yourself being more productive during the day, and will work hard on things that are more important than social media posts and text messages.
Working from home
Some companies will allow their workers to work from home on particular days if their role permits. Showing that you are productive at work might encourage your company to allow you to work from home for a day or two. This means you can be in the comfort of your own home, and not having to commute means you will have extra time to work on your priorities.
However, make sure you don’t fall into a comfy chair in the lounge room and distract yourself with television or your children.
It is important to work out what your priorities are, and to say no to the things that are not high on this priority list. If a priority is to take the kids to their swimming lesson on Saturday, then you can miss your work colleague’s farewell party. Learn to say no with a smile and not feel guilty for declining things that are not a high priority for you.
Mess is not failure
A messy bed or dirty dishes in the sink doesn’t mean you’ve failed at life. It doesn’t even mean you’ve failed in your day. A little mess here and there isn’t going to hurt anyone. If it is your day off from work, leave the tidying up for a time when you have nothing else to do. Enjoy your time off and spend it with family, the dishes can wait.
Enjoy your private time
It’s not selfish to need a little alone time. It may even just be the five minute drive from your home to the office. Having some time to enjoy a short drive might not seem significant, but it is a part of life that you shouldn’t allow yourself to miss out on.
Nearly every piece of technology has an off button. You need one as well. When you get home after work, turn off your laptop, work phone, and anything else to do with work. Be present at the dinner table, and don’t bring your phone. It’s important to leave work at the door and avoid talking excessively about work details with family. Nothing is so important that it can’t be attended to the next day.
If you’re taking the steps to initiate a positive life-work balance, make sure you track your changes, reevaluate them, and keep note of your productivity levels. Have your changes made a positive impact? Do you feel the benefits? If the answer is no and you are still feeling overwhelmed during the week, reevaluate the changes you already made and think of different changes. If you have a partner, ask them for advice. You may be able to work together in creating schedules that allow you both to increase productivity and enjoy your time together on days off.
If there are still issues at work, talk with your employer and see if there is any room for flexibility to try and help your situation. You may be surprised at how open your employer may be to increasing your happiness and productivity.