Work-Life Balance: Why You Need It & How to Get It

Work-Life Balance: Why You Need It & How to Get It

Todd Wheeler

June 05, 2008

Set priorities. If it’s not on your “to do” list, it’s simply not going to happen. So, make it a goal to spend time with your kids, play a round a golf or simply take a nap every once in a while.

Document your life. Tracking every move can help you realize exactly how you are spending time. After analyzing your daily activities, you’re likely to find windows of time that you could put to good use—and, therefore, create more time for leisure activities or rest.

Cut the junk. If the 20-minute water cooler gossip session during your break at work is of no value to you, cut it and use that time to get something done (pay bills, schedule healthcare appointments for your kids, etc.). If you love the gossip session and find that it helps to reduce your stress levels, by all means, keep it as part of your day.

Do what you need to do first. Always get all of the most essential items off of your to-do list as soon as possible. Remember, procrastination is not a solution—it’s just a poor coping mechanism.

Learn to say no. You don’t have to volunteer for every PTA activity, organize all of your co-workers’ birthday celebrations and attend your third cousin’s 25th anniversary party. Determine what is important to you – and do what is important to you. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Get help. If family or friends offer to take care of an errand or two, take advantage. Also, consider using professional services to carve out some time as well. Housekeeping, concierge and landscaping services can be well worth the costs.

Talk to your employer. Many employers offer benefits that can help gain the work life balance that you need: flex time, job-sharing, telecommuting, part-time work and concierge services. See what your employer offers—and see what you can take advantage of. And, remember, it never hurts to ask for them, even if your employer does not offer certain benefits.

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