Struggling with your work schedule and feeling overwhelmed? If you’re like me, you constantly are walking the balancing act of work vs. life. I have six work-life balance strategies to better reclaim your time.
Strategy One: Define Working Hours
This first work-life balance strategy may sound basic… but stick with me. You have several spheres that make up your life. You have your social sphere, work sphere, family sphere, etc. All of those spheres make up parts of your life.
When one of these spheres demands more time than others, your work-life balance is thrown out of whack.
Define your working hours for all those spheres of your life, and then communicate those hours clearly to your respective stakeholders.
Strategy Two: Outline Project Timelines Early (and Clearly)
When you’re on your team and defining project timelines, be sure to define deadlines and overflow timelines early. Define these timelines as early and clearly as you can so you know what to expect around those final deadlines.
You’re able to plan breaks and vacations around the resolutions of those deadlines. This work-life balance strategy will help you proactively balance the future of your work.
Strategy Three: Open the Lines of Communication
Like I mentioned before, you have all these spheres of your life. Be sure to establish clear and honest lines of communications with whoever you’re involved with.
For example, if you have a date night planned for Tuesday night, you should be able to communicate with your boss about moving the Wednesday morning deadline. That level of communication takes a while to get started, but by being open, you can eliminate a lot of work-life balance issues.
Strategy Four: Schedule Mental Health Days
One of the most important work-life balance strategies is scheduling time for yourself—whether it is a mental health day or a vacation. Scheduling time away from work and other obligations allows you to reset and reenergize.
Strategy Five: Create a Flexible Working Schedule
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home, you may be able to create a flexible working schedule. That is, you may not be required to work 9am – 5pm.
Instead, you could mix up your hours throughout the day, and as long as you work 8 hours that day, it will be ok.
For example, I had a sick puppy recently that required me to take her to the vet. I scheduled the vet appointment for 3pm—in the middle of the working day. A normal schedule means I would have needed to take PTO or time off to take her. On a flexible working schedule, I can take an hour out and make it up somewhere else in the day.
Strategy Six: Be Clear about Your Goals and Priorities
The last work-life balance strategy is to be clear about your priorities. These goals and priorities may change depending on the time of year or urgency of things happening.
One season, your main priority may be work, then a month later it might be social life. Whatever your goals and priorities, be sure to communicate those to the people who need to know!
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