Fall is just around the corner, the kids are back in school and – for some of us – temperatures have started to cool down at least a little. That can only mean one thing: summer is coming to an end yet again. While the fall months give us lots to enjoy, for many people, it’s a time with few vacation days and holidays, and more opportunities for working long hours and feeling burned out. So in the spirit of the season, here are five tips for better achieving work-life balance:
- Step away from the email. If you constantly check your email, even outside of working hours, you aren’t alone. You also aren’t taking a much needed mental break from your work day. While it may be difficult in our always-connected society, make it a habit to leave work at work and refrain from checking work email in the evening and on weekends. You will be amazed by how much of a difference this one small change makes in your pursuit of work-life balance.
- Schedule downtime. Your calendar is likely filled with work meetings and both professional and personal tasks to accomplish. While those things are all very important, scheduling downtime can help you make big strides towards work-life balance. Whether than downtime is a date night with your spouse, a trip to the local ice cream shop with your kids or a solo walk around the neighborhood, scheduling that time ensures that it’s just as much of a priority as anything else on your calendar.
- Outsource errands. Did you know that, on average, people spend a total of 53 hours per year grocery shopping? And that’s just one errand – imagine how much time you spend on all of your chores combined! The good news is that you can help gain more work-life balance by outsourcing many of life’s more mundane tasks. There are a number of online services that you can turn to for grocery shopping, meal planning, house cleaning and a variety of other tasks, or you can go the more traditional route of hiring a neighborhood teenager to help with your yard work or other chores.
- Forget perfection. You may have heard the saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Use this phrase as your secret weapon in the battle to achieve work-life balance. Striving to do a great job at home and at work is admirable, but constantly striving for perfection is a recipe for burnout. Remember that you don’t always have to exceed expectations, both personally and professionally.
- Learn how to say no. For many of us, a lack of work-life balance comes from being overcommitted. We agree to help plan the company holiday party or volunteer to lead a new committee at our child’s school because we want to be helpful and we hate the thought of declining a request for help. Remember that there are only so many hours in the day. Learning to say no to at least some of the requests that come your way can make a huge difference in your work-life balance.
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