Why We Need Work-Life Balance
the need for striking a balance
The answer lies in how well we can deal with stress. The recent economic downturn has put tremendous amounts of pressure on employees over their long-term job security. Given the difficult times we are in and, the number of jobs being lost daily, most of us is feeling the pressure to work harder than ever. Some are working so hard to the point that their families hardly ever see them. They no longer have lives outside their places of employment.
Today, the most precious commodity you have is time, both in your career and your personal life. Please note that it's also your most critical nonrenewable resource. As a person, you must ask yourself how you should allocate your time. You know it's wrong to spend so much time on work at the expense of an equally important family. Just like managing your career means prioritizing among the different projects and people you work with, managing your life means giving time to family, friends, and your community.
1. Keep track of your time. Keep track everything you do for one week, including job-related and personal activities. Decide what's necessary and what satisfies you the most. Remove the activities that are least important. Delegate some of the work, if you can.
2. Learn to say NO. If a co-worker asking you to take charge of an extra project or your child's teacher asking you to manage a newspaper drive, remember that it's OK to refuse and say NO. When you stop doing the things that you do only out of a sense guilt or obligation, you'll make more room in your life for the activities that are meaningful to you and your family.
3. Learn time management. Start organizing household tasks, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for the weekend. Put family events on a family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do the most important tasks that to be done and let the rest go. Calendars and lists make everything visible. It allows you to view your activities clearly and give you the opportunity to decide which are not important.
4. Take care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet, include some exercise in your daily routine and make sure to get enough sleep. Set aside a few minutes each day for activities that you enjoy, such as yoga or reading.
5. Ask for help when needed. Don’t be shy about relying on your partner, family members, friends or neighbors -- anyone who can watch the children for a while or run an errand while you focus on other top priorities. You can try the concept of “tag-teaming”-- where one spouse works out before dinner, one after dinner, while the other watches the children. To have more time alone with your significant other, accept babysitting offers from friends and family, or try arranging a regular trade-off with another couple.
Remember, striking a work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change. Make sure you update your calendar or activities or to-do lists.