There once was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. But now, with technology making workers accessible around the clock, maintaining a work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat.
Work-life balance means something different to everyone, but here are a few tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you:
1. Build downtime into your schedule
Just as you schedule meetings and tasks throughout the day, make it a point to build downtime into your schedule as well. This includes time with family and friends and activities that help you recharge. It’s easy to keep working when you don’t have any tangible conflicts, so build downtime into your schedule and treat it with respect.
2. Learn to say “no”
Remember, it’s ok to respectfully say no sometimes. I know this can be hard for some people (myself included), but sometimes it’s necessary for your own time and sanity. The less you agree to out of guilt, the more time you’ll have to focus on activities that truly bring you joy.
3. Use technology to your advantage
Technology should ultimately make your life easier, not more complicated. Take advantage of some of the tools out there that are designed to save you time. For example, are you familiar with keyboard shortcuts? They’re quick little hacks that are designed to save you time. If you’re not familiar with keyboard shortcuts, here are a few resources to help you get started:
For association professionals, an association management system can also save you time. An AMS is a technology solution that helps you manage your association’s membership using one integrated system. For more information about that, click here.
While technology has helped our lives in many ways (see point #3), it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The workday never seems to end. Make your downtime true downtime by not reacting to constant updates from work. You’ll feel a greater sense of ease and relaxation once you do.
5. Let go of perfectionism
The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. The older you get, the more complicated life becomes, and perfectionism can become not only out of reach, but downright destructive. Now we’re not saying to not work hard, but rather than striving for perfection, try striving for excellence instead.
6. Work smarter, not longer
It’s a common misconception that the more you work, the more productive you will be. But just think of all those times during the day when you stop to chat with a coworker, check your personal Facebook page, or watch a few (ok, ten) trending YouTube videos. Those things eat up time, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there. Rather than working longer to make up for that lost time, work smarter by eliminating distractions throughout the day. Trust us, it’ll be worth it when it you have an extra hour of downtime in the evening.