According to a recent public opinion survey conducted by research firm Strategy One, almost half of the workers polled said their company isn’t doing enough to address work/life issues.
While companies decide how to support employees, individuals need not wait to take personal steps to restore equilibrium. Here are 8 steps you can take right now:
Ask yourself what’s important to you. Become aware of how each day is spent. What do you want more of? Is it more time for family, volunteering, or exercise? It may even be for work — especially if you’re looking to be promoted or chosen for an exciting new project!
Set realistic goals and take small steps. Achieving balance doesn’t come from an “all or nothing” approach. Choose practical milestones that are easily achieved with small changes to your daily habits.
Find ways to increase efficiency. Is there a better way to do things? Are you setting deadlines that keep you on track? Are there situations and individuals you should avoid in order to stay focused?
Stop letting technology harness you. The very tools created to provide flexibility, efficiency and mobility have tied us more than ever to our work. Set some boundaries like no smartphones after 7 pm or before 8 am.
Either delegate or let it go. Take a hard look at your list of tasks. What’s essential, what can fall to the wayside, and what can someone else do for you? At work, delegate more or look for project partners. At home, consider hiring help or asking for it from family, friends and neighbors.
Say it loud and proud: “No!” Turn down tasks and activities that don’t advance your professional and personal goals, and you’ll have more time to say “Yes!” to the ones that do.
Negotiate your options. Speak to your manager about flexible hours, job sharing or telecommuting. During an economic time that doesn’t inspire raises, your manager may be willing to work with you.
Set aside “Me” time. Self-care is essential to striking the right balance. Carve out 10 minutes for a quick walk, or take an extra long steamy shower with no interruptions once you’re home.