There’s a growing number of people struggling with their work-life balance. A large percentage of American workers feel their job demands that they should be available 24/7 since they can check in from anywhere using their smartphone. This type of constant availability takes a toll on both a person’s mental and physical health. Humans need to socialize, relax, and care for themselves to stay happy and healthy.
Here are four simple ways to improve your work-life balance:
It’s easier said than done, we know, but avoid checking your phone for work matters after hours. This constant checking may have become a habit you wish you’d never started, and if you are honest, practically all work-related matters can wait until the next day. It’s key to unplug from work when you get home each evening and on the weekends. Let your coworkers know you won’t be returning emails, calls, or texts regarding work after hours so that they can prepare for this change.
2) Work Smarter
If you can’t seem to get all of your work done within the allotted 40 hours, you aren’t alone. An alarming number of Americans work more than 50 hours a week, every week. Before you go to your boss to ask for a reduction in your workload, take a careful look at how you are spending your time. Track it for a few days and see what’s causing you to stay late each night and come in early each morning. You will no doubt be surprised by the ways you can change or eliminate distractions and other time-wasters.
3) Take a Stay-Cation
Another vital way to get your work-life balance in order is to make use of all of your vacation days. A large number of US workers lose essential time with their family or with themselves because they don’t take all of their vacation days, or in worst cases, don’t have any vacation days at all. If you feel uncomfortable about using all your holiday in one long vacation, schedule the occasional day off here and there to enjoy “stay-cations.” Breaking it up like this will give you the mental health days you need while ensuring you don’t come back to an overwhelming mountain of work.
4) Train Your People
Many of us grew up hearing, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Unfortunately, this gets ingrained to the point where we feel we can’t delegate any tasks lest they end up back in our laps in worse shape than before. If you have employees you manage or freelancers you outsource to, take the time to train them well. Make sure they know exactly how to do things. Of course, this will take time upfront. But, once they understand your requirements, you’ll be able to hand off more work and give yourself some slack.