Summer is just around the corner, which is some of the best weather and busiest times.
It can be difficult to shake the feeling of needing to do it all, between work and family time and balancing your social calendar, as well as managing the new chores summer tends to bring. It is even more difficult when your office is located in your home, but making sure you set clear boundaries to maintain balance is more important than ever.
Why is managing work life balance important?
Because not maintaining a balance can lead to burnout, stress induced illnesses, less productivity in professional and personal endeavors, cause strife in personal and professional relationships, as well as impact your overall quality of living.
So what can you do? There’s plenty of tips to help you manage that balance, but here are 3 that can make a huge impact:
1. Prioritize & Organize
Whether you have an old fashioned planner or use a virtual calendar, set aside a time to prioritize all your tasks. Prioritizing which will take the most time, which will require daily maintenance, and even setting aside time to tackle any surprises that may crop up (because they always do) will allow you to not only be more organized but also more efficient. There is no one size fits all system for this, so explore which type of prioritizing system works for you! Having your tasks prioritized can help you stay on track and can also help in letting you feel you have more control and thusly less stressed. Keeping organized is helpful as well. Make sure that your work related items are well organized and all near each other. This can help you to avoid unneeded anxiety about important files, work phones, and more. Once your tasks are prioritized, it helps with the next tip for maintaining good work life balance: Boundaries
2. Set Boundaries.
Being able to set and keep healthy boundaries is key in managing work life balance, healthy relationships, and can even help you move forward in your career. Boundaries should be kept between your personal and professional life as much as possible. If you work set hours, you should not be messaging, checking email, or working on tasks off the clock. If you are salaried, you can be more flexible, but it is still important you set an end time and stick to it and follow the same rule. Making sure that you have a set space just for work, no matter how small, (even a designated lapdesk will do) that you can clean up and “leave” at the end of your day will help you maintain that separation and boundary between work time and home time. Other boundaries such as keeping your work equipment separate from anything personal, for example not using your laptop for work for streaming to your television, not only is a great boundary but can also help you maintain professionalism more easily. These boundaries can also help you prevent burnout and ensure you have time for living your life.
This tip is a reminder to keep it simple. You do not need the latest in organizing equipment, you do not need to purchase all new office furniture (unless you want to!), and most important of all, you don’t need to “do it all” all the time. Take a good look at your work tasks and your day to day tasks such as chores, scheduled events like weddings, and routines. See if there is any way you can make space, time where there is nothing scheduled, to help act as a buffer zone between work and your personal life to help you to decompress and to reset. Taking the time to make time will help you be able to take advantage of the many pros that come from working from home, and improve that balance between your work life and living your life. Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect balance, and keeping in mind to keep it simple in the way you manage both can help you succeed with less stress. Life is imperfect and sometimes the scales swing more towards work with huge sudden projects, or more towards life with huge personal events are happening, and that’s ok. If you have prioritization, organization, and boundaries, and keep it simple, the system you established can help you weather all sorts of storms.