5 ways to achieve work-life balance
Let’s face it - work is demanding and managing so many tasks along with family obligations is no mean feat. Majority of Malays concur - according to a recent Monster poll, 41% said that working beyond office hours is a sign of an over-worked person.
If you’re a little too familiar with the frazzled, blurry-eyed feeling after all those extra hours, consider these quick fixes for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
1. Prioritise your tasks and time
We know you’ve heard this before, but if you’re starting the day without a to-do-list, you’re bound to end up working late. Set work hours for yourself and do everything that it takes to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight for weeks!
2. Stay focused and delegate
If you’re trying to please everyone around by taking on more than you can do in 8 hours, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and prudently delegate some work to others.
3. Learn to say no
If you’re available 24/7 to increasingly demanding boss, then you’ve got to start saying NO. Saying yes to every task might make you feel like the model employee, but it set a precedent - one that you might not be able to shake. Instead, take a moment to think about whether you have the capacity to take on the work being asked of you. If you don’t - or if you can’t meet the deadline - don’t say yes. Explain why you can’t take it on, and stand your ground.
4. Be concise
Some people are really good at appearing busy and overworked. You will see them complain about their workloads, and they’re often the ones telling people what they’re doing – at meetings, during lunch, to friends on the phone - rather than actually doing it.
Changing this mindset is like breaking a bad habit. A good start would be to cut out distractions and set strict, non-negotiable deadlines for yourself. Minimise time spent in meetings, and be mindful of having the same conversation twice. Involving a helpful friend or colleague to ensure you stick to your schedule is key.
5. Don’t forget to unplug
With the ubiquity of smart devices, no doubt you’re expected to stay connected all through the day – you need to stop! Turning off from the outside world provides time to recover from weekly stress. It also gives us space to let other thoughts and ideas surface.