No matter what industry you work in, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult. With smartphones almost continuously in hand, it is so convenient for us to keep working after hours. Constant connectivity and 24-hour productivity have led to higher levels of stress. Here are a few tips to help you achieve more harmony by balancing your work life and personal life.
- Use Outlook to manage time and prioritize tasks. Focus on high productivity and good time management at work. If we don’t get tasks completed during the day, we feel more pressure to take work home with us.
- Plan ahead. Schedule time at the end of each day to prepare for the following day. Don’t start anything new during this time and focus on what needs to be accomplished tomorrow. Then leave it until the next day.
- Use your out of office greetings to communicate when you will be returning to the office and responding to messages. You will feel less pressure to respond immediately when people know that you are not in the office.
- Unplug. How often do you look at your phone? We currently pick up and look at our phones an average of 46 times a day, easily obsessing over the number of unread emails sitting in our inbox. Begin your stress-free weekend or evening by turning off email notifications on your smartphone. This will even hide that unread mail badge temping you back to work.
- Follow your passion. Try to find a career that will bring you happiness. If you find a profession that combines your passion with making a living, terrific! If not, make sure that you spend time doing something you truly love outside of work. The next morning you will be refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
During this past month’s MPI Wisconsin meeting we conducted a solution circle. This session involved everyone at the table sharing an issue and the entire table discussing possible solutions to each problem within a certain time (we chose eight minutes). It was impressive how many of the issues discussed were things we all could relate to. We had a very dynamic group of meeting planners and came up with excellent solutions to a multitude of issues. The topic of maintaining a good work-life balance was an issue shared by a few at the table and inspired me to share some of our solutions with you. I encourage you to implement a solution circle in your own organizations and meetings. Everyone went home with creative solutions to their problems and insight into many other common obstacles.