Tips for achieving proper work-life balance

August 27, 2010

Chances are in the past year you’ve added a few more items to your list of duties at work. Maybe now you’re in charge of your company’s blog or answering the phone. Whatever it may be, more responsibilities means it’s sometimes harder to leave the office at the office when you go home to your family.

But to keep your sanity and to keep your level of productivity as high as possible, it’s important to have a defined line between your work and home life. The following tips will help you keep your professional self separate from your personal self.

  1. Structure your time. A set schedule always helps keep things organized, so set up a routine that works for you. Some people read their work e-mail as soon as they get up in the morning, ensuring that by the time they get to the office, they know their priorities and scheduled meetings for the day. Less surprises sometimes means less stress.
  2. Be organized. Easier said than done, right? Whether it’s by using an iPhone or project management software, it’s important to keep yourself aware of upcoming appointments or deadlines. Weekly status updates from any staff members who report to you can also ensure that projects stay on track and any issues are addressed in a timely manner.
  3. Trust your staff and delegate work to them. As a leader, delegation is key. As much as you’d like to, you can’t do everything on your own. It does mean less direct control over some projects, which can be hard to adjust to, however, it empowers your staff members to take ownership and grow professionally.
  4. Know your priorities and set boundaries that help you stick to them. Limit the amount of work you do from home. It’s important to spend that time with friends and family — and unless you’re under a special, tight deadline, work matters can always be addressed the next day.
  5. Take up a hobby. Hobbies, especially those outdoors, ensure you have that much-needed time away from your laptop or smartphone. Completely immersing yourself in something you enjoy for even an hour or two after work can really help rejuvenate you.
  6. Get physical. Taking a walk on your lunch break, for example, can really help you clear your head and re-energize you for your return to the office. You can also use this time to think about “big picture” projects that you wouldn’t normally have the time to.

Many of these tips may seem like common sense, but many of us do not take the time to actually put them to use — to our detriment. The better you’re able to separate your work and personal life, the more balanced and happy you’ll be.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegieala.

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