9 Tips to Manage Time between Work and Home

time management, work-life balance,

In these demanding times, professionals are finding it increasingly tough to juggle the travails of work and home. There was a time when there were clear boundaries between professional and home life that has faded owing to the concerns of layoff, restructuring and other factors. If you also let your work invade the personal space then these tips will help you in better time management.

How many times does your spouse or friends have complained about you being too engrossed in work, failing to remember important dates such as anniversary or birthday? How many times have you planned a weekend trip with your loved ones, only to reschedule it owing to your never ending work commitments? If this happens too often than it is time that you do something about it before your life turns upside down. For every guilt trip you had due to your failed commitments towards yourself and your family, it is not until you take some concrete steps to set the balance right between your work and home life that anything is going to change. Here are some great ways to bring about that change:

#1: Analyze Your Current Condition

No one fixes something that ain’t broken. And therefore until you realize that your current work schedule is wreaking havoc in personal life that you will actually try to put in some efforts to set things right. To achieve this realization it is essential to perform introspection and analyze the consequences of the poor work-life balance. The common symptoms that indicate the same include, fatigue, not able to generate new ideas, missing important family events or milestones, loss of appetite and acquiring an irritable nature.

#2: Design A Plan

Now since you have spotted the lacking, it’s time to fix it, the first step being creating a work schedule and sticking to it, no matter what. Not every manager offers his employees the liberty of the same but if you want it then you must proactively convince him how you can maintain your efficiency without compromising on quality while following that schedule. Your plan must have details about you are going to execute your responsibilities under the new work schedule. Be open for suggestions and discussions if your employer wants any.

#3: Keep A Track Of Your Time

Observe the time you spend doing various tasks, which includes work activities as well as personal action. Rationalize the time spent on a particular activity with the satisfaction that it provides to you and plan your further schedule accordingly. Slowly and steadily cut on activities that do not provide any value in terms of personal satisfaction or professional achievements and divert that time to better enterprises.

#4: Make Sure There Is Downtime In Your Schedule

If you want to feel in control of your life and time it is essential to plan brief durations of downtime of empty periods in your work schedule. There is nothing worse than scheduling back to back meetings or assignments for days only to feel exhausted and fatigued at the end of day or week. Not only these downtimes give you a breather, but it also acts as a buffer for thinking better ideas.

#5: Have Brief Leisure Sessions

Instead of going on marathon working sessions, it is advisable to take short breaks in between that will help you revitalize and recharge your batteries. We all have heard of stories how the greatest inventors or scientists worked continuously for days in their labs, cut off from the outside world. But most of these are just that; stories or lore of the folks, that have seeped into the textbooks to highlight the importance of hard work. The truth, as found in evidence in various biological experiments is that a man’s body and mind works best when provided with healthy recreational stimuli in between of hours of continuous work. And if its only work that satiates your inner desires, you can take a break by following a part time hobby, that might earn you some money as well. It can be anything from teaching guitar to writing articles for sites.

#6: Give Family Time An Upper Hand Over Work

Even if you have scores of appointment lined up in your calendar book some time to spend with your family and put it in your diary. Instead of relegating it to the last of all your commitments, treat it with the same importance as you would treat a work related appointment and attend to it with all earnestness and honesty. This way you will be able to gel up your work with family without ever realizing them as antagonistic aspects of life.

#7: Learn To Say No

One problem that professionals ubiquitously face all over the work is their inability to say no when it should be. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to take up an extra assignment or your manager luring you to do put in extra hours of work for a promotion, you should be confident enough to say a respectful no.  You might be surrounded by a false sense of guilt for first couple of times, but this is a very low price to pay for a lifetime of peace and harmony. You can spare more time for meaningful activities, for your family, friends or a hobby.

#8: Build And Nurture Your Support System

Sometimes it is handy to have a colleague at the work that can hold your back whilst you are busy with some emergency at home. Of course, you can return the favor some other time and reciprocate in kind. Build your back up system at work that consists of colleagues who can cover for your when need arises. Similarly at home, create a list of friends and family members whom you can trust enough and who can pitch in with help in need.

#9: Exercise Or Meditate

To induce calm in your otherwise frenzied life take the help of physical activities like gym, swimming or meditation among others. Not only exercising helps reduce stress levels but it also prepares your body for a physically demanding day ahead.

Author Bio:

Saurabh Tyagi is a career and education counselor who advices professionals on their career choices. He regularly shares his views through articles like these on leading online job sites. Click here and know current job vacancies in India.

Photo credits: Stuart Miles
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