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5 Ways to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

May 26, 2014 | By admin

The “Work-Life Balance” is a common concept people talk about but few could actually say that they’ve achieved it. The book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan said, according to a LexisNexis survey of the top 100 newspapers and magazines worldwide, there’s a dramatic increase in the number of articles written about work-life balance in the past decades: 32 times from 1986 to 1996, to 1,674 articles for the year 2007 alone. Even if we have modern technology designed to make our lives easier, it seems that the work-life balance is still an elusive thing. Since we’ve become mobile, the line between our work and our personal lives become indistinct. More people are checking emails right at home, moms and dads prepare their reports during the weekends, some insert work duties while on vacation.

Each employee has her own view on what a work-life balance means. It’s a personal concept and no two people can do the same techniques to achieve this balance. It depends on one’s values, what things are important in her life. So how do you deal with achieving a work-life balance that’s perfect for you? Here are some great ways:


1. Know your values.

What are your values? Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of How Will You Measure Your Life?, follows this strict schedule: Monday to Friday is for work, Saturday is for family, and Sunday is for God.

A busy friend of mine sets Tuesday as date night for her mother. She doesn’t schedule meetings, speaking engagements, or conferences on Tuesdays since it’s her special day for her mom.

No exceptions, no excuses. Knowing what’s important in your life and drawing a line among these different aspects will define how you can achieve a balance.


2. It’s OK to say “No.”

You can only do so much in this life. You have to accept that you can’t do everything and you’ll never have it all. Prioritizing what you can and cannot do is difficult but you have to decide which responsibilities and relationships you find most important.

If you’re part of the sales team, you have to be in the sales meeting. If someone else is good at organizing schedules of the company, let her do it. If you’re a parent, you have to be at your child’s recital or game.

Focus on the things that only you can do and say no to tasks or engagements that you cannot fulfill well.


3. Be productive in the present.

Since you can’t do everything, you have be productive and give your best in what you do. Give high quality consistently, in all the roles you’re doing. This doesn’t mean aiming for perfection, but aim to doing your best every single time.

If you can’t attend a social gathering because you’re preparing for a presentation at work, don’t feel bad about yourself. Instead, bring 100% to your presentation since that’s what you decided to do at the moment.


4. Prioritize.

The Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule to help you manage the things that make a difference to your results. According to this principle, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. So, focus on that 20%.

It’s typical for employees to face numerous tasks in their to-do lists. Read this list, identify the tasks which should be prioritized and do them first. A task listed on top doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done first thing in the morning.


5. Manage technology.

Technology brought us the smartphones, laptops, tablets, cellphones, etc. which are designed to improve our productivity at work and our lives in general. However, these gadgets can make us feel overwhelmed with all the information available right at our fingertips.

Set a time of the day to unplug all these gadgets so you could enjoy a “me” time or spend quality time bonding with your family.

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