In this tough economic climate, if you have a job, productivity is critical. You’re expected to accomplish certain goals each day, and sometimes everything you need to do for work can seem unmanageable. If you spend the bulk of your evenings and weekends working or thinking about work, you probably don’t have a very good work/life balance. Not having a good work life/balance can mean your stress levels are high, which can take a toll on your body and mental abilities, and, in turn, make you less productive while you’re actually at work. If you’re trying to strike a good work/life balance and keep your mind and body strong, here are a couple of tips that may benefit you:
Finish work at the same time every day
Chances are, if you feel like you don’t have a very good work/life balance, you’re probably working too late. While working just 40 hours every week doesn’t cut it for most professionals, you should try not to work more than 50 hours every week.
When you factor in how long it takes you to commute to work, working more than 50 hours can mean that you only have a few hours in the evening to spend unwinding with your loved ones. So, set a time you’ll leave work every day. For instance, it could be 6:30 p.m. Stick to leaving work at that same time every day, and avoid bringing work home with you.
Work more efficiently
If you feel as though you aren’t able to get enough done each day with your newly imposed time constrictions, it may be time to reassess how you can work more efficiently. Working more efficiently usually involves managing your time better and using the right technological tools to help you accomplish work goals faster.
The best way to improve how you manage your time is to plan out your day. Each morning, write down an agenda of tasks for yourself, and next to each task, write how long you plan to spend on it. Try to stick to your agenda throughout the day, spending only the time you allotted on each task. This will make you more aware of your time and how you’re using it. Plus, if you stick to an agenda, you’re less likely to spend time procrastinating throughout the day, and you’re more likely to get what you need to do done in a timely manner.
Technological tools can also help you manage your time more efficiently. Figure out how you can automate certain tasks with the right software. There’s a software program for almost everything that involves data. So, if possible, find some software that will collect and sort data for you, and save you the time of having to enter it into spreadsheets.
Unfortunately, managing your work/life balance requires work on top of all the other work you have to do. Once you get the hang of it, however, you’ll be glad you put forth the extra effort because of the big difference being more balanced will make in terms of your stress levels.
Carolyn is a guest blogger on the subjects of time management, professional growth, and order management software that works with Shopify, 3dcart, and BigCommerce.