How do YOU manage your work/life balance? If you don’t have a quick response, it might be time to take a closer look at your strategies. Today, I’ll focus on stress management and good communication as key components to a healthy work/life balance.
For me, scheduling is key. I thrive on having a fully fleshed-out, full, comprehensive schedule. Personally, I prefer to use a physical calendar for everything non-work related—I have 3 whiteboards on my wall at home (one for the current week, one for the month, and one for various other notes)—and stick to my Google Calendar for everything work related. I update my monthly calendar and work calendar as events come up and spend time on Sunday night changing over my weekly calendar. I include everything, from social events and meetups to workouts and meal planning.
Having my week and month clearly planned out helps me manage stress more effectively. While balancing a very full work week with a social life and training for a triathlon and half marathon is daunting at times, I find I’m able to manage by making time for the little things that help me stay focused—cooking breakfast for myself every morning, going to yoga, playing with my cat.
If you struggle to manage your schedule and your stress levels, getting insight from one of our courses can help. “Stress Management - Staying Balanced Under Pressure,” “The Stress Management Bundle,” and “Stress Management - Simple, Effective Solutions” are great options.
Another important aspect of your work/life balance is communication. Ensuring you communicate well with both those at work and those in your personal life is crucial. Be clear about how you need to balance your responsibilities with people at work. If you need to head out early, let your coworkers know as soon as you can. You don’t have to share everything in your personal life at work (and probably shouldn’t), but being considerate and giving basic explanations and notice goes a long way. There’s nothing wrong with having rules about work (no company related work on Saturdays or not-to-be-missed family dinner on Wednesday, for example), but make sure your coworkers know.
The same goes for those in your personal life. Let them know when you’re working late and can’t make happy hour or need someone else to run an errand that week. Hopefully your friends and family respect your work time and recognize that those obligations will take up large chunks of your day. I have run club on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and yoga on Friday; my coworkers know I have to leave at a certain time to make these activities, and my friends at my athletic activities know sometimes I have to miss when work is extra busy. As long as I communicate my plans, no one gets upset.
It can be hard to make time for or have to say no to those on both sides, professional and personal. Honing your communication skills can help; OpenSesame offers many courses on effective communication to help you get better at communicating with coworkers, customers, friends, and relatives.
Striking the Right Balance
It may take you some time to get the right balance between your personal and professional lives, but with a plan you can find the sweet spot. Manage your stress through scheduling and organization, and communicate your plan and how you balance your responsibilities with your coworkers and family/friends.
If you need more guidance or simply want to improve your own personal plan, check out these work/life balance courses. You’ll find dozens of courses to meet your needs!
What are your best strategies for balancing your work and home lives?
Image: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr