The pace of modern life can be staggering. Though the development of mobile technology has opened the way for a new level of connectivity and convenience, this increased connectivity means that work can follow you wherever you are in the world. Where, in the past, you might have been able to clock out and try to forget about your long day, being leashed to work through your mobile device means that your personal life may be in jeopardy of being invaded by your work. If you’re unable to get away from the stress that your job causes you, and 83% of the workers in America, or separate your home and working lives, you could very well be on the path to some serious burnout. In order to have long term success in your career, you need to balance work with activities that allow you to relax, blow off steam or just focus on something that isn’t work for a change. If you find yourself without the time or energy to do things outside of work, there are a few things that you can do to get a more stable work/life balance.
One of the most effective ways to tip the scales of your work/life balance in your favor is to get pro-active with your time management. Do you regularly schedule activities that you enjoy for after work? Do you set aside some time for yourself every week? Are you being as productive as you can be in the office, or are you just counting down the hours until quitting time? When you don’t put in the effort to plan activities outside of work, you’re much less likely to be motivated to get that work done. If you had a concert to go to just after quitting time, I’ll bet that you’d be more focused on getting everything done than if you just had TV to look forward to after work. No matter what it is that allows you to forget about work for a little while (gardening, martial arts, hitting the gym, walking the dog, playing with your kids, etc.), it’s important that you make the time for these activities as often as possible. Failing to do so can leave you in a situation in which you have no outlet for your workplace stress, which can take its toll in a big way over time.
So what’s causing the majority of Americans to feel stressed from their jobs? Well, according to author and psychologist Robert Brooks, “A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work. They’re afraid it may happen to them, so they’re putting in more hours,” “But even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life?” Brooks says. “Focus your time and attention on things you can control.” So be proactive with your time! Make plans with friends or plan for yourself that let you let go of the pressures of work. By using your time a little more wisely, there’s no reason that you can’t find a healthy balance between work and the other things you care about in life.