Create Better Work/Life Balance - Part 1

English: Gentaur schedule
English: Gentaur schedule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 One of the biggest challenges that many people encounter is finding balance between their work and their life.  Remember that your work isn’t your life.  I’ve seen too many people turn their work into their life and then when they retire they don’t know what to do with themselves because they haven’t given themselves the luxury of living.  Create a work/life balance now and consider it an investment in your future.

Schedule Fun Time

Most people have a schedule for work.  It might be a schedule that their employer has given them or it could be a schedule that they have created themselves.  Sometimes that schedule includes working at home, too.  Whatever your work schedule is, don’t forget to schedule time for you and your family and friends.  When your fun time is scheduled, you’ll have something to look forward to and you’ll designate importance to it so you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Scheduling helps you be more productive in both your work life and in your personal life.  When you forget about making time for fun and for personal activities, you may neglect them and when you neglect the personal, the people in your life will feel neglected.  So schedule time to spend with your children, you spouse, and your friends. 

Don’t Let Errands be Time Suckers

Have you ever had one of those days (or maybe weeks!) where it seems like all your time is being sucked away by errands?  They can be real time suckers.  They aren’t major activities but they can take up a lot of time if they are randomly completed and but they are the kinds of things you have to do.

How can you prevent them from being time suckers? You might consider outsourcing them - yes, having someone else do them.  Hire someone to mow the lawn, have groceries delivered, order stamps online.  These things do cost money but consider the exchange - a little money in exchange for time that you can spend with your children or spouse! 

You can also try to schedule errands for one set time and then plan them out so that you spend as little time as possible doing them.  If your doctor’s office is only two blocks from the dry cleaners make sure you do those two errands at the same time instead of hours apart.  Try to set up your errand running so that you are travelling the minimum distance between tasks.

Another possible solution is to share errands with friends.  Try to get a group of friends together that all use the same dry cleaner or the same pharmacy.  Meet once a week (or start a Facebook group for it) and figure out who has what errands to run during the week and arrange for people to do similar tasks at the same time.  That means less running around for everyone.