Achieving a proper work-life balance can be a difficult proposition. While a person’s career needs to command their attention, it is crucial to take time away from work to relax. Unfortunately, the demands of full-time work often mean that people are expected to use their personal time on work tasks. Finding balance in this area means that you will be able to realize your potential and that you will be a more well-rounded person overall.
Neil Sullivan, the Managing Partner of Sullivan McMullan and an experienced real estate lawyer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, shares his top four tips for people who are trying to achieve a healthier work-life balance.
1. Better Time Management Skills
One of the easiest ways to achieve better work-life balance according to Neil Sullivan is to schedule your time. Spend a few days taking stock of your daily schedule and identify areas that are not working for you. Perhaps you can take time away from social media to spend time reading a good book. You should also be able to find other areas in your schedule where you can save time.
When you have identified your weak spots, make a daily schedule and stick to it. Set aside specific times for each task, rather than switching back and forth all day long. Try to avoid multitasking as much as you can. Instead, take the time to concentrate on each task.
When you look at your daily schedule, make a list of your different priorities. Compare the amount of time you are spending on each one and adjust it accordingly. For example, if you feel like you need more time with your children, rank that higher than another task like cleaning the house.
2. Protect Your Free Time
According to Neil Sullivan, it is also important to learn to protect your free time. Ask your supervisors whether it is really necessary to answer work emails outside the office. It is possible you won’t be able to get out of this, but if you can, it will make the separation between work and home life easier to navigate.
Make sure that you take the time to participate in your favorite hobbies and to spend with your family. Hobbies can help to relax the mind and give you a creative outlet. For example, you may want to learn woodworking so that you can build a piece of furniture for your home. Taking time away from your regular tasks will pay off.
To find this “me time,” you will probably need to re-prioritize your day. Be sure to keep from neglecting yourself.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Social Life
When adults are busy, spending time with our friends is often the first thing to go. We can become so wrapped up in work and family concerns that we forget to nurture our friendships. Life can be lonely without friends. Resolve to spend time with your friends at regular intervals. Even if you can only have coffee with them once every few weeks, you will feel happier and more relaxed. On the weekends, try to go out and do something fun with your friends. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to enhance your work-life balance.
4. Taking Care of Household Chores
While you are busy preparing your weekly schedule, don’t forget to build in time for weekly chores. It is a good idea to “front-load” your week with the least pleasant chores first. That way, your week will become less stressful as it goes along, and you’ll have something to look forward to. Breaking down your chore list will help you feel more relaxed and more in control.
Enhancing Your Work-Life Balance
These four tips from Neil Sullivan will help you learn to structure your time so that you feel happier and less stressed. Keep your highest priorities in mind and be sure to make time for yourself apart from work and family commitments. When you follow these tips, you will have an easier time navigating the tricky balance between work and play.