Here’s a crazy stat for you.
According to a recent survey, almost 70% of folks in the US don’t feel that they have a healthy work-life balance. What starts off as a challenging week turns into a lifetime of long nights and missed vacations.
And the result? Less and less of us are finding time to date.
And let’s face it, when you’re pulling crazy long hours at work, you barely have time to catch up with friends and family, let alone get to know someone new.
If this sounds familiar, the good news is there are some simple (and proven) techniques that you can implement to reclaim your time. Though we can’t promise that these tips for a better work-life balance will solve all your woes, they will help you hit the dating scene.
Tip #1 for a better work-life balance : Remember, it’s okay to say NO
There is a real art to saying no at work.
We’re not suggesting you say no to every task or opportunity that comes your way, but you need to seriously think about whether what is being asked of you needs to be done right at this moment. Prioritization can be key to leaving work at work and maintaining your sanity when things get busy.
If you really do feel like you can’t say no, suggest instead that you’d be happy to help, but already have x, y, z things to do as a priority, and you’ll come back to it later on. This isn’t unreasonable, it’s about time management and making sure tasks are ticked off in the right order.
And while there’s something to be said for going above and beyond, if that work is not being recognized, and taking up your precious personal hours, then consider if it’s worth your time.
It could be that your boss doesn’t even realize the extra hours you’re putting in to do something that someone else should be doing. (Or maybe it doesn’t actually need to be done at all.)
Tip #2 for a better work-life balance: Leave on time
In many offices, leaving on time can be frowned upon. It’s like the elephant in the room that no one ever talks about or questions. There tends to be a culture in offices where “face time” matters. Your co-workers seeing your face is just as important as the work you’re doing for them.
We totally get that you don’t want people to think you’re not a team player, so how about setting aside one day a week (meetings permitting) where you aim to leave on time. If it helps, book a date or other social engagement for that evening so you have no choice but to leave.
With most jobs, no matter how long you spend working, there is always more to be done. As long as you have finished your urgent tasks, don’t feel bad about taking a bit of time for yourself rather than filling in an expenses report which can really wait until tomorrow.
Tip #3 for a better work-life balance: Play to your strengths, know your blind spots
Trying to be all things to all people is a recipe for failure.
And trying to do tasks that you know don’t come naturally to you are likely to take you more time and eat into your personal hours. So, even though it’s great to demonstrate that you’re willing to go the extra mile, first think critically about whether you are the best person for the job.
Outsource any skill gaps, learn from your colleagues and lean on your team for help when you need it. Don’t just sit by yourself with a task if you’re struggling with it – reach out.
Acknowledging your weaknesses is not a negative thing, and if it means you’ll deliver a piece of work to a high standard, on deadline, it pays dividends. Whatever skill you’re lacking, if it’s spreadsheets or graphic design, outsource it and concentrate your efforts where you are an expert.
Tip #4 for a better work-life balance: Be a morning person or a night owl, don’t try and be both
If you’re the type of person who bounces out of bed in the morning and does an intense cycle workout before starting the day – good for you! Embrace who you are and make sure to schedule your most important and focus-heavy pieces of work for before lunchtime. When that post lunch slump takes over, you can take it a little slower knowing that the majority of your workload is in hand for the day.
On the other hand, if you find yourself most productive in the late afternoon and evening, take it easy in the morning and don’t force yourself to crush a load of work you’ll only have to redo later on because you weren’t on top form.
Duplicating work is not only frustrating to yourself, it’s also unhelpful for your employer, and they certainly won’t appreciate potentially sloppy work. Just make sure you are realistic with your colleagues about when you’re likely to hand over a project.
Be honest with yourself. Manage expectations. Underpromise and overdeliver.
Tip #5 for a better work-life balance: Schedule personal time
Our entire lives are scheduled – work, dinners, sleep, doctor’s appointments, family meals. There’s a case to be had that if something isn’t scheduled, it just won’t get done.
This counts for self-care too. It’s been proven that if you make time away from work and other distractions. Perhaps taking a meditation class or simply reading a book for an hour, you’re more productive when you are working.
It’s all about being present.
And it’s much better to be able to completely focus on any given task in the moment – whether that’s on a big presentation or listening to your friend confide in you about a tough issue they’re dealing with.
No-one is getting the best out of you, including yourself, if your mind is wandering all of the time. Physically typing or writing “time out” into a diary means you’re more likely to adhere to it.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas about how you can better manage your time and get the most out of your work life and private life. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact you’re supposed to work to live, not just live to work.
Having a healthy work-life balance doesn’t always mean that the balance is perfect all the time – sometimes work will take over, sometimes your private life will demand more attention. But it’s about finding what’s right for you, the majority of the time. I
How about booking a date for Friday night, leaving work on time, and being present in the moment? And if you’re looking to really get out there and step up your dating game, here are 5 scientifically proven tips to find lasting love.