That thing called a work-life balance is quickly going extinct. Always-on technology and the ongoing fear of job loss ensure today’s employees are working harder and longer than ever before. A Harvard Business School survey found 94 percent of professional business folk work more than 50 hours per week, and nearly half of them clock in more than 65 hours each week.
You can give your relationships, health and overall happiness a boost with a few tips that can help bring your life back into the balance.
Kill off Perfectionism
Many overachieves develop perfectionist habits as kids, when they can indeed hit the perfect mark with school, hobbies and maybe a part-time job. But when they grow into adults, perfectionism becomes out of reach, and striving to attain it can only lead to destruction. Instead of perfectionism, try striving for excellence. That you can attain without burning out.
While technology has in many ways made our lives easier, it has also created expectations of being constantly accessible with a work day that never ends. Stop texting during your kid’s concert. Don’t send work emails during your family dinner.
And for goodness sake, shut down that smartphone at a set time and enjoy the moment. Resisting the urge to respond to every work-related alert can build resilience, and resilient people feel an increased sense of control over their lives and a decreased sense of stress.
Eliminate Time-Eating Activities (and People)
Make a list of the things that are most important in your life, one that truly reflects your priorities. Then draw solid boundaries so you can focus more time on those high-priority activities and people.
With your blueprint in place, it’s easier to decide what needs to be eliminated from your schedule. These can include time-wasting activities such as Internet or email surfing, the morning work chatter or after-work drinks with coworkers.
While these tips may seem difficult and even selfish at first, you’re engaging in the art of self-preservation to preserve a life that extends far beyond work.